XIXAX Film Forum

The Director's Chair => Martin Scorsese => Topic started by: MacGuffin on October 02, 2008, 01:02:06 AM

Title: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: MacGuffin on October 02, 2008, 01:02:06 AM
Scorsese, De Niro to 'Paint Houses'
Paramount taps Zaillian to adapt Brandt book
Source: Variety

Paramount Pictures is plotting a return to organized crime for Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro. Studio has set Steve Zaillian to adapt "I Heard You Paint Houses," the book about the mob assassin who many believe was involved in the death of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa.

Scorsese is attached to direct. De Niro will play Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran, who is reputed to have carried out more than 25 mob murders. Pic will be produced by Scorsese and Tribeca partners De Niro and Jane Rosenthal. Project landed at Paramount through the overall deal that the studio has with Scorsese’s Sikelia Prods.

Pic’s title refers to mob slang for contract killings, and the resulting blood splatter on walls and floors. Book was written by Charles Brandt, who befriended Sheeran shortly before the latter’s death in 2003. Among the crimes Sheeran confessed to Brandt, according to the 2004 book, was the killing and dismemberment of Hoffa, carried out on orders from mob boss Russell Bufalino.

Zaillian most recently scripted the Frank Lucas crime saga "American Gangster" and was a co-writer of the Scorsese-directed "Gangs of New York." Scorsese also brought in Zaillian to script "Schindler’s List," before turning over the project to Steven Spielberg and instead directing De Niro in "Cape Fear." Zaillian won an Oscar for his "Schindler’s List" script.

Scorsese just completed a screen adaptation of the Dennis Lehane novel "Shutter Island" for Paramount with Leonardo DiCaprio. He’s in the midst of settling on his next directing project, with "Silence," "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "The Long Play" at the top of his list.

De Niro has wrapped the Kirk Jones-directed "Everybody’s Fine" with Sam Rockwell, Kate Beckinsale and Drew Barrymore. He’s also plotting a re-team with "Heat" director Michael Mann on "Frankie Machine," an adaptation of the Don Winslow novel that is also at Paramount.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 02, 2008, 02:20:02 PM
I love the title. Hope it happens but damn, what about Silence?
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 02, 2008, 11:48:52 PM
I love the title. Hope it happens but damn, what about Silence?

I've come to the conclusion Silence will never happen, but this projects sounds OK for him. It's mobster material, but if I read the synopsis right, it deals with a mobster type character looking back at his criminal life. The irony is that Scorsese's first film about mobsters, Mean Streets, seems to have the most iorta of reflection and context to a mobster's struggle. Goodfellas and Casino are mainly fun rides through the gangster life with reflection and meaning added in as post scripts. Scorsese could really dig into the meaning of the mobster to him with this film, or he could sell himself short like normal.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 03, 2008, 08:59:42 AM
Truly, the most introspective of his mafia films is Mean Streets, I guess mainly because it's the most autobiographical. I do think, however, that Mean Streets could have been about non mobsters characters and still work. Despite having gangsters in it, it never gets as specific as Goodfellas or Casino about the inner workings and day to day problems of mobsters.

Scorsese has said that one thing that he found intresting about Henry Hill as a character was his lack of guilt about his lifestyle, that he wasn't sorry about anything in the end excepto that the fun was over. So maybe he wasn't the best character to explore an inner struggle in mobsters. The characters in Casino are all very practical too, these are not introspective characters. But I do think both films are very illustrative of the context in which their life takes shape. Also, he's obviously way more interested in both films in the connection between the individual lifes of those characters and the workings of their environments and society.

I don't know what you get out of this synopsis...I don't get anything except is a mobster film with De Niro and Scorsese together again, and that's why it excites me. Other than that this doesn't indicates anything about him maybe exploring this or that.

It really must suck to have a project like Silence and being unable to get it off the ground. Really, that's all it is. Of course, who knows what kind of budget they're trying to get...maybe they're not being reasonable...
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 04, 2008, 07:12:40 PM
Truly, the most introspective of his mafia films is Mean Streets, I guess mainly because it's the most autobiographical. I do think, however, that Mean Streets could have been about non mobsters characters and still work. Despite having gangsters in it, it never gets as specific as Goodfellas or Casino about the inner workings and day to day problems of mobsters.

Any film about the personal characteristics of someone who is a professional something would blend together with other humanistic stories. The profession always takes a back seat when the portrait is personal. You're right that the characters in Mean Streets could be anyone, but that is also a compliment. Good films about people focus on the characteristics that we all share.

Scorsese has said that one thing that he found intresting about Henry Hill as a character was his lack of guilt about his lifestyle, that he wasn't sorry about anything in the end excepto that the fun was over. So maybe he wasn't the best character to explore an inner struggle in mobsters. The characters in Casino are all very practical too, these are not introspective characters. But I do think both films are very illustrative of the context in which their life takes shape. Also, he's obviously way more interested in both films in the connection between the individual lifes of those characters and the workings of their environments and society.

Goodfellas and Casino are no more insightful or depth than any general story about gangsters. Scorsese patterned his storytelling off old Hollywood sweeping tales and there are only two major difference between his films and those earlier ones. The first is that his films don't hang off a high moral lesson and that his subject material requires permissive subject matter. I think his style and the latter is what convinces some people to believe his films really are doing something good.

Scorsese is an unapologetic Hollywood filmmaker and makes films that prove that point. He will never be a challenging filmmaker of structure or thought. He will embrace cliches and rework them to suit basic modern expectations. I always find it amazing when reading original reviews of his films from the 1980s. The critics comment on his style like he was the only one who had the imagination to come up with such a style, but now he is just one of many filmmakers making films that have his quota for storytelling. Casino was his filmmaking height. It's been automatic since then and so it's also become old hat.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 05, 2008, 10:54:02 AM
As usual I don't disagree but at the same time I do. Of course he is now one of many, but he was first. I'm not saying he invented modern cinema, but he did used what was there before him and reworked it in a way that was new when it came out. The use of music mainly, I think is one of his strongest points and more valuable contributions. Yeah, he wasn't reinventing the wheel, and he was probably thinking of old hollywood films when doing it, but the fact is that before him the use of music was pretty boring, with maybe the exception of Kubrick, and then what he did in his first films became the norm.

