Humble Scorsese accepts DeMille nod

Director receives praise from De Niro, DiCaprio at Globes

Backstage at the Golden Globes, after receiving the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Martin Scorsese was asked what he would do if he wasn't making movies. He said he wishes he could write or compose music -- but he can't, so he would continue to work on the preservation of cinema and he would teach.

"The classes would be about telling stories," Scorsese said.

The stories he has told, which have taught audiences about life and cinema for more than 30 years, were cited by frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio during their introductions.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you and the work we did together," De Niro told Scorsese.

DiCaprio, who stars in Scorsese's upcoming release "Shutter Island," called the director his "friend and mentor" and predicted that when people look back on movies in a thousand years, Scorsese's name will be "synonymous with the master of filmmaking."

Amid such praise and an honor that clearly meant a lot to him, Scorsese showed his humility, thanking the HFPA for its donations to film preservation and waxing eloquent about filmmakers who paved the way for him -- especially the director for whom the DeMille honor is named.

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"It's humbling to have my name even so modestly joined to Cecil B. DeMille's, the ultimate showman," said Scorsese, adding that within his movies there always was "a strong story on a more human scale. So when I got to make my own films, no matter what they looked like, the overall intention was always to tap into the powerful cinematic experience that characterized a DeMille picture."

Then Scorsese joked: "OK, so 'GoodFellas' doesn't exactly bring to mind 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' but the drive to affect the audience was the same. He made these pictures for us, the audience, so that we could live in their wonders."