INTERVIEW: Martin Scorsese escapes ‘Shutter Island’

In the 1970s, at a time when he was being feted as one of the young lions of the 'new Hollywood’, Martin Scorsese was a man beset by deep anxieties and forebodings. Fragile in health and temperament, he was convinced that every breath might be his last, a terrified flier who during take-off would clutch a crucifix in his hands until his knuckles turned white.

He was also a man burdened with superstitions, with a particular phobia about the number 11: avoiding flights in which the numbers added up to 11, and refusing to travel on the 11th of the month, or stay on the 11th floor of hotels. So the fact that I was meeting Scorsese on November 11 occasioned some apprehension.

'I’d noticed that, too,’ Scorsese says when I point out the date. He gives a resigned shrug. 'It’s either very good or very bad.’

The superstition, he says, had to do with his own obsessive nature when he was younger.

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