The Departed (Martin Scorsese, 2006)

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David Ehrenstein
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#26 Post by David Ehrenstein » Fri May 26, 2006 2:18 pm

I'm not the only person who has made this observation about President Low-Normal, Grim. Some who've been up-close have noted the sprouting of "gin blossoms."

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Barmy
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 3:59 pm

#27 Post by Barmy » Fri May 26, 2006 2:30 pm

Ahh, the delusional, angry left...

Marty is one of the most overrated directors ever. Even Taxi Driver was kind of sucky and has dated very poorly--it gets a lotta laughs now. It was all downhill after Mean Streets.

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HerrSchreck
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#28 Post by HerrSchreck » Fri May 26, 2006 2:42 pm

Barmy wrote: Even Taxi Driver was kind of sucky and has dated very poorly--it gets a lotta laughs now. .
You flush your head & now comb & style yer poopie as the kids say? To each his own, man, but Barmy man my god, you just ram your soft parts inta spikes & glass & rusty nails over & over...

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skuhn8
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#29 Post by skuhn8 » Fri May 26, 2006 2:58 pm

Barmy wrote:Ahh, the delusional, angry left...

Marty is one of the most overrated directors ever. Even Taxi Driver was kind of sucky and has dated very poorly--it gets a lotta laughs now. It was all downhill after Mean Streets.
Just watched Taxi Driver a couple weeks ago after not having seen it for a good 9 years or so. Didn't notice anything sucky about it. But then some might say the Stones just went all downhill after December's Children. And few would understand them, just as I suspect few on this board can understand your above assertion, especially taking on Taxi Driver. Scorcese may have a few works that fall short of this or that great classic, but I think this is an indication of someone who is trying to push those pesky corners in the envelope smooth. And then there's that struggle between the petina of the old and the polish of the new. Thought Aviator was kind of "sucky" when I went to the cinema. Watched it again a short time later and started to see some of the magic inside. I can't really offer anything to refute your argument, but then you don't really have one. Give me something: what is sucky about TDriver? Do you watch his later films? Did you think Cape Fear was a waste of remake money?

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#30 Post by Grimfarrow » Fri May 26, 2006 2:58 pm

David Ehrenstein wrote:I'm not the only person who has made this observation about President Low-Normal, Grim. Some who've been up-close have noted the sprouting of "gin blossoms."
I'm going to say this once again - he's been off it for 2 months. Whether you believe it or not, it's up to you. I haven't seen him lately because he's in LA for the last month or so. But I'd rather trust his assistant Ken (who is one of thenicest guys ever) than "some who've been up-close".

rs98762001
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#31 Post by rs98762001 » Fri May 26, 2006 3:03 pm

Now I'm really confused.

Who is off the wagon? Doyle? Dubya? Barmy? That's the only way his silly comments on TAXI DRIVER would make sense.

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Barmy
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#32 Post by Barmy » Fri May 26, 2006 3:55 pm

With the possible exception of "Bad", the cinema of MS has been extremely flawed post-"King of Comedy". Not unwatchable, but extremely flawed. Certainly not good enough for him to be worshipped in the pantheon. He started going downhill too soon for that.

I'm sure "Taxi Driver" was powerful in its day, but today it is viewed as a comedy. I can testify to that having seen it several times in theaters (I'm not talking about the Al Brooks scenes, but rather De Niro and especially Keitel). It's not Marty's fault that "you talkin' to me" gets laughs, but still.

What's sucky about it? The pretentious music, a few very bad supporting performances (particularly Keitel), and the ludicrous, silly plotline. I still kind of like it, but I can't ignore the sucky elements. Sorry.

rs98762001
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#33 Post by rs98762001 » Fri May 26, 2006 4:55 pm

Agree with your assessment of post-KOC Scorsese.

But TAXI DRIVER is still an astounding film. I've also seen it in the theaters a bunch of times, and I've never heard an unintentional laugh (plenty of appropriate ones, though...it's a damn funny movie in its own, dark way).

