Bob Dylan Honors Martin Scorsese At Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

Dylan performed 'Blind Willie McTell,' a song used in Scorsese's PBS documentary series 'The Blues.'

Any excuse to hear Bob Dylan play live is a pleasure. The experience is made all the more pleasurable when it’s in the service of honoring filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

Such was the case at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards on Thursday (January 12) when Scorsese was selected as the Music + Film honoree. After a scorching montage that touched on not only his feature films but his excellent work in musical documentaries — from the Band’s “Last Waltz” to the Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light” — Dylan took the stage to perform “Blind Willie McTell,” a tune included in Scorsese’s PBS documentary series “The Blues.”

The two artists’ connection goes back further though, back to the 2005 doc “No Direction Home,” which follows Dylan through his musical and cultural development in the 1960s. After an introduction by Leonardo DiCaprio, Scorsese took the stage to deliver a heartfelt speech about how music first impacted his life and how it has influenced his cinematic work.

“Such a great honor and an amazing performance by the great one, Bob Dylan,” he began. “This award has a very special significance to me, so I’d like to begin with a special thank-you to Django Reinhardt, Stéphane Grappelli and the Hot Club of France. That was the music I used to hear when I was growing up in my apartment in New York, even before we had a TV, in the middle to late ’40s.

“Before anything for me, there was music and conversation, and for me they were both the same thing,” he added.

Also onstage to present the award to Scorsese was Olivia Harrison, widow of ex-Beatle George Harrison, who was the subject of Scorsese’s 2011 documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World.”

Stick with MTV News all night for the 2012 Critics’ Choice Awards winners, and don’t miss all the fashion from the red carpet!

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