Martin Scorsese is crediting Ari Aster‘s “Midsommar” for inspiring the pacing and running time of “Killers of the Flower Moon.”

Scorsese told The Irish Times that the 206-minute length of “Killers of the Flower Moon” is in line with horror films ranging from auteurs like Aster or Val Lewton. “Killers of the Flower Moon” borrows from a blend of genres like Westerns and horror.

“I very much like the style and pacing of good horror films like Ari Aster’s ‘Midsommar’ or ‘Beau Is Afraid,’” Scorsese said. “The pacing of those films goes back to the B films of Val Lewton, Jacques Tourneur’s ‘Cat People’ or ‘I Walked With a Zombie.’ Just going a little slower, a little quieter.”

Scorsese continued, “I was very concerned about allowing scenes that were not narrative into the story, scenes to do with the Osage culture — leaving in those scenes of custom, like the baby namings, the funerals, and the weddings — so we could begin to understand a little more about the people. I felt confident that a lot of people would allow themselves to be immersed in the world of the film.”

He added of the upcoming Paramount/Apple true crime film, “It’s not a whodunit. We know exactly whodunit. The audience is way ahead of us.”

And while “Killers of the Flower Moon” is not being marketed as a Western, Scorsese explained how the film’s roots harken back to the mid-20th century genre, specifically with John Ford’s “Searchers,” which has inspired most of Scorsese’s filmography.

“You know, I always wanted to make a Western, but I thought the Western genre really ended with Sam Peckinpah and ‘The Wild Bunch,’” Scorsese said. “The Western became something else, something about form, something that doesn’t reflect the values of America today.”

The Oscar winner summed up, “One has to take these chances. At this age, what else can I do?”

Scorsese recently defending the “Killers of the Flower Moon” running time.

“People say it’s three hours, but come on, you can sit in front of the TV and watch something for five hours,” Scorsese told The Hindustan Times. “Also, there are many people who watch theater for 3.5 hours. There are real actors on stage, you can’t get up and walk around. You give it that respect. Give cinema some respect.”

Leave a comment