There is no doubt that, at 80 springs, Martin Scorsese continues in top form. After culminating his style in the fantastic ‘The Irishman’, the New Yorker has just presented his brand new ‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ at the Cannes Film Festival, demonstrating the levels of experience and trade that can be extracted from 57 career years.
Thinking about his filmography almost automatically invites the criminal world to do so, represented in titles as diverse as ‘Goodfellas’, ‘Gangs of New York’, ‘Casino’ or ‘Departed’. A dream list that could have been made up of a legendary sequel that was offered to him in the early 70s: nothing less than ‘The Godfather. Part II’.
An offer you can’t refuse, rejected
By then, Francis Ford Coppola he had Scorsese in mind, who had just released ‘Bertha’s Train’ and ‘Mean Streets’, to give continuity to his Corleone film saga, going so far as to make the proposal to him personally. Luckily for the people of Paramount, opposed to the signing, good old Marty rejected the, a priori, irresistible offer.
During an interview with Deadline, the filmmaker explained the reason why he did not immerse himself in the universe of Mario Puzo: plain and simple, his maturity as an artist at that time.
“Honestly, I don’t think I could have made a movie of that level at that point in my life and being who I was at that time.” To make a film as elegant, masterful and historically important as ‘The Godfather II’, I would say no… Of course, he would have done something interesting, but his maturity was already there. I still had this kind of rebelliousness, I was the wild boy who goes from one place to another”.
Besides, there was also a “class” component, so to speak. Scorsese claims to be more comfortable at street level than exploring the upper echelons of the criminal world; something perceptible in his work.
“I wasn’t very comfortable portraying high-level underworld figures. I was more street-level. There were big guys on the street. I could do that. I did it particularly in Goodfellas. That’s it. where I grew up. What I saw around me were not guys in a boardroom or talking at a big table. That required another level of artistry that Francis already had at that time. He didn’t come from that world that I came from. The The story of ‘The Godfather II’ is more like Thomas Malory’s ‘The Death of Arthur’. It’s exceptional art.”
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