You could do a hell of a lot worse than having esteemed director Martin Scorsese deliver your annual lecture, which is exactly what the filmmaker did at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. His talk, titled Persistence of Vision: Reading the Language of Cinema, runs a little over an hour, but it's an engaging and informative lecture that proves why Scorsese is a master at what he does.
The clip opens with a scene from The Magic Box, a biopic about William Friese-Greene, who designed and patented the first movie camera. We're treated to the scene in which the photographer and inventor finally projects a moving image and excitedly shares his discovery. It illustrates the magic of movies, but also Scorsese's passion for cinema, which he explains happened at an early age. His family felt a strong connection to the movies, because they knew they were "experiencing something fundamental together." For Scorsese, movies revealed "emotional truths" they couldn't always discuss or acknowledge.
The director goes on to describe cinema as the invocation of life — an ongoing dialogue. Eventually he breaks out some cave paintings and 19th-century shorts of boxing cats, so clearly this is something you don't want to miss. With thanks to Filmmaker IQ for spotting the video, we hope you enjoy this Scorsese lecture on the language of cinema.