Martin Scorsese isn’t just one of our greatest filmmakers, he also seems like a wonderful human being, the kind of guy who would make for a peerless uncle, film professor, or mentor. So it’s not surprising that someone who sometimes seems like a one-man repository of all of the cinematic knowledge of the ages also makes for a terrific commencement speaker.
Back in May, the diminutive, caterpillar-browed filmmaker, who seems to be morphing into Woody Allen in his old age, gave a 32-minute speech at his alma matter, New York University’s Tisch School Of The Arts, that is a heartwarming combination of nostalgia, autobiographical storytelling, philosophy, self-deprecating humor, and inspiration. It goes through the highs and lows of Scorsese’s career, and the Oscar winner warns the students to be as wary and skeptical of success as of failure. But our words cannot do justice to the eloquence and passion Scorsese brings to the speech, so do yourself a favor and watch it yourself. Whether you’re an aspiring filmmaker or just a lover of film, you’ll get something out of it. The students must have been excited to hear one of their idols speak, but then again, isn’t every cinephile of a certain age on some level one of Scorsese’s students?