Questions and Thoughts of Crazy Minds

Questions and Thoughts of Crazy Minds

Hi. I’ve been thinking about writing a short post about some stuff I’ve been wondering about lately. What goes on in a director’s head when thinking about his audience and their response to his movie?

These are some of the directors I’ve thought about.

Martin Scorsese – This is what I believe in. This is part of me and my existence. These characters are part of the reality I’ve encountered in my life. This is what I want to know.

Stanley Kubrick – The cinematic medium was created in order to find the flaws within ourselves. This is who we are. Deal with it.

Krzysztof Kieslowski – We are a society of individuals. You’re an individual. Look at yourself. Look at how much you got, look at your family, look around you. Can you dare to look closer?

Pedro Almodovar – Do you see similarities to your daily life? Well, that’s because even the simplest of all things can be cinematic.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu – How far will you follow these characters I’ve created? Are you afraid?

Lynne Ramsay – Even cruelty and pain can be poetic.

Federico Fellini – We must laugh at ourselves. If you don’t laugh at yourself, at your heritage and background, how can you call yourself a human being?

Lars Von Trier – Humans are filthy animals living in a make believe world. You don’t like it? Fuck you. I’ll manipulate you into anything.

Ingmar Bergman – I’m afraid of faith. I’m afraid of a lot things. You are too.

Sofia Coppola – We are who we are. Our lives are weird, so what? There’s more to our lives than we know of.

David Lynch – What you’re about to see is what goes on in my mind. Try to cope with me and you’ll learn a thing or two about movies, and maybe even about yourself.

Abbas Kiarostami – What happens after life? I don’t know, but do you know we’re really here? I can’t give you answers and even if I could, I wouldn’t.

Andrei Tarkovsky – We make our own bed. We’ve been doing it for ages. I want you to get lost in my vision. And you can be sure, that if you feel, you’ll get lost without a doubt.

John Cassavetes – Aren’t you curious about the mysteries of love? That’s what I’m going after. That’s my mission. You can come along if you want, I don’t care.

Joel and Ethan Coen – There is no explanation for what we’re about to show you. Try to figure it out by yourself.

David Fincher – Who’s in control? That’s the question I want you to answer. Who’s the most powerful in this situation?

Quentin Tarantino – Let’s see if you can figure out what movies I stole from. Isn’t it fun to look at?

Woody Allen – Look at how much I know. How cool am I? I can recite all of Freud’s work. Yeah, everybody else just sucks. Diane Keaton too.

 

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The Man Behind The Myth

The Man Behind The Myth

Today’s topic, which I’ve had in mind for a very long time, and to be quite frank I never thought I’d share, is the immense love I have for Martin Scorsese, the man responsible for such diverse works such as Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Aviator, The Departed and lately The Wolf of Wall Street. His riveting direction, mind blowing editing and immaculate soundtrack choices hail him as one of the greatest storytellers of cinematic history. On the other hand, what I’ve always meant to do, is try and look back at Scorsese as a child, a private man with a big heart, born and raised like every other Italian-American “paisa”.

Scorsese, let’s keep in mind, was a boy raised in Little Italy when the neighbourhood was “infected” by local hoods, wise guys who walked around, respected and feared, always out there doing dirty deals and living the life of crime to the fullest. However, as the director himself often has said, it all added flavour to a young boy’s life. Kids in those times didn’t have internet, smartphones and all those spoiled needs they have today. What they had was their gift of imagination, the street and most importantly, the church.

Aside from the obvious gift of imagination I mentioned, let’s talk about the street. First off, seeing a guy’s brains splattered all over the sidewalk or witnessing the beat-up of your uncle at the age of eight is not something we forget that easily. Scorsese’s uncle would be often in trouble with the local gangsters, owing money here and there, and would put the director’s father in a tight position. The filmmaker, a born asthmatic, would often stay at home, his mum would keep him safe, have him covered with a blanket, and the boy would  do what he’s always been best at: observe. Look out the window and study the everyday life in the Italian neighbourhood: kids running across the street; music emanating from a local bar; people yelling at each other from one window to another; hoods having a brawl in the corner of a dark alley; a sunday procession. A young child has the eyes of a hawk and registers all these events with great ease. The street would not only be a rough environment for young Scorsese but also a school outside the actual school. A school of practice, street values, pain and also happiness. A school that taught simple yet very mature subjects. It could swallow you but also spit you right back up. It could ruin you but also help you become someone. However, things would get nasty, and sometimes, the street would be too dangerous; sometimes there  would be too many bodies lying on the sidewalk; sometimes the blood would be too red. That’s when the church stepped in.

The church. Children who didn’t end up in gangs and didn’t join the life of petty crime would go looking for reason, solace and peace in the holy institution. Scorsese was one of these “unlucky” kids. He never became bully or thief because of his illness. That’s when the church welcomed him. It welcomed him with open arms. Yes, it did. Up to the point that the now-director was supposed to become a priest. Priesthood was his true calling he thought. But then again, the world of movies just sucks you right in.

Scorsese was shaped as an individual and as artist by painful mistakes and regrettable moments as much as by his family’s immense love, his dear friends’ appreciation and the passion that sizzled inside of him since a very young age. Today he’s 72, going for 73, and he’s still the same boy from Little Italy. A man with a lot to say and a lot to show. A man who doesn’t need awards nor publicity. A man who loves to learn just as much as he loves to teach.

“My whole life has been movies and religion. That’s it.”  The filmmaker has always mentioned movies and religion as his main reasons for living the life he lives. And that’s what makes Scorsese the great director he is today. He is a humble man, raised in a tough spot, with no wealth, no shiny objects around him. Simplicity. That’s what he wakes up to everyday.

The man behind films like Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, GoodFellas and many more is the true representation of a simple man behind a camera.
The man behind films like Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and many more is the true example of a simple, talented mind behind a camera.