The other thing is the uniqueness of his voice. He has plenty of imitators. His kinetic style is very seductive, specially for young filmmakers, but he has a special sensibility to it and it shows. I find his films more complete than pretty much anyone else's films. He has an ability to feel at the same time modern and old without seeming like he's just  rehashing stuff. Like Beck, in music I guess. And he makes each one a celebration of "motion picture", and I find his choices appropiate and brilliant most of the time. I agree also that Casino is the peak of the mountain for him, but he certainly found interesting ways to depict the Tibetan life in Kundun and the old Hollywood of The Aviator. He certainly makes me feel joy when I catch his films. I don't expect him to rewrite the book or anything, I certainly don't know if anyone is doing it right now. People talk about the Dardennes, or some of these new "slow" filmmakers like Apichapong, but I don't see anything new there, just an intellectual idea executed with precision. Personally, I don't need that in a film so much.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 05, 2008, 02:57:47 PM
People talk about the Dardennes, or some of these new "slow" filmmakers like Apichapong, but I don't see anything new there, just an intellectual idea executed with precision. Personally, I don't need that in a film so much.

Haha, you're going to get me going on the Dardennes, aren't you?

I had a conversation with a friend about the Dardennes last night. You're right, there is nothing technically new to their style or even their aesthetic ideal. The greatest of filmmakers have experimented with the Dardennes style in trying to film a story so close to the characters and action that it becomes the replication of a personal experience for the viewer. When Michelangelo Antonioni made La Notte right after L'Avventura, he specifically made a film devoid of standard story and detailed composition and instead layered the film with close proximity events. He did it because he wanted the audience to experience Jeanne Moreau's indecisiveness about her marriage with her. The random events she has with her husband (and more importantly by herself) leaves her feeling more confused and adrift about things. It is exactly what the audience is supposed to experience because they have no prior bias of the relationship. Films always try to juxtapose the audience to feel certain ways, but the content of La Notte comes from the disconnect Moreau feels to each new situation. 

That film was a huge break through for the personal experience film, but the Dardennes take it to such greater heights than Antonioni or any other filmmaker has. Too many times the film going public applauses the first instance at the crack of a new style, but usually it is never the best. Antonioni was limited with La Notte because he had camera equipment that had to remain stationery when handheld can do almost anything today. The Dardennes also layer their films with stories that dig at our intrinsic emotions. The Son recollected Bible parables and The Child deals with one of the harshest subjects in child exploitation.

People compliment films like Gummo for gritty realities of tough subjects, but I'm not impressed with those films. These filmmakers take similar routes with using the same camera equipment, but Gummo and others try to insist upon their gritty reality by making every image of the film as uncomfortable for the viewer as possible. There are scenes in Gummo that are revolting to watch, but what I like about the Dardennes is that their tough reality is still focused on the philosophical idea at hand. Film is so connected to reality that it is easy to imply a disgusting and terrible lifestyle just by showing it, but the Dardennes mix grittiness with the idea of terribleness. Because for as bad as Gummo makes life out to be, the crime that the protagonist in the Child commit still becomes a more terrible and unthinkable crime. The Dardennes illustrate this without being overly graphic at all.

I will always argue that Oliver Stone is the most complete filmmaker I've ever seen. I don't take that comment lightly and can talk at great length to why, but the Dardennes are the best filmmakers going today. That statement only represents here and now because every generation has its own issues and concerns, but they are the best for me. I could still go into further detail, but who cares?



As far as Martin Scorsese is concerned, I don't know if he was the first filmmaker to really do what he does. He is certainly the first modern American filmmaker to do it, but a lot of his style draws from filmmakers like Max Ophuls. But I do believe he advanced his style past Ophuls' accomplishments. That is a compliment to him.

The reason why I don't care too much for Scorsese is because his identity is just based on a style. He has shown an ability to mix and mesh it with any type of story possible. Oliver Stone's style requires a certain narrative and so it could never (for him at least) be in a standard action or drama. His style requires stories that are denser and don't have easy answers for the characters. This leads to the development of themes in his films. Even simpleton style filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick realized the importance of themes in an artists oeuvre, but Scorsese takes on films as a handy man would. I still think he is an artist, but I never see him as the complete one.


(Department of Corrections: I originally listed Julien Donkey Boy in place of Gummo. The intention was always Gummo. Sometimes films are confused.)
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Fernando on October 07, 2008, 11:17:43 AM
Oliver Stone's style requires a certain narrative and so....Even simpleton style filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick realized the importance of themes in an artists oeuvre, but Scorsese takes on films as a handy man would. I still think he is an artist, but I never see him as the complete one.

from dictionary.com
sim·ple·ton
n. A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.


gt, what exactly did you mean by that?
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 07, 2008, 12:06:52 PM
Oliver Stone's style requires a certain narrative and so....Even simpleton style filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick realized the importance of themes in an artists oeuvre, but Scorsese takes on films as a handy man would. I still think he is an artist, but I never see him as the complete one.

from dictionary.com
sim·ple·ton
n. A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.


gt, what exactly did you mean by that?

Exactly what the definition says. While I have already gone to considerable lengths to detail my disdain for Kubrick, stay tuned to the Kubrick forum today for my promised explanation of how his style not only became predictable, but also facile and simplistic.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 07, 2008, 11:58:59 PM
sorry gt, i never felt any replication of any personal experience with any of the dardenne films i saw. what you see there i don't by any chance. i liked L'Enfant, but i wouldn't want to watch it again any time soon, because i get their "idea" but get no enjoyment from it.

to me Oliver stone is amazing, but he is just like Scorsese regarding style, they both apply the same tricks to any story available. that's why i like them both, actually.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: RegularKarate on October 08, 2008, 12:47:49 PM
GT, I respect your dedication, but you can't call Kubrick a "simpleton" and then get mad when people say you dislike things just to dislike the popular.

Stanley Kubrick would beat you at chess.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 08, 2008, 01:43:19 PM
GT, I respect your dedication, but you can't call Kubrick a "simpleton" and then get mad when people say you dislike things just to dislike the popular.

Stanley Kubrick would beat you at chess.

I can reference Kubrick in passing and make it a legitimate comment. I've said enough about Kubrick in detail recently where I'm not just speaking from my ass. I don't expect I have to go into great detail about him everytime I mention his name. If that was the case I would go into detail about numerous people before I would ever get to the subject of the thread. I veer off and go into explanation when my opinion has been lacking on a subject, but I don't see the need to do it all the time.

And I don't think Kubrick is just dumb. Like I said in my recent pieces, he was a master craftsman of production but lacked in filmmaking virtues. The details of production numbed his artistic senses.

Also, people here will always think I dislike things just to dislike them. That's just how it is.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: cron on October 08, 2008, 10:28:52 PM
maybe they're predictable because they're so incrusted (gloriously incrusted) in our pop culture chip.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 09, 2008, 12:09:56 AM
gt, you haven't said enough about why kubrick is a simpleton. you probably never will.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 09, 2008, 01:15:58 AM
gt, you haven't said enough about why kubrick is a simpleton. you probably never will.

