Friday, December 7, 2012

Martin Scorsese

The fast talking, thick eye brows, black horn-rimmed glasses Martin Scorsese loves movies, he likes them so much he dedicated his life making them, to name a few: Mean Street, Good Fallers, After Hours,  Ragging Bull, The Temptation of Christ, The Age of Innocence, The Departed, Shutter Island and of course – Taxi Driver.

Everything about Martin involves film, from music short film with Michael  Jackson to overseen the restoration of  Peeping Tom, The Red Shoes, Rashomon and The Life And Death Of Colonel Blimp. Martin is obsessed with films  and  the character in his  films like Boxcar Bertha, Jake LaMotta, Newland Archer,  Rupert Pupkin,  Henry Hill, Travis Travis Bickle, Howard Hughes are filled with personal struggle and obsession, as Martin is calling them all “God’s lonely man”. Almost every film is a confession of sin and insanity, and you are the witness. Weather the role is played by Robert de Niro or Leonardo DiCaprio or  Ellen Burstyn, they have the same soul, they are disturbed lunatic in need of redemption,  a lost child in search for salvation.

The relationship between man and woman in Martin’s film is always  destructive, as you can see in Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, New York, New York, Casino.

In March 1976 a Roger Ebert interview with Scorsese and Paul Schrader the writer of Taxi driver -

Ebert: In a lot of your movies, there's this ambivalent attitude toward women. The men are fascinated by women, but they don't quite know how to relate to them . . .

Scorsese: The goddess-whore complex. You're raised to worship women, but you don't know how to approach them on a human level, on a sexual level. That's the thing with Travis, the DeNiro character - the taxi driver. The girl he falls for, the Cybill Shepherd character - it's really important that she's blond, a blue-eyed goddess.

Schrader: He goes from a goddess to a child godsdess. The 12 year-old prostitute he's trying to rescue - she's unapproachable, too, for him.

Scorsese: She has the candles burning in her bedroom, she's like a saint to him. He can't imagine these pimps treating her the way they do. Before he goes to avenge her, it's almost like he cleanses himself…

In 1977, a film almost finished Scorsese, New York, New York with De Niro and Minnelli, as the critics called" maddeningly uneven 'coke movie" leaving the director in a spiral of drugs and depression because of the failing to cover its $14m production. This film, which I still think was a personal note of Martin, a letter of his sadness and lost of his marriage with Isabella Rossellini.

There are many articles about Scorsese, we know he was born in little Italy in New York and wanted to be a priest then turned his love to movies and music, we know that he produced a successful  TV series Boardwalk  Empire, and his best friend and favourite actor is Robert de Niro, like Hitchcock he likes to have a cameo in his own film, but to understand him you can’t read about him but to watch his film, his struggle and his passion, his film is personal, full of emotion and guilt, love and nightmare.

  “When you make a film... there are times in your life when you're burning with a passion and it's very, very strong. It's almost like a pathology of cinema where you want to possess the people on film. You want to live through them. You want to possess their spirits, their souls, in a way. And ultimately you can't stop. It has to be done until you get to the bitter end.” ----- Scorsese.

Maybe he is insane, maybe  John Ford,  Capra, Welles, Hitchcock, Kubrick, and Coppola are all insane. But Scorsese is always my favourite.

“Which would be worse - to live as a monster, or to die as a good man?” ----- Teddy, Shutter Island.

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