As you may have already heard, Martin Scorsese spent last weekend hanging out in a secret Dublin 4 location, and no, it wasn’t here at NewsFour. Scorsese, or “Marty” to his friends, opted for the slightly more salubrious surroundings of the 5 star Intercontinental Hotel in Ballsbridge, and who could blame him.
The big man with the small shoe size was in town for a couple of reasons, firstly to collect an award from the Trinity College Philosophical Society on Friday and more importantly, (because yours truly was there), to take part in a Q&A session organised by the Irish Film and Television Academy on Saturday.
My delight at having been “specially selected” to attend the Scorsese “Masterclass” was somewhat tempered upon arrival at the Intercontinental Hotel when I realised that the world and his mother had also been granted the same prestigious honour. A hopefully dignified scramble for a seat resulted in a halfway back, acceptably obstructed yet strained view of a slightly raised stage. The tension was palpable as we waited with starstruck anticipation for the Hollywood heavyweight to arrive.
And then, the giant doors of the enormous Intercontinental conference room swung open to thunderous applause. Doors close, and after what seems like an eternity of clapping, it transpires that Mr. Scorsese hasn’t in fact entered the room as everyone thought (The joys of a vertically challenged existence which I can relate to). Mild disappointment followed by silence followed by a quick check of the phone. Boy does he know how to build drama! After a few minutes, doors flung open again, and this time: lights, camera, action! What followed was indeed a magical movie masterclass of insightful anecdotes by a man who knows and loves his art like no-one else.
And so to the announcement that Scorsese is to receive a special John Ford award from none other than “Il Presidente” himself, Michael D. Higgins. Doors swing open again, thunderous applause, but this time we know for sure Michael D’s in the room as he cleverly has a tall army officer with a big hat walking behind him. Speeches over and time for a quick photo before the two exit lickity-split, Michael D. off to the rugby, Marty off to work on his next great masterpiece.
By Paul O’Rourke