At a Saturday press conference in Rome, Scorsese said "La Dolce Vita" broke narrative rules and moved cinema forward. He also spoke of the importance of preserving films for future generations.
"We have an obligation to our children to at least let them know this is here," the filmmaker said.
"La Dolce Vita" first came out in 1960, and the Rome Film Festival is marking the movie's 50th anniversary with a world premiere Saturday of the restored version.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.