All you asked for is explanation to how his films became predictable. You're right I haven't produced that effort yet, but I will. I was going to do it last night but got slammed with homework I had to do. It will be done. Hopefully in the next few days. See, his being pedictable has an association with his being a simpleton, but it doesn't encompass the idea. I've gone enough into his general faults that would point some idea to why I could call him a simpleton.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 09, 2008, 02:46:43 AM
try it you want to, dude. i didn't meant or refered to the absence of your  "predictable" argument, i meant that you can write three books on the "stanley kubrick is predictable" subject, and still you know...don't get the point across...
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 09, 2008, 10:50:11 AM
try it you want to, dude. i didn't meant or refered to the absence of your  "predictable" argument, i meant that you can write three books on the "stanley kubrick is predictable" subject, and still you know...don't get the point across...

I'll get the point across. So far I have only explained myself in how he isn't good. His predictability is a whole other game but it isn't a complicated idea to get across. And at least I am trying to explain myself. It shouldn't be assumed that Kubrick is God, but yet it happens all the time.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 09, 2008, 11:23:53 AM
i know you have explained yourself. at least i don't really understand your points regarding that subject. from what i gather, not many people do. perhaps you are a genius and perhaps we are stubborn. I have passed my "Kubrick is God" phase. It was happening when I saw A Clockwork Orange in 1995. Now I just think he's one of the best filmmakers in history, without putting down a lot of other true masters. you seem to come from a place very much like the one this guy mutinyco used to be, in which he for some reason wanted to "bring down" filmmakers from their "pedestal". I just don't see how that serves any porpuse except the satisfaction of your own masturbatory pleasures. I personally wouldn't need to bring down a considered master in order to praise another one. Or viceversa, yet you do this for argument's sake all the time.

In any case, what i mean was that you can say all you want, but in the end your arguments are always constructed on the base of a rulebook only you care about, and from where i'm standing there are no rulebooks for film or filmmakers, so the point doesn't get across dude.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 09, 2008, 12:30:22 PM
i know you have explained yourself. at least i don't really understand your points regarding that subject. from what i gather, not many people do.

Are you serious? In the Kubrick Boxes thread, where most of my posts on the subject are, the people that have responded have said that while they don't agree with me, they respect and understand the arguments I made about him. I have yet to get any "I don't know what you mean" replies. It's true I have gotten few replies, but that's always normal when writing longer posts. Happens to everyone.

you seem to come from a place very much like the one this guy mutinyco used to be, in which he for some reason wanted to "bring down" filmmakers from their "pedestal". I just don't see how that serves any porpuse except the satisfaction of your own masturbatory pleasures.

Haha, it's hard to continually deal with praise of bad filmmakers on the board. Not only just praise, but blinded praise that comes off as smug and arrogant to me. I know what filmmakers a lot of people on the board like, but I have no idea why they like them. And not only that, but whenever I would write negative reviews, I would get attacked as if I was the person just ripping on them without any reason. It's been a long history.

Has it created a pleasure in some of my opinions? Sure, but considering I come from the opposite view point than most other people here, I also think it was natural. Other people enjoy whenever I make a mistake and they can call me on it so that could be seen as a perversion in itself. I don't know. I have never written a review to just disagree with someone, but I think it's natural to have a little scorn for the majority opinion. I don't dislike anyone personally on the board. In fact I like most people here, but I don't see a little scorn as such a bad thing.

I personally wouldn't need to bring down a considered master in order to praise another one. Or viceversa, yet you do this for argument's sake all the time.

Promoting argument isn't the same as for argument's sake. The latter means I don't believe in what I'm saying when that couldn't be further from the truth.

In any case, what i mean was that you can say all you want, but in the end your arguments are always constructed on the base of a rulebook only you care about, and from where i'm standing there are no rulebooks for film or filmmakers, so the point doesn't get across dude.

Everybody who writes reviews here have a rulebook of sorts. They may not realize it, but it's very apparent to me.  Every review is based on ideas of what you think is good and bad. Everyone has their own set of value systems. Yes, I do have one too, but the beauty in art is that it can always change and evolve.

But I'm starting to understand P's point about how my reviews can be impossible to break through. I try to be specific with my points so anyone who may argue me can have a good points of reference, but I'm the only person who goes to such an exaspperated length. People used to argue films on the board to incredible lengths, but it's a different board now. My reviews aren't promoting argument when I'm the only one writing ones like them. Now I'm just promoting disagreement at best.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on October 09, 2008, 06:18:47 PM
I have to say that, even though I don't agree with about 90% of GT's opinions on many filmmakers, he does defend his cases to the fullest. Of course it's always bad when someone doesn't like Kubrick when we all think he was one of the best, but GT's a world apart from those guys who go on the IMDB and say "this guy sucks!". Now that's arguing for argument's sake. He (and so did mutinyco, which, by the way, was a very well made comparison) has his filmmaking ideas and knows how to defend them, which is always great, because in the end, the most enjoyable debate comes from very different opinions on a subject - I know I'm not one to talk, since over the past few years I've been making very little contributions to Xixax, but I've been reading them and this kind of polarizing opinions are the best ones to read.

That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

As for Kubrick, well, you're the one who called him a simpleton, so you'll have to deal with it. I'm actually waiting for your deeper analysis on this. Not that I'll agree at all, but I'd like to understand a bit more where you're coming from.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 09, 2008, 07:47:31 PM
I'm sorry if I sounded like an idiot gt. No offense, really. I didn't explain myself very well. I don't promise to do that this time either. What I meant wasn't that we don't understand how you conclude what you conclude. But speaking only for myself, even though I get clearly where you're coming from, you usually leave me with a question mark over my head, because I just didn't understand why you give a fuck about the things you give a fuck. You don't have to like Kubrick or Marty or anyone. I know people in my life who are not crazy about them either, but the reasons you choose to make these guys simpletons and handymans, are completely not valid for me.

When I said the "for argument's sake" bit, I meant that when you construct your arguments you usually do it comparing one filmmaker unfavorably to another, not that you say things for saying.

We all have our rules, but they're there to be broken. Each film requires a different set of rules, in fact I think, each films establishes those set of rules for itself.

And of course, Scorsese is no handyman. You can say what you want, but he isn't. And it doesn't even have anything to do with his status as a good, bad, great or godlike filmmaker. It has to do with personal ethics, which I think are just fine in his case.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: SoNowThen on October 09, 2008, 10:04:17 PM
GT, I respect your dedication, but you can't call Kubrick a "simpleton" and then get mad when people say you dislike things just to dislike the popular.

