“I’m often asked by younger filmmakers, ‘Why do I need to look at old movies?’ I’ve made a number of pictures in the last 20 years and the response I have to give them is that I still consider myself a student. The more pictures I’ve made in 20 years, the more I realize I really don’t know. And I’m always looking for something or someone that I could learn from. I tell the younger filmmakers, and the young students, that do it like painters used to do—that painters do—study the old masters, enrich your palette, expand the canvas. There’s always so much more to learn.”
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese through American Movies (1995)
Keep in mind that Scorsese’s comment about “always looking for something or someone that I could learn from” was said 30 years after he recieved an MFA from NYU.