Obviously certain things about the film have become iconographic, and that can sometimes translate into camp, but as you yourself point out, that's hardly the fault of the filmmakers. If anything, it's a testament to how deeply ingrained their work became in pop culture.

No point arguing about Hermann's score and Keitel's performance. I guess either you buy them or you don't. I think the music is incredibly evocative, and that Keitel is (intentionally) a hoot.

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Kirkinson
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#34 Post by Kirkinson » Fri May 26, 2006 5:57 pm

I've never seen Taxi Driver in a theatre, but I've watched it in three separate college courses and I've never heard an unintended laugh. The biggest problem I've encountered in others' reactions is from people who take the ending to mean that the audience is supposed to feel the same way about DeNiro as the newspapers do. There was one student who called it a "sick and disgusting" film with "no redeeming social value whatsoever."

che-etienne
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#35 Post by che-etienne » Fri May 26, 2006 9:24 pm

I think my only problem with "Taxi Driver" in the end is that the character becomes less interesting to me as he is already mad... he kind of becomes a metaphor for the mad anger and wrath of the depressed city. I didn't like that as much because it made the story less human, and therefore Travis for me was too fictional a character and not as naturalistic as he could have been. I think Scorsese was quite aware of this though. I just would've liked a more Herzogian approach to the character, but I think this is less a complaint against the film than a realization of my own preferred approach to characterization.

BTW: I just had a dream that predicted Manohla Dargis's review of "The Departed"... I remember it sounding something like: "a series of interesting and colorful characters... does not make an interesting film"

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HerrSchreck
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#36 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 7:49 am

rs98762001 wrote:TAXI DRIVER is still an astounding film. I've also seen it in the theaters a bunch of times, and I've never heard an unintentional laugh (plenty of appropriate ones, though...it's a damn funny movie in its own, dark way)..
I've seen TD inna cinema at least six times. Never once heard anything even remotely rubbing up against the outer circumference of whatever it is this guy (EDIT meaning Barmy) is talking about.

Because of alleged chuckles during the 'talkinna me?" part that makes that specific part sucky? They're cracking up because they love it, for godsakes! How about if someone cracks up during "I'm walking here, I'm walkin here," in MIDNIGHT COWBOY, or Pesci saying "I catch you playing with your food again I'm gonna stab you with this knife.." to his tiny son in RAGING BULL (or overweight DeNiro in same film: "I heard thdingss, Joey.. I heard some thdingss" asking about Moriarty fucking other men, or any other examples of audiences responding to a directors tour de force observation of the more bizarre moments of the human mind in action in the midst of tragic/non-comedic moments, which very few authors/actors/directors would even think to urge their minds to wander into as potential onscreen territory.

They were cracking up because it is Just. So. Good. I myself still cannot stop myself from cracking up here & there (at least smiling, though I don't process this scene as comedy) at How Flat Out Incredible DeNiro is when sitting with Cybil Shepard in the diner, saying all the slightly overconcerned/borderline obsessive-posessive things to her about her eyes, about being a lonely person, "if you want to call it a friend you can call it a friend,", Brooks ("that man you work with, I don't like him.. (twitchy blink) it's not that I don't like him, it's just I think he's (blink) silly.") The strange look in his glassy eyes, his delivery, his v/o "I had a piece of ___ pie with a slice of melted cheese, Betsy had a coffee and a fruit salad dish-- she could have had anything she wanted..." Sometimes all you can do is laugh, you must respond out loud to being so impressed to such rare & obscure pinpointing of human reality. Another thing that cracks me up & even makes me actively shake my head (if you saw me Barm you might come on line saying 'people were shaking their heads it sucked so bad,') while watching is the scene in the automat where all the guys are sitting around, post-piece-of-Errol Flynn's bathtub, and after the conversation dies down, Scorcese cuts to a long extended shot of all the cabbies sitting around at the table dead silent, with lost looks on their faces, nobody having anything to say to one another. Just a bunch of lost, even dumb, guys. Fucking brilliant. Nothing actually "comedy ha-ha funny" about it. But that's poetry. You'll find, Barmo, that the finest portrayals of grief & tragedy on the face of the earth, from Shakespeare to Joyce to THE LAST LAUGH to Welles to Von Sternberg et al ad nauseum, are inevitably infused with humor... or an extreme individuality of voice or construction that takes one so aback that one can only smile & shake ones head in disbelief at how completely the creator Gets It.. this versus fucking ponderous portrayals of grief or tragedy that are just grindingly relentless tissues of seriousness.
Last edited by HerrSchreck on Sat May 27, 2006 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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GringoTex
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#37 Post by GringoTex » Sat May 27, 2006 9:59 am