Stanley Kubrick would beat you at chess.

I can reference Kubrick in passing and make it a legitimate comment. I've said enough about Kubrick in detail recently where I'm not just speaking from my ass. I don't expect I have to go into great detail about him everytime I mention his name. If that was the case I would go into detail about numerous people before I would ever get to the subject of the thread. I veer off and go into explanation when my opinion has been lacking on a subject, but I don't see the need to do it all the time.

And I don't think Kubrick is just dumb. Like I said in my recent pieces, he was a master craftsman of production but lacked in filmmaking virtues. The details of production numbed his artistic senses.

Also, people here will always think I dislike things just to dislike them. That's just how it is.

I found it interesting once when I read an interview with Rivette (who has a crazy eclectic taste in films and is not a snob by any stretch of the word) that he and the other New Wave filmmakers really disliked Kubrick and nicknamed him "The Robot" because they thought all his films were totally devoid of any human emotion or feeling. Also, in Godard's early writing (before he made films) he used to rip on Kubrick (pre-the move to Britain) for shamelessly cribbing from Ophuls.

It's funny, cos I had never heard anyone speak ill of Kubrick before, and then here were my filmmaking Gods, trashing him.

Which doesn't change the fact that I still really like Kubrick. However I have definitely cooled on him recently. But by cooled I mean not wanting to watch his movies all the time and shoot and frame exactly like him.

However, when one thinks of the Olympus of cinema, a Kubrick just doesn't quite belong at the top with a Bresson or a Bunuel or a Tarkovsky.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 09, 2008, 10:28:37 PM
That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

The funny thing is that "handyman" comment isn't even mine. It's his. He says he wants to be like an old Hollywood director who goes from project to project and is more of a professional filmmaker. That goes against the ideals of a filmmaker as film artist. Of course Marty always has his religous films which are his passion projects, but he sums himself up as someone who wants to be able to interject his style into numerous different stories. Steven Soderbergh believes you have to mix and match the personal film with Hollywood ones, but Scorsese makes a totally personal film for himself just once every ten years. He's more interested in the bigger budget ventures.

I said it back in 2003, but I would love for Scorsese to mix his bigger budget films with 5 - 10 million dollar personal films. His name would get any project funded and he could do well to make films on the scale of a Mean Streets level. His hero Sam Fuller was very comfortable going back to low budget after losing studio backing, but Scorsese clings to bigger projects. Other filmmakers like Spike Lee fight to make personal projects, but recently said Lee could easily get 90 million dollars tomorrow if he wanted to make a comedy (I believe). I think Scorsese wants to keep making big budget films and is too comfortable to stray from Hollywood so he just takes the most interesting project that a studio will commit significat money to. Spike Lee could be making a film every year if he did just that, but I don't think he does.

Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 09, 2008, 10:40:54 PM
We all have our rules, but they're there to be broken. Each film requires a different set of rules, in fact I think, each films establishes those set of rules for itself.

You may think I disagree with that, but I don't. But I also believe that each film requiring its own set of rules isn't reason to just rationalize their faults.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 10, 2008, 02:19:12 AM
That said, well, GT, calling Scorsese a handyman is just wrong. I mean, the man puts his heart in every movie he makes. "The Departed" may have been the closest he ever was from being a handyman, but even that is pure celebration of the greatness of movies. Just compare it for real with something like "American Gangster" and you'll see the difference.

The funny thing is that "handyman" comment isn't even mine. It's his. He says he wants to be like an old Hollywood director who goes from project to project and is more of a professional filmmaker. That goes against the ideals of a filmmaker as film artist. Of course Marty always has his religious films which are his passion projects, but he sums himself up as someone who wants to be able to interject his style into numerous different stories. Steven Soderbergh believes you have to mix and match the personal film with Hollywood ones, but Scorsese makes a totally personal film for himself just once every ten years. He's more interested in the bigger budget ventures.

I said it back in 2003, but I would love for Scorsese to mix his bigger budget films with 5 - 10 million dollar personal films. His name would get any project funded and he could do well to make films on the scale of a Mean Streets level. His hero Sam Fuller was very comfortable going back to low budget after losing studio backing, but Scorsese clings to bigger projects. Other filmmakers like Spike Lee fight to make personal projects, but recently said Lee could easily get 90 million dollars tomorrow if he wanted to make a comedy (I believe). I think Scorsese wants to keep making big budget films and is too comfortable to stray from Hollywood so he just takes the most interesting project that a studio will commit significant money to. Spike Lee could be making a film every year if he did just that, but I don't think he does.



What I remember is Scorsese saying he wished he was like those old Hollywood filmmakers, and that at some point he wanted that, but realized it's another time and he has to approach things differently. Since he also sees directors as smugglers in Hollywood, no doubt he feels like one. But that's different than just being a gun for hire who will do what is expected of him. He has a personal print in every one of his films, and it's not only about style, but about human concerns and themes.

About the new wave guys criticizing Kubrick for being emotionless, that's some lazy shit comment on the guy. By now it's a cliche, and it's bullshit, because the amount of emotion a person feels with one film is individual. I find Kubrick's films very moving, and not only because I think the craftsmanship is so good it can be emotionally moving, I think he finds ways to communicate those emotions and feelings too. I have never felt him to be cold as he is usually accused of. Some people confuse distance with coldness. 2001 is very moving to me, the death of Hal almost brings me to tears, it's hard to explain, but I feel sorry for the computer. The Shinning is scary not because it makes you jump but because it has a dark disturbing undercurrent, those are feelings.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 10, 2008, 03:13:01 AM
What I remember is Scorsese saying he wished he was like those old Hollywood filmmakers, and that at some point he wanted that, but realized it's another time and he has to approach things differently. Since he also sees directors as smugglers in Hollywood, no doubt he feels like one. But that's different than just being a gun for hire who will do what is expected of him. He has a personal print in every one of his films, and it's not only about style, but about human concerns and themes.

I don't know. He doesn't involve himself in the writing of his films and recent films have come to him with some development already behind it. Gangs of New York was a personal project for him, but it seems his last few projects already had screenwriters and some money behind it and he was convinced to jump aboard.

Haha, I really hope you don't take human concerns and themes idea serious. Howard Hawks was able to jump from movie to movie. Some of those films of his also had human concerns and themes. The fact you could argue that both The Departed and The Aviator has those concerns don't make them identifiable with Scorsese. Like I said before, he doesn't have themes that cross his filmmaking like the stamp of his style does.

