Martin Scorsese on the man who inspired him
On his orientation day at university in New York, Martin Scorsese was exposed to Haig Manoogian's passion for the craft of filmmaking. He was immediately taken by the film lecturer who “set a fire in our hearts… it’s one of the most precious gifts I have ever received.” Discover more https://on.rolex.org/38c5v6P
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I come from an area, what they consider melodrama was pretty much happening. My father had a little TV set. They would show neorealist films on a Friday night for the Italian American community. Having the asthma, I was not allowed to play sports, so everything came through me, through the movies on television. I lived on Elizabeth Street between Prince and Houston, but I never went to the West Side, and so… I just went to the corner of Elizabeth and Houston and made a left and walked about six blocks and was in another universe.
And I was accepted into Washington Square College, which was part of NYU. And so I attended this orientation day and this was an eye-opening situation. And this gentleman got up and he spoke with such passion and such energy about cinema, almost like a zealous preacher in a way. I became part of the cult. His name was Haig Manoogian.
Young Scorsese: And, you know, I was sort of taken by him at that point because of that much energy, because that much love.
Haig really inspired us. He pushed us and he cajoled us and he beat us down and he built us back up again. He set a fire in our hearts.
Young Scorsese: If you were crazy enough to think you got to make a movie. He was the one who inspired you.
It’s one of the most precious gifts I ever received. Over the years, I always get excited by the young people coming up to me and kind of guide them as best I can because it keeps me alive creatively. The fact that you’re able to make someone else flower, in a sense.
What a joy and privilege it has been to work with you.
It’s really you, Marty – it’s you. Thank you.
Martin Scorsese: This is incredible satisfaction.
Martin Scorsese & Haig Manoogian
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