Barmy wrote:With the possible exception of "Bad", the cinema of MS has been extremely flawed post-"King of Comedy". Not unwatchable, but extremely flawed. Certainly not good enough for him to be worshipped in the pantheon. He started going downhill too soon for that.
I'm of the school that thinks Scorsese reached his artistic peak with Goodfellas, Age of Innocence, Casino, and Kundun. They didn't hit upon the zeitgeist that his 70s work did, but he reached a state of total control of his material that reminds me of Ford, Dreyer, and Hawks.

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Antoine Doinel
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#38 Post by Antoine Doinel » Sat May 27, 2006 10:40 am

I would be in agreement with you here and I would actually throw Gangs Of New York in with those films as well. Though obviously butchered by the overreaching influence of the Weinstein's hands, I thought Gangs was a great, mesmerizing if somewhat fantastical account of early New York life. There is so much energy here that was missing with The Aviator.

Dave Poland wrote an interesting and frustrating account of seeing Scorsese's first, longer cut (http://www.thehotbutton.com/today/hot.b ... 6_mon.html) which I really hope sees the light of day at some point in the future (though Scorsese has repeatedly said he is happy with the theatrical version).

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Michael
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#39 Post by Michael » Sat May 27, 2006 10:58 am

I'm of the school that thinks Scorsese reached his artistic peak with Goodfellas, Age of Innocence, Casino, and Kundun.

What about Raging Bull? That is the pinnacle of his artistic career.

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HerrSchreck
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#40 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 11:14 am

Antoine Doinel wrote:I would be in agreement with you here and I would actually throw Gangs Of New York in with those films as well.
Daniel Day Lewis saved Scorceses ass in GANGS. Scorcese permanently stopped being the Scorcese I knew and loved with BRINGING OUT THE DEAD. I could trace back earlier, but for me that was the rose tossed into the grave after the last nail was thwacked into the coffin of his Vital Connection Into The Emotional Life of The World. Because for me that was always his primary forte-- the emotional terrain of his characters. He can pay for busy art direction (GANGS, which looked & felt nothing like NYC), and soaring crane or pulley-wire shots or steadicam ballets, but that was never what Scorcese was all about at core. Living dialog, and living, livid, boiling characters.

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skuhn8
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#41 Post by skuhn8 » Sat May 27, 2006 12:13 pm

HerrSchreck wrote:Daniel Day Lewis saved Scorceses ass in GANGS.
Here here. Definitely. Now if this longer cut helps dilute the Cameron Diaz waste of emulsion I'll revisit
HerrSchreck wrote:(GANGS, which looked & felt nothing like NYC),.
Time: way back when
Place: Five Points (edit :shock: ), NYC

fades in to an image of a man leaning against the saloon's leftmost pillar scanning the tight clutter of his dilapidated view. Snaps suspenders over pudge of a potbelly, spits a long stretch of tobacco juice at the ass of a passing terrier mutt.

Herr Shrek: M-hm

Satisfied, moves into the dark shadow of the saloon.
Last edited by skuhn8 on Sat May 27, 2006 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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HerrSchreck
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#42 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 12:32 pm

Close, that was the green guy from the cartoon who has no C's in his name who spit at the mutt (it's a kids cartoon so they can't be using C or any drug for that matter that keeps you from getting a pot belly thru the nausea of sheer paranoia & fear of insanity... tho I quit drugs long long ago-- at least 2.5 hrs now-- I didn't get a gut). And that was my girlfriend's maddening never-shuts-up, brat siamese cat I spit at.