About the new wave guys criticizing Kubrick for being emotionless, that's some lazy shit comment on the guy. By now it's a cliche, and it's bullshit, because the amount of emotion a person feels with one film is individual.

If that's the case then their emotions matter as much as yours. so it's not just bullshit or lazy.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on October 10, 2008, 05:13:09 AM
I don't know. He doesn't involve himself in the writing of his films and recent films have come to him with some development already behind it. Gangs of New York was a personal project for him, but it seems his last few projects already had screenwriters and some money behind it and he was convinced to jump aboard.

Haha, I really hope you don't take human concerns and themes idea serious. Howard Hawks was able to jump from movie to movie. Some of those films of his also had human concerns and themes. The fact you could argue that both The Departed and The Aviator has those concerns don't make them identifiable with Scorsese. Like I said before, he doesn't have themes that cross his filmmaking like the stamp of his style does.


Well, as much as I know, Scorsese always tries to improve from the scripts he has. I think a lot of the dialogues and some of the scenes from The Departed were re-written to some extent, mainly concerning Jack Nicholson's character. No doubt those movies were already ready to start production, but I think Marty really had something to say. As for the human concerns, I think Alexandro means that those concerns are very specific and repeat themselves from movie to movie. I mean, I'm not even that fond of The Aviator, but I really see his Howard Hughes as an extension of Travis Bickle and Jake LaMotta - guys who couldn't live with the world around them, and closed themselves from it. And of course The Departed is all about coming from that place where loyalty (to someone, to a lifestyle) and "wanting out" enter in conflict. From Mean Streets (Keitel wants the restaurant, but also wants to leave Little Italy with Johnny's cousin, but can't leave Johnny behind. He pays for it), to GoodFellas (Liotta loves that life, lives on loyalty but in the end has to give it up and leave his world to save himself and become the worst thing in the world - a rat, betraying his boss) to The Departed (Damon is a rat for the mafia, lives on loyalty, but becomes attracted to the lifestyle outside the mafia, so he betrays his boss to leave that situation, but at a price; DiCaprio is a rat for the cops, lives on loyalty, but then gets into conflict about not knowing who to trus/be loyal to, so he wants out. He gets out, but at a price).
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 10, 2008, 10:38:01 AM
About emotions. Maybe so. But I think a lot of people accuse Kubrick of being cold because he has a distant approach to the situations he presents. And he had a bittersweet worldview that imprinted even the most tragic and painful situations with dark humor. Like saying: "this is the most importnt thing in the world right now, and yet is irrelevant". I find that to be a very truthfull way to experience the world, yet thera are people that find that cynic. On the other hand, without reading the new wave guys exact words, I bet it was all about his style. His "perfect" shots and attention to detail. He embodied everything they were against in "old" cinema. But to me it's like the communist kid in the 60's unable to see beyond his own ideas. Just because he didn't followed their dogma didn't mean he was following the old dogma either. He had a personal vision. Godard and Truffaut also started being very similar, following their little rules, and eventually each one developed his own style. Godard is still changing it.

Scorsese always has a hand in the screenplays of his films, even if he is uncredited. Only The Aviator and The Departed are films that were already in developement before he arrived there, and surely you notice the similarities between Howard Hughes and all the other lead Scorsese characters. I don't think he actively searches for opportunities to develop those themes and ideas, but he does anyway. And from what I've read on him and from him, he makes every film because he finds something interesting to say in them, concerning his personal experiences. That's why he said he can't be really a gun for hire as in the old days, because he wouldn't be able to do exactly that.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on October 10, 2008, 11:34:23 AM
About emotions. Maybe so. But I think a lot of people accuse Kubrick of being cold because he has a distant approach to the situations he presents. And he had a bittersweet worldview that imprinted even the most tragic and painful situations with dark humor. Like saying: "this is the most importnt thing in the world right now, and yet is irrelevant". I find that to be a very truthfull way to experience the world, yet thera are people that find that cynic. On the other hand, without reading the new wave guys exact words, I bet it was all about his style. His "perfect" shots and attention to detail. He embodied everything they were against in "old" cinema. But to me it's like the communist kid in the 60's unable to see beyond his own ideas. Just because he didn't followed their dogma didn't mean he was following the old dogma either. He had a personal vision. Godard and Truffaut also started being very similar, following their little rules, and eventually each one developed his own style. Godard is still changing it.

I don't understand how Kubrick's attention to detail represents an older cinema. Their main criticism of older cinema (specifically French Cinema) is that the films tried too hard to be bad imitations of literature and feature very few cinematic traits. They weren't just rallying against films of little style exuberance. Eric Rohmer maintained a realtively conservative style through out his career and he was part of their pack.

When they say they felt Kubrick was cold, I believe just that. Look at Barry Lyndon. There are moments in that film that are suppose to be everything from light to tender and even sentimental. Kubrick tries to extend himself to meet the emotional depths of those scenes, but they still come out flat. Kubrick numbs all the scenes.

Scorsese always has a hand in the screenplays of his films, even if he is uncredited. Only The Aviator and The Departed are films that were already in developement before he arrived there, and surely you notice the similarities between Howard Hughes and all the other lead Scorsese characters. I don't think he actively searches for opportunities to develop those themes and ideas, but he does anyway. And from what I've read on him and from him, he makes every film because he finds something interesting to say in them, concerning his personal experiences. That's why he said he can't be really a gun for hire as in the old days, because he wouldn't be able to do exactly that.

Even though ElPandaRoyal makes better points, I'll quote you of my conveniance. I see the similarity between Hughes and Bickle, but only in the very loosest sense. Scorsese did continue Bickle with Bringing Out the Dead, but the main importance of Bickle is that the existence of his character has as much to say about societal problems as it does about Bickle himself. The great shock of Taxi Driver is that urban decay was such a back drop it almost became a second character.

I think when filmmakers continue themes and characterizations, they do take notice of those contexts as well. They also take notice of styles and tone of the storytelling. Bringing Out the Dead isn't very similar to the style in Taxi Driver, but it has a similar temperment. The view of urban decay being everywhere is still the main highlight and the film decides on a style that will go against conventional storytelling.

