Reading Grossmont Cinemas Holding A 'Marty Party'
Speaker 1: 00:00 Martin Scorsese is the Irishman NAB to 10 Oscar nominations, but no awards last month, but Scorsese's place as a master filmmaker is well established and to honor his work reading cinema is hosting a Marti party and screening four of his best films on Wednesday evenings this month at its Grossmont cinema here to talk about the films and Scorsese as a film maker is KPBS film critic Beth Huck Amando. Welcome Beth. Thank you. And movie wallows Yazdi Pathak Villa Yazdi. Welcome. Hello Beth, you're a long time fan of Chris says, do you remember how you first discovered his films? Yes, it's very vivid because I'm Italian. I was raised Catholic, I was born in New York and to see a filmmaker like him was something that I really identified with. So I was a teenager when I first saw mean streets that was like in 1973 and he's part of the reason I wanted to become a filmmaker and why I went to film school and he has this great intensely personal style, this passion for film. Speaker 1: 01:03 And it was something that I just immediately connected with and wanted to somehow be a part of it. So his work is rather pivotal to you? Yes. Yazdi what appeals to you about Scorsese's work? How would you describe him as a film maker? I think he's the closest we have to an elder statesman in American cinema and people talk about, you know, the most gifted American filmmakers right now, like David Fincher or Paul Thomas Anderson or even the Cohen brothers within the context of how great they are as mastercraftsman. And I think Martin Scorsese was the original mastercraftsman. I mean he has made 65 films, music documentaries, televisions, shorts, feature films, and you'd be hard pressed to find a single shot that is sloppy or that's not exactly how it needs to be. Now the films showcased are all collaborations with actor Robert DeNiro. First up is taxi driver. That's tomorrow night. Here's a clip from the trailer. Speaker 2: 02:02 Now Robert de Niro creates a terrifying portrait of life on the edge of the madness that we just forget about this. It's not the taxi driver, the film by Martin Scorsese. Anything in front of tax job. I mean anything. People too cheap to rent a hotel, room, travel, hurry up. People want to embarrass you. It's like you're not even there. It's like, you know, like a taxi driver doesn't even exist. This city has like an open sewer, you know it's full of filth and scum. I think I know what your name is, but it's not going to be easy. Speaker 1: 02:40 So Beth, would you say this film really established Scorsese as part of a new wave of American directors in the 70s yeah, I think so. I mean streets put them on the map. It got everybody's attention. But I think taxi driver proved that he wasn't a, he wasn't a one shot wonder. He was somebody who was going to continue to perfect his craft and mature as a filmmaker. And I just love this film. It is so good. I am attracted to unlikable protagonists. So Travis Bickle is a perfect example of this. DeNiro was great. Jodie foster played the young child prostitute and she was amazing in that. And I really just appreciate the way he's able to get us inside of Travis's head and not really pass judgment on him. And I think that's what makes it so fascinating. You don't have to like him, you don't have to condone what he's doing or condemn what he's doing. Speaker 1: 03:31 It's just, it gives you this perspective from such a firsthand sort of way that it's absolutely fascinating and I'm really happy that this is screening right now because joker came out last year, uh, Todd Phillips acknowledged that score was an influence on him. Taxi driver and King of comedy were an influence. And I really hope that people who have only seen joker will go out and experience taxi driver. And you know, I think square Ceci was so much more masterful in terms of knowing what he wanted to say with that character as opposed to joker where I'm not quite sure what Todd Phillips wanted that film to say. But this is about, you know, a ticking time bomb going off and people never able to detect who Travis is in advance. And then once this happens, because they know nothing about him, they misinterpret what he's done. And that's kind of where the scary part of it is. But it's a brilliant, brilliant film. Speaker 3: 04:24 Yazoo what are your thoughts on taxi driver? What can I say? It's the very definition of the great American 1970s foam. Uh, and as Beth mentioned, there's absolutely no judgment of the central character. We see him as he is and there is no concession ever to make him likable or necessarily understandable. Even. He is, he is, as you see him. And what I really like is, you know, as classic score, this movie is full of so many iconic moments. There is, you know, uh, him in front of the mirror. I mean, that goes down in the Pantheon of great scenes in cinema. Yeah. Speaker 3: 05:01 Uh, so it's a thriller. It's like the psychological pressure cooker. It's a character study. It's a morality tale. It's the whole package next week as the Marty party continues. It continues with raging bull about boxer. Jake Lamata Yazdi. Do you think raging bull represents Scorsese at the top of his craft? You know, he has, Scorsese has such exalted work in his Canon that it's hard to point out and say this is the very best. I mean he's usually known for all his gangster movies, but we forget that he also made, Alice doesn't live here anymore. He made the age of innocence. He did Cape fear, the aviator, he did shutter Island, he did you go, he did silence. So he's done all of these movies. So it's hard to say this is the very best of his, but I do think it is definitely one of his most inventive because I think for that time, you know, he made the movie a particular way with the kind of black and white photography and with the kind of sound design where become Speaker 1: 05:58 less of a spectator and become a participant, especially in those boxing ring scenes. And Beth raging bull lost out for best picture to ordinary people in 1981 but Beth, would you argue that raging bull is the more memorable of the two movies? Yeah, I don't think most people remember ordinary people that well. And if they do, I doubt it's a film that they revisit very often. Whereas raging bull is a film where if it ever comes on, you just become riveted to it. It is so good. And Robert DeNiro famously or infamously got in to boxing shape to play Jake Lamata and was in condition to actually go in a ring if he wanted to and fight. And then he ballooned up to play him as an older man. And he really gets into that character. And there are so many just brilliant scenes between him and Joe Peshy as his brother and the just the cadence of the dialogue and the way they interact with each other. Speaker 1: 06:58 It's, it's brilliant. And yeah, the sound design shooting inside the ring, this ever moving camera placing you really inside that ring and understanding what it's like to be hit. The way Jay Clamato was head is just brilliant. Well, the month of this Marty party sort of wraps up, closes out with a pair of Scorsese, gangster films, Goodfellas and casino, a theme he returned to with the Irishman last year. So what is Scorsese's fascination with gangsters, Beth? Well, in a number of his interviews, he's always talked about the fact he grew up in New York. And what fascinated him is that the two people who always got respect on the street were priests and gangsters. And so he's explored, he, he thought he was going to be a Jesuit priest. He studied for that. He made, as Yazdi mentioned, the film silence, which was about priests. But he was really fascinated with these gangsters. Speaker 1: 07:49 I think part of it was is they appeared glamorous and you know, like these big larger than life figures. But when he tackled them in his films, he was also interested in going behind that image and showing us just how violent and dangerous and horrific some of their life was. And you revisits that in the Irishman, but from kind of the eyes of an aging gangster. So I really liked the way he's been able to kind of change the perspective he's had on that gangster world through each of his films. Okay. Wow. So the Marty party we've been talking about is every Wednesday at seven this month at Redding, Grossmont cinemas. I want to thank you both. Thank you, Beth Huck. Amando. Thank you. Yazzie Pathak Villa. Thank you for all of the information about Scorsese. That was fun. Thank you. Thank you.