By the Five Points.

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HerrSchreck
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#43 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 1:37 pm

Grimfarrow wrote:
David Ehrenstein wrote:I'm not the only person who has made this observation about President Low-Normal, Grim. Some who've been up-close have noted the sprouting of "gin blossoms."
I'm going to say this once again - he's been off it for 2 months. Whether you believe it or not, it's up to you. I haven't seen him lately because he's in LA for the last month or so. But I'd rather trust his assistant Ken (who is one of thenicest guys ever) than "some who've been up-close".
Is Wong DP Chris Doyle President of the United States now? Because I think that's who Dave was talking about there.

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HerrSchreck
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#44 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 2:04 pm

I'm actually sorta interested to see what Scorszechuan will do with this film. As it's a return to modern-gangster/crime drama it may carbonate his mind a bit towards his old fire. If it's old ground for him, so what? Look at Ozu. Some directors are better off sticking with certain mindsets. I often think Scorzoni admires the golden age Wyler/Wilder-type directors so much who could do anything well, that he wanted to do the same as he greyed at the temples. But if it turns out that it's not where the fire burns the strongest, that's nothing to be ashamed of. I don't think all of Kubricks ventures into unknown psychic territory-- i e - each-film-100%-different-from-the-last-- worked either.

As to not watching the original film prior to a remake, that's practically a showbiz standard. Particularly among actors-- they don't want their natural, original interpretation of character to be influenced by someone else's art. Y'know, the whole idea of "keeping it pure & uncorrupted".
Last edited by HerrSchreck on Sat May 27, 2006 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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skuhn8
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#45 Post by skuhn8 » Sat May 27, 2006 2:19 pm

as for Departed, you watch a previous interpretation for one or both of two reasons: to lift something good or to make a point to do something differently--neither reasons being so admirable as to require a director to visit a former assay.

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Barmy
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#46 Post by Barmy » Sat May 27, 2006 2:58 pm

Whoever said people laugh at TD because they "like" it is in error. They laugh at it because with time it has become campy (like many seventies films--Cybill in particular looks ridiculous, but then so does Jodie--like some armchair philosopher's conception of what a "prostie" looks like) and, frankly, gay (NTTAWWT). I'm not denying that it shows some artistry, but it hasn't aged well.

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HerrSchreck
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#47 Post by HerrSchreck » Sat May 27, 2006 3:08 pm

Oh yeah, I forgot about you.

Yes Barmy you're right I forgot. Everybody is laughing because it's campy. I forgot that Big Book Of Taxi Driver Everybody-Interviews (c 2003, Stitched-Head Press) you came out with. It went out of print for awhile, so forgive me.

rs98762001
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#48 Post by rs98762001 » Sat May 27, 2006 5:20 pm

Hang on a moment. TD is campy and gay? Where on earth does that come from? Gay?? Just because the clothes and decor have dated a bit doesn't exactly mean it's playing double bills with ROCKY HORROR.

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Cobalt60
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#49 Post by Cobalt60 » Sat May 27, 2006 6:26 pm

Barmy wrote:Whoever said people laugh at TD because they "like" it is in error.
Unless you have talked to a hell of a lot of people that laughed at that film about why they reacted that way then you can't say that he is in error. There is no way to accuratly make such a definite statement. I am sure that some people laugh at that film because thy feel the same way you do, but then I have been in a theater where people laughed at parts of "M". An ignorant audience does not equal a bad film.
Barmy wrote:They laugh at it because with time it has become campy (like many seventies films--Cybill in particular looks ridiculous, but then so does Jodie--like some armchair philosopher's conception of what a "prostie" looks like) and, frankly, gay
If you mean its campy because of the wardrobe and hairstyles then you must dismiss most films from the seventies that feature what was then contemporary clothing, which I think is very short sighted as it obviously makes a large impact on the way you view the film.
Barmy wrote:(NTTAWWT)

I mean no disrepect but I honestly don't know what that means

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The Invunche
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#50 Post by The Invunche » Sat May 27, 2006 7:13 pm

Not That There's Anything Wrong With That.

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