The main thing to say about the Aviator is how classical the storytelling is. Everything looks clean and in order. Even when Hughes is in the depths of his disorder suffering the film still looks cleaner than any inch of the previous two films. In fact the differences are so great that the similarities are only in the general story. You could say that Scorsese was attracted to the project because he saw some familiar grounds in Hughes, but I don't think he did much to make the film a continuation of any themes of his. I think to do that you have keep more similarities going than just general emotions like isolation going.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: SoNowThen on October 10, 2008, 12:23:18 PM
Bringing Out The Dead (the most underrated MASTERPIECE in the Scorsese canon, alongside Gangs Of NY) is similar to Taxi Driver because Paul Schrader wrote both scripts and he is the screenwriter with the most personal style in Hollywood. I suppose it's not for nothing that Marty said, upon reading the book, that only Schrader can do this adaptation... but I don't see it is a continuation of the Bickle cycle. Schrader did that himself with American Gigolo, Light Sleeper, and Walker.

As to what Rivette said: "A Clockwork Orange (1971), a film that I hate, not for cinematic reasons but for moral ones. I remember when it came out, Jacques Demy was so shocked that it made him cry. Kubrick is a machine, a mutant, a Martian. He has no human feeling whatsoever. But it's great when the machine films other machines, as in 2001 (1968)"

I think the example of Hal's death bringing tears to one's eyes proves the point perfectly. The guy is capable of bringing some kind of feeling out of a computer, the same feeling that is generally lacking from his human characters. It may be a point, even a valid one at that, but it still means that Kubrick's domain and strengths do not lie in the subtle interweaving and development of human emotions. He's good at the extremes, whereas a guy like Rohmer couldn't do an extreme if he tried, but shows the subtle everday interplay like no one else. I mean, it just speaks of one filmmaking MO vs another, but I think that is what the new wave guys were reacting to in this case. And yes, GT was right in that when they railed against a kind of "traditional cinema" it was specifically the French commercial industry and their major literary adaptations in the preceeding decades.

Also, you can read what Godard had to say, here (it is actually more balanced than I remembered): http://books.google.ca/books?id=fU78LdDClHUC&pg=PA223&lpg=PA223&dq=Godard+comments+on+Kubrick&source=web&ots=uzzbIbG5m9&sig=A6eUWQnq59B0lUqAWRe4W8utKRg&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: ElPandaRoyal on October 10, 2008, 12:32:13 PM
It's funny because the first time I saw The Aviator, I also thought it kind of looked cleaner than I'd like, but after watching it again, I kind of understood it. The movie is shot (by Robert Richardson) as an old Hollywood big studio extravaganza, and it all looks beautiful. But that contrasts in a very interesting way with the mental degradation of Hughes. In fact, I'd say that scene where he's in the projection room, all naked, watching some movie, the light looks almost too beautiful, as Howard looks his worst. Perfect contrast between camera and character.

I also think that when you take a Travis and a Howard, you can't ask for that much similarity, because the characters come from completely different backgrounds. They are united by disease - they have a pathological need to be away from everybody else - but one is an ex-Vietnam fighter from New York, and the other an overly protected rich kid from Hollywood. But even The Aviator makes social comment, even though to a lesser extent (let's face it, John Logan isn't Schrader, and Scorsese didn't have much time to make adjustments to the script), but it's there. About capitalism, about censorship and in a sense about the decay of values in LA LA land, but it's all covered by that Hollywood gloss. I think the script deals very badly with some moments (yeah, Ava Gardner now wants to help Howard go to court, and he lets her, and cools on being a whacko for a while, just because the movie needs to), but if I enjoy that movie to some extent, it's because of Scorsese's contribution, it's shot like a Scorsese movie, edited like one and, in the smaller, most intimate scenes, Howard Hughes really looks like he's from a Scorsese movie.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on October 12, 2008, 11:02:19 AM
style is like handwriting. i still don't know of any of the big filmmakers who are not guilty of becoming apparent with their own style. but the film themselves are different usually. gangs of new york, the aviator and the departed have all of them a very different look and feel. gangs and the aviator are almost opposites, one being clean and the other being filthy.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: MacGuffin on April 15, 2010, 04:29:42 PM
EXCLUSIVE: Robert De Niro Reveals Plans For Two-Part Film Of 'The Irishman' With Scorsese
Soutce: MTV

Earlier this week, MTV's Josh Horowitz had the rare privilege of speaking with screen legend Robert De Niro. The subject for much of the conversation was the Tribeca Film Festival, New York City's annual celebration of film which the actor co-founded in 2002 as a way to aid the recovery of the once-vital neighborhood. Josh did get to probe De Niro with a few questions about upcoming projects. He mentioned one particularly intriguing adaptation he's been working on with Martin Scorsese, called "The Irishman," which could have a unique twist that hearkens back to one of the director's great influences: Federico Fellini.

"It's based on a book called 'I Heard You Paint Houses.' It's a very simple, terrific story about [mobster Frank Sheeran], who supposedly killed [Jimmy] Hoffa and Joe Gallo and so on," De Niro said. The story might be simple, but the plans that the actor is cooking up with Scorsese are anything but.

"We have a more ambitious idea, hopefully, to make it a two-part type of film or two films," he continued. "It's an idea that came about from Eric Roth to combine these movies using the footage from 'Paint Houses' to do another kind of a [film that is] reminiscent of a kind of '8 1/2,' 'La Dolce Vita,' [a] certain kind of biographical, semi-biographical type of Hollywood movie — a director and the actor — based on things Marty and I have experienced and kind of overlapping them."

The two films De Niro references -- "8 1/2" and "La Dolce Vita" -- are works of the late, great auteur, Federico Fellini. The director is known for his unique style, blending reality and fantasy, fact and fiction. Echoes of his influence can be seen in Scorsese's formative work, "Mean Streets," which served up a semi-autobiographical story of Italian-Americans finding their way in mid-20th century New York City. The film also featured a notable early role for De Niro, his first collaboration with the director.

I think "8 1/2" is a big clue here for what we might expect. That film follows a fictional Italian director who is struggling with his latest effort, an elaborate sci-fi production. As he labors to bring his dream together, viewers are taken through a series of flashbacks and fantastical dreamscapes which weave their way into the director's present-day reality; as an added layer, much of the story features autobiographical elements from Fellini's own life.

This is pure speculation, but a Fellinian treatment of "The Irishman" could come in some way address Scorsese and De Niro's long history of collaborations in the telling of the mob assassin's story. Sheeran is not a great stretch for De Niro, who has frequently done wonders in wiseguys roles for Scorsese. So perhaps "The Irishman" will feature some meta elements, taking into account the duo's long history together and weaving it into the based-on-truth tale.

