One of the sections that brought significant heft to Sunday night's Golden Globes ceremony was the presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille Award to the great Martin Scorsese (Taxi Driver). After a quite funny Robert De Niro made some jabs at Scorsese's affinity for the physical essence of "hot 35mm" film, Leonardo DiCaprio introduced a montage of Scorsese's body of work.
That exceptional showcase reel (edited by Stephen Garrett and Christy Wilson) was a reflection to a large part of Scorsese's own filmmaking style: juxtaposing striking, visceral images to pieces of music that are very personal to Scorsese himself. It was hard to sit still once "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by The Rolling Stones came on during the montage. Anyone who loves movies and hasn't seen Mean Streets needs to look up the word "love" in the dictionary.
Scorsese, humble as ever, was beautifully articulate in his acceptance speech:
"When you saw a DeMille picture, it stayed with you -- the power of that shared experience with a big audience. My own films, the overall intention was always to have them be the powerful cinematic experiences that characterized the DeMille pictures. OK, so Goodfellas doesn't exactly bring to mind The Greatest Show on Earth. But the drive was the same: so that the audiences could live in their wonders. [DeMille] helped create the narrative style and language we use today. Motion pictures are part of a continuum, a living ongoing history, and for me to be a part of all that, well, I thank you and I thank you so much."
It's hard to imagine any moviegoer crying against this proposed summation: Goodfellas DOES exactly bring to mind a greatest show on Earth. There's no shame in being great; Scorsese is great and though he was impressively passive about his own place in the film world during his speech, the rest of the film world will not marginalize his role. Scorsese is indelible.
Earlier during the presentation, De Niro said it perfectly: "And I can't help thinking that if times were a little different, how proud Cecil B. DeMille would have been to be honored with a Martin Scorsese Award."