Martin Scorsese Calls Ti West’s ‘Pearl’ ‘Wild, Bewitching and Deeply Disturbing’

The American movie legend has some thoughts on Ti West’s prequel to his hit Sleeper Slasher X.

Martin Scorsese changed the film industry by delivering multiple masterpieces and addressing conversations worth having, such as whether Marvel is considered cinema and which worthy films deserve more recognition.

Scorsese is a movie lover. He’s worked restoring classic films, made countless lists of his favorite movies from around the world, and helped produce modern hits like Uncut Gems, Shirley, and more. He’s also a big fan of going to the theater to watch new releases, and it was a great weekend for that.

Epic The female king and the thriller à la Wes Anderson See how they work opened its doors this weekend, but the only new release that tickled the Scorsese pink was that of Ti West pearlthe prequel to his low arthouse slasher X. The film was shot in secret a week after X had completed principal photography and starred Mia Goth as the younger version of the wicked and murderous old lady, Pearl. The film follows young Pearl through her life as a budding actress in 1918. It’s blood-soaked, technicolor fun, and Scorsese agrees.

Mia Goth as Pearl in ‘Pearl’Credit: A24

/Film reports that A24 received this review from Scorsese himself, who raves about West’s rise to master horror status:

Ti West films have a kind of energy that is so rare these days, fueled by a pure, undiluted love for cinema. You feel it in every picture. A prequel to X made in a diametrically opposed cinematic register (think of the 1950s Scope color melodramas), pearl makes 102 wild, riveting, deeply – and I mean deeply – disturbing minutes. West and his muse and creative partner Mia Goth really know how to play with their audience…before they plunge the knife into our chests and start writhing. I was captivated, then disturbed, then so destabilized that I had trouble falling asleep. But I couldn’t stop staring.

The call of pearl is that West plays with influence to deliver a very different film that appeals to the movie buff and the horror lover. The technicolor cinematography and long takes, as opposed to the fast editing, wide shots and odd camera angles of the 70s aesthetic of Xplace this prequel in a Wizard of Oz-kind of land of horrors.

With West and Goth planning to do MaXXXine, the continuation of Maxine’s story of X set in the ’80s, it’ll be interesting to see what visual tropes West plays with to deliver the blood, guts, and glory that the first two films masterfully crafted into a deeply and eerily touching story.

Maybe we’ll get another review from Scorsese on the third movie, or maybe he might even get his hands on the project since it’s still in development. The best case scenario is that pearl inspired Scorsese to write and direct another horror film.

The latter might be long, but stranger things have happened.

One thing is certain: West won gold with X and pearland we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the third film.

Have you seen Pearl? Let us know your thoughts on the movie in the comments!


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