From the sound of things, "The Irishman" is coming along. "Steve Zaillian wrote the first script, which is terrific," De Niro said. "The other part, Eric [Roth] is supposed to do it. And we're hoping to move these things together."
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Gold Trumpet on April 15, 2010, 05:26:23 PM
OK, if I was a contemporary to Martin Scorsese the way Pauline Kael was, I would have also considered Bringing Out the Dead a final straw to him trying to reclaim his old self, but this is one of the most exciting ideas I've heard in a long time. A few years ago Oliver Stone considered making a film similar to this one but he's labored over doing a little so congratulations to Scorsese for pushing ahead with a good idea.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: polkablues on April 15, 2010, 07:29:40 PM
It's been so long since De Niro pushed himself, I'm hoping he still remembers how.  I can imagine a situation in which this would be his swan song, one last great gasp before he fades away from a life of acting.  If he goes from this straight into another damn Fockers sequel, I might cry.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Alexandro on April 21, 2010, 09:22:26 AM
I bet Scorsese makes him shape up. This particular idea certainly sounds more exciting than pretty much every other that has been mentioned as a possible vehicle for any of those two in the last 10 years. They should do it as an indie with no budget, but with the star-director combination I'm sure I'm dreaming, yet it would just feel right to really go back to the roots. They should also star in it together.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: jerome on December 15, 2010, 05:16:54 PM
Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Al Pacino are making a mob movie together
Source: The A.V. Club

Here’s some mob movie news with a little more stugots: Robert De Niro has confirmed to MTV that he will indeed reunite with both Martin Scorsese and Joe Pesci on the upcoming The Irishman, and as previously reported, Al Pacino will come along for the ride—and that’s actually a delightful play on words, seeing as De Niro is playing Frank Sheeran, who may or may not have had something to do with the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, not that Jimmy Hoffa “disappeared,” or that there was anything out of the ordinary there, we’re not saying that. Earlier this week Scorsese announced that The Irishman would be his very next project after finishing Hugo Cabret, with production perhaps starting as early as next year, and things do seem to be moving forward rather quickly. Another frequent Scorsese collaborator, Steve Zaillian, is currently tweaking the script.

Fortunately, De Niro says he’s now less sure about attempting the strange, Fellini-inspired meta-textual companion film he’d initially suggested doing with Eric Roth (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button), which would shoot at the same time and approach The Irishman as a “semi-biographical” exploration of De Niro and Scorsese’s relationship. But considering The Irishman itself is already sort of a Five People You Meet In Heaven reunion of everyone who’s had an impact on De Niro’s life (save Ben Stiller), that seems sort of unnecessary. Just give us one last Goodfellas or Casino and then you can go make all the weird self-reflective stuff you want.

http://www.avclub.com/articles/martin-scorsese-robert-de-niro-joe-pesci-and-al-pa,49132/
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: P Heat on April 27, 2011, 08:53:37 PM
CAME ACROSS THIS.

http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11639

great interview with Bob and he talks about i heard you paint houses :yabbse-grin:
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Reelist on April 28, 2011, 11:12:02 AM
that's gonna be a classic. really exciting news  :)
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: MacGuffin on November 28, 2011, 08:57:04 AM
Martin Scorsese Says ‘The Irishman’ Could Shoot Next Year; DiCaprio Wanted for ‘Sinatra’
Source: The Film Stage
 
The release of the wonderful Hugo has us in something of a Martin Scorsese overdrive this week. We’ve brought you a review of his latest film and two features on it — and that’s not even counting news that he would direct an adaptation of Jo Nesbo‘s mystery novel, The Snowman. That lattermost bit is rather significant; now that he has something else out in theaters, it’s time for him to move on to whatever might be next. To me, that’s basically as exciting.

And of all the projects Scorsese has been cooking up, the one I’m most desperate to see is probably The Irishman, a mob film that would star a dream cast consisting of Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, and Al Pacino. As a result, it’s been a little unfortunate that talk of the possible epic has been drowned out by the noise of so many other developments for the filmmaker. There’s almost nobody I’d rather talk about than him, but a piqued interest is, almost by definition, something that requires quite a bit to be overcome, and not much else has managed to do that when it comes to him.

Then you can imagine that I’m filled with joy to hear Scorsese comment to MTV that he hopes to get The Irishman made “in the next year or so.” What will seem like small words to some is a great relief to myself; I only hope he can cool down a bit on the whole attaching himself to projects phase and get this out when he hopes to.

Scorsese also filled us in on a project that’s had an even quieter development, Sinatra. The last news on this film’s front came in March when Scott Rudin signed on as producer, which is a good step — but not enough when nothing else has been made public for the better part of a year. His most recent comments, almost as if he were making up for lost time, are quite a handful.

First, Scorsese confirmed what everyone sort of knew: He wants Leonardo DiCaprio to play Frank Sinatra. Now, I’ve loved almost everything they’ve worked on together, so I won’t object. Some might, but that’s their choice. Otherwise, it was noted that Phil Alden Robinson‘s script is being jettisoned in favor of a new one — they’re “staring again with a new script,” a process that will begin “in January or February.” He couldn’t say who’s actually doing the new screenplay, so I’m thinking the Sum of All Fears helmer is out of the picture.
The bigger question is now what they’ll do with the music. Scorsese‘s “first instinct” is to use the original recordings instead of having DiCaprio lip synch, since there’s “no one that can [sing in his place],” simply because “you wouldn’t accept it.” The challenge is then shooting it in a way where it isn’t obvious — where “you know it isn’t him up there, at that moment,” while still being “interesting narratively, you buy whatever’s happening there.”
I think he’s got the talent to pull it off.

How about 3D? As he said, “Why not? Open your minds.” He isn’t joking, by the way.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: wilder on February 22, 2017, 02:18:09 PM
Wow.


Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’ Is Headed To Netflix
via The Playlist

Given the climate of the film industry, perhaps this was inevitable. Martin Scorsese’s next film, the long gestating “The Irishman” is heading to Netflix, in one of the streaming service’s biggest power plays.

The project was originally set up for domestic distribution at Paramount, Scorsese’s longtime home, for pictures like “Shutter Island,” “The Wolf Of Wall Street,” and “Silence,” with indie upstarts STX acquiring significant foreign rights last summer for $50 million. The project was going to be fully financed by Gaston Pavlovich‘s Fábrica de Cine, but they recently exited due to the escalating budget, which essentially left any distribution deals up in the air.

Even more, the shakeup at Viacom and the exit of longtime Paramount honcho Brad Grey, left it unclear if Paramount would be able to release the film. Instead, Scorsese and his team, who are moving fast on “The Irishman,” put together another package, and Netflix swooped in. “Scorsese’s movie is a risky deal,” a source told Indiewire’s Anne Thompson. “And Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.”

