Martin Scorsese

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NYFF 2019: The Irishman

The opening shot of The Irishman* is a signature Steadicam glide through a nursing home soundtracked by doo-wop (The Five Satins’ 1956 “In The Heat of the Night”), slowly making its reverential way to an close-up of Robert De Niro—a suitably majestic re-introduction of both the actor as persona and his character, hitman Frank Sheeran. Sheeran lived until 2003, and (minus one brief WWII combat service flashback) the film picks him up sometime in the early ’50s. If the opening shot is as close to the present day as possible (2003, I hate to remind you, was already 16 years […]

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese: Tangled Up in Tanner

On a scale of one to ten, I’m probably about a 6.5 when it comes to Bob Dylan. Define one as “Dylan is the single most visible/still living manifestation of hyper-steroidal Boomer nostalgia and must be destroyed,” ten as the level of obsessiveness practiced by the singer-songwriter’s personal scourge A.J. Weberman, who literally coined the term “Dylanology” and famously dug through Robert Zimmerman’s trash for clues. Dylan wasn’t having it; in Weberman’s indelible telling: I’d agreed not to hassle Dylan anymore, but I was a publicity-hungry motherfucker… I went to MacDougal Street, and Dylan’s wife comes out and starts screaming […]