From 'Cape Fear' to Christmas cava cheer

5th December 2007, Comments 0 comments

Martin Scorsese turns his hand to the yearly ad for Freixenet's famous bubbly.

3 December 2007

MADRID - Wearing his famous horn-rimmed glasses, with his white hair combed back, and clearly in an excellent mood, Martin Scorsese entered the Casino de Madrid at 8.15pm Monday night a week ago, to premier his latest work - a project that amounts to nothing less than a revolution in the advertising of Freixenet, a major brand of Spanish sparkling wine - also known as cava.

Scorsese has made a short film called The key to reserva, in which the world's leading brand of quality cavas has turned its back on its long-running advertising style, which has become a Christmas classic in Spain.

The traditional formula, based around the famous Freixenet bubbles, has given way to a new series, in which a high-profile director will be invited to make their own Christmas ad each year. "It's a satire of my own movie mania," said Scorsese after the projection of his piece. "It has to do with my love of cinema, and the impossibility of possessing it."

The short film is a tribute to Hitchcock. It starts off in a pseudo-documentary "making-of" style, with Scorsese showing off what is supposedly part of an unfilmed Hitchcock script that he has been keeping hidden in a box. He says to another character that they are going to film it, and they do.

It turns out to be a suspense scene set in Carnegie Hall, heavily seasoned with knowing nods to the master. "Even the suit the actor is wearing is a replica of the one Cary Grant wore in North by Northwest," says Scorsese.

"Hitchcock is one of my guiding lights," says the director of Goodfellas, Cape Fear, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Casino.

But the New York maestro says that he is unsure whether advertising can be considered an art form.

"After making movies for 37 years, I'm not even sure that what I do is art."

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ PABLO GUIMÓN 2007]

Subject: Spanish news