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Martin Scorsese's top 10 favorite movies of the 90's

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Reply #30 on: August 03, 2003, 01:25:47 AM
Quote from: AK
Scorsese loves Anderson work (mainly Bottle Rocket)...

October 2002 -Premiere magazine
By Glenn Kenny
Premiere asked the most vital American director of the past 30 years to name the new filmmaker he most admires. Here, Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson enthuse about each other's films and what it takes to get personal visions onto the screen.

"Not too long ago I watched a movie with him, and the shocking thing was, he'd never seen it before," says Wes Anderson, still sounding taken aback as he recalls a recent screening he attended with master filmmaker and ultimatic movie buff Martin Scorsese. His admiration for Scorsese is something he shares with filmmakers old and young. As it happens, Scorsese is an Anderson enthusiast; for the occasion of PREMIERE's 15th anniversary, both directors jumped at the chance to look back, look ahead, and give their impressions of each other's work.

On the surface, their moviemaking styles don't seem to have a lot in common. Although a large part of his body of work has been devoted to gritty, sometimes harrowing urban dramas, Scorsese painstakingly strives for realism in any milieu he's depicting - and these also include the high society of late-19th-century New York in The Age of Innocence and ancient Israel in The Last Temptation of Christ. Talking about Scorsese's third feature, Mean Streets, which was set in New York and shot in Los Angeles, with the exception of eight day's worth of location shooting in New York City, Anderson notes, "A lot of what he shot in New York was hallways and stairwells, all these details, because they didn't have the right ones in L.A. Something as tiny as the height of the curbs is the thing that throws him. It's just as much work to get that right as it is to invent something that's different from the real."

Anderson, on the other hand, seems to specialize in the "different from the real" - he's a bit more of a fabulist. His latest film, The Royal Tenenbaums, while shot on location in New York City, really takes place in a town wholly imagined by Anderson, a town where there's one bus line, one taxi company, and a YMCA located on 375th Street, an address that doesn't even come close to existing in the real New York. "It's kind of peculiar," says Anderson, "because I didn't want you to recognize the specific locations, but I wanted it to refer to something very specifically New York, maybe as you would envision it from books."

Scorsese, who is in the midst of finalizing the sound mix of his upcoming epic Gangs of New York ("It's like being in a submarine," he says of the process. "You get cabin fever, you become hysterically giddy, you work, you get excited, you get angry - it's a trauma!"), talks about how his frame of realism is actually setting the stage for something else: "Gangs is more opera than history. Sometimes it goes into a dreamlike world, almost surreal."

That near-surreality is what Anderson first responded to when he began watching Scorsese's film - on television, which is how Scorsese saw many of his future favorites growing up - while in his teens. "What I liked about Raging Bull was the dreaminess of it. But it was a little too tough for me - I was 12 at the time I saw it. I think it was with Taxi Driver when it really connected for me - I saw that a little later, maybe when I was 17 - and I think for the same reason, the same sort of dream state of the movie."

Scosese, of course, admires Anerson's craft - "whether he tracks hi camera a certain way or whether he uses a certain piece of music that's wonderful" - but it's not the main draw for him. "When I saw Bottle Rocket, I responded to its heart. I think he has a real love for people, a gentle way with people that has a charm and a beauty...

"Gene Hackman's face in the ambulance at the end of The Royal Tenenbaums says it all. When he looks at his son, and he's dying - it's terribly moving. And the character's a monster! It's amazing!" Scorsese laughs heartily recalling this - his pleasure in the work and what it says and means is contagious.

Not surprisingly, the encyclopedic Scorsese can identify adundant antecedents for what he sees in Anderson's films. "I was reminded of a lot of the films that Jean Renoir made in English, films I remember liking because I liked to be with the people in the films. Just like I like catching up with the films of [Iranian director Abbas] Kiarostami over the past five years, because I found myself wanting to go back to those images and those people."

Scorsese recently screened one of the more sumptuous of Renoir's English-language films - The River, a beautiful technicolor vision shot in India - for Anderson. "I thought he would respond to it. You know, who knows what it'll set off in his mind, maybe he'll make another three films from it."

For his part, Anderson is happy to soak up any cinematic stimuli Scorsese has on tap (and there's plenty), but he also avers: "there are things that [Scorsese] invented, cinematic innovations he's responsible for that are as significant as D.W. Griffith's. Just as there are Griffith inventions, there are Scorsese inventions." Moviegoers can only hope that inventions from both of these creators will keep coming.

Incidentally, the heretofore unseen movie Scorsese and Anderson watched together was Lumiere d'Ete, a 1943 picture by French director Jen Gremillon. Not easily accessible to the mass moviegoing public, it almostmakes on wish these gentlemen would add the category of video entrepeneurs to their CVs.

Accompanying photo here.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol

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Reply #31 on: September 08, 2003, 04:34:15 PM
Thank you MacGuffin. I really enjoyed reading that.
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