Part of that risk is the budget of the movie, which is said to be around the $150 million mark, thanks to the cost of “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button“-esque special effects that will be used to de-age Robert De Niro for portions of the film. There are no other confirmed cast members just yet, but Scorsese and De Niro are still keen on getting a reluctant Joe Pesci, and while Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale and Harvey Keitel have all been rumored for roles as well, nothing as been confirmed (the latter said last summer he hadn’t been asked to join the movie).

Whether Grey left or not, the move to Netflix isn’t much of a surprise. Scorsese’s “Silence” was an expensive money loser that has only earned $7 million worldwide against its whopping $50 million budget, and even a seemingly sure thing like the “World War Z” sequel with the tantalizing duo of Brad Pitt and David Fincher was living in a not-green-lit limbo — Paramount was hedging its bets.

“The Irishman” has been kicking around since 2008 and centers on a mob hit man who looks back on his career of high profile slayings, with rumored ties to the deaths of President Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa. Steve Zaillian (“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” “The Night Of”) adapted the screenplay from the book “I Heard You Paint Houses” by Charles Brandt.

Per usual, Netflix has acquired worldwide rights and is expected to give the film a theatrical release and awards push. Expect a limited run though as Netflix will likely still be using their service as the main method of distribution. No start date is set, but the film is aiming for a 2019 release.
Title: Re: I Heard You Paint Houses/ The Irishman
Post by: Just Withnail on February 22, 2017, 04:52:14 PM
Wow indeed.

Why Netflix Will Release Martin Scorsese’s Next Film
via The Atlantic

A $100 million gangster epic starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci has become too risky a proposition for major studios.

Martin Scorsese’s next project, The Irishman, is as close as you can get to a box-office guarantee for the famed director. It’s a gangster film based on a best-selling book about a mob hitman who claimed to have a part in the legendary disappearance of the union boss Jimmy Hoffa. Robert De Niro is attached to play the hitman, Al Pacino will star as Hoffa, and Scorsese favorites Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel are also on board. After Scorsese branched into more esoteric territory this year with Silence, a meditative exploration of faith and Catholicism, The Irishman sounds like a highly bankable project—the kind studios love. And yet, the film is going to Netflix, which will bankroll its $100 million budget and distribute it around the world on the company’s streaming service.

Netflix’s ascension in the world of film distribution has largely been on the margins. Its insistence on releasing movies online the same day they come out in theaters has thus far stopped its projects from being shown in most major cinema chains. The fact that a Scorsese movie—and one this expensive, with a cast this stacked—is opting to go to Netflix rather than one of the major studios is an indication of something seismic. Until now, big directors have avoided the company, afraid it would doom their films to only be seen in people’s homes. But with Scorsese aboard, that could begin to change.

RELATED STORY

 
How Amazon Got a Best Picture Oscar Nomination

Anne Thompson of Indiewire, who broke the news of the Netflix deal, noted that The Irishman had long been planned as a Paramount Pictures production. Paramount distributed Scorsese’s last four movies, three of which were huge hits: Shutter Island ($294 million worldwide), Hugo ($185 million worldwide), and The Wolf of Wall Street ($392 million worldwide). Though all had big budgets, Scorsese’s brand recognition is peerless. His name, and the A-list movie stars who work with him, are usually enough to attract audiences, even if the film is a baroque, profane, sexually explicit 3-hour comedy about a sociopathic Wall Street broker.

Yet, Scorsese’s most recent effort, Silence, was a bomb. It cost some $40 million to produce and has grossed only $7 million, receiving just one Oscar nomination (Best Cinematography) after its late-December release failed to draw audiences. Paramount arguably botched its roll-out, though the studio was hampered by the crowded slate of awards films (including Arrival and Fences) and by being unsure until late in the season that Silence would even be ready for awards contention. The film itself is an undoubtedly punishing watch and probably would have benefitted from opening ahead of the usual glut of prestige Christmas films.

Though Silence’s failure was very specific, it seems to have scared Paramount off. According to Thompson, an industry source put it this way: “Paramount is not in the position to take risks. This way, he can make the project he wants.” There’s no better indicator of how much the film industry is changing than the fact that a Scorsese gangster film starring De Niro, Pacino, and Pesci seems risky, and Netflix is the safe haven to make the big-budget picture of your dreams. Some of Paramount’s upcoming projects might seem, on paper, riskier, such as a sequel to Daddy’s Home featuring Mel Gibson; certainly, the chances at awards contention are miniscule. But that is the calculation executives made.

In the world of streaming media, Amazon has so far proven itself far more attractive to big-name directors, because it gives films a proper theatrical release and waits for months before moving them onto its online Prime service for viewers at home. That approach is how Amazon acquired Manchester by the Sea at last year’s Sundance film festival and got it a Best Picture nomination, and turned Love & Friendship into one of the surprise indie successes of the year. Netflix, on the other hand, only puts its films in a handful of theaters to qualify them for awards eligibility. It mostly expects viewers to watch movies at home (an approach that has, so far, gotten the company ignored by Oscar voters and beaten to big acquisitions at Sundance and other festivals).

Making The Irishman is on a whole other scale than the small indie films Netflix has worked on so far. Though Thompson reported that the deal will include a “limited Oscar-qualifying release” in theaters, this is an expensive film that will be made for television screens first and foremost. There is a chance that the appeal of Scorsese would be enough to break the embargo big theater chains have imposed on Netflix’s releases, but it’s unclear if that’s something Netflix even wants. After all, the primary purpose of these investments is to draw subscribers, not to make money in cinemas.

Scorsese is not the only big-budget director working with the company. This year, Netflix will release Bright, a $90 million sci-fi cop drama starring Will Smith and Joel Edgerton, set in a world where humans and Orcs co-exist. Directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad), it also sounds like the kind of film best served on a big screen. The same goes for Bong Joon-ho’s Okja; the Korean director’s follow-up to the acclaimed Snowpiercer is a “multi-lingual monster movie” that features Tilda Swinton, Steven Yeun, and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Still, it makes sense that these filmmakers would be drawn to Netflix. Ayer’s experience on Suicide Squad was one that saw Warner Bros. tinkering with different cuts up to the last minute. Bong fought with The Weinstein Company over the length of Snowpiercer, as the famously intrusive producer Harvey Weinstein tried to make it shorter and more accessible to a wider audience. Scorsese has wrestled with such intrusion for most of his career; Netflix is essentially offering him a blank check, and is the rare studio that couldn’t care less about running time. The appeal is obvious, and if other artists follow suit and migrate to streaming companies, the impact on theatergoing culture could be profound.