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Martin Scorsese would rather burn a film than let a studio ruin it, says long-time collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker

 Raging Bull and Thelma Schoonmaker.
Raging Bull and Thelma Schoonmaker.

Film editor Thelma Schoonmaker has been a long-time collaborator of Martin Scorsese's, working with him on his most recent film, Killers of the Flower Moon, and countless more from the director's legendary filmography.

One of those films is Raging Bull. It failed at the box office, and while it received eight Oscar nominations (winning two) and various awards from critics' bodies, Schoonmaker insists that it wasn't truly appreciated for another 10 years, when it became a contender in Best Movie of All Time polls. It's a pattern she’s since seen repeated again and again, with appreciation being in particularly short supply from the film studios.

"It happened continuously with Marty's movies," Schoonmaker stresses to Total Film in our new issue, which features Dune 2 on the cover and is out this Thursday. "It's only the last 10 years or so that he's been acknowledged as the great director he is. Believe me, we had to fight tooth and nail [on] every one of those films to keep it being changed by the studio. And Marty would burn the film rather than give it up. We would win, but it would be a long, hard battle."

Killers of the Flower Moon is up for 9 Oscars at this year's awards, including Best Film Editing, Best Director, and Best Picture. You can see the full list of the 2024 Oscars nominations through the link.

You can read more from Schoonmaker, and a whole lot else besides, in the new issue of Total Film when it hits shelves and digital newsstands on Thursday, February 1. Check out the covers below:

Total Film's Dune: Part Two covers
Total Film's Dune: Part Two covers

(Image credit: Total Film/Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures/Photo by Jack Davison)

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