The other night I had the pleasure of seeing Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece, The Wolf of Wall Street, for the sixth time. Afterwards, Paul Thomas Anderson, assistant director Adam Somner, and Martin Scorsese sat a few feet away from me for a chat. I got as much video as I could. The first one has a freeze frame as it was blurry. But the video kicks in around the 4 minute mark. The other two are working fine. Listen to Scorsese talk about Wolf, how Steven Spielberg visited the set and wouldn’t leave as the two practically co-directed the scene where DiCaprio almost leaves but decides not to.
Finally, Scorsese addresses the so-called controversy. He says that he and Terence Winter never wanted to give the audience a sobering “message” because when that happens people go home and forget about it. Their cathartic experience makes it seem as though all is right with the world. Clearly, all is not right with the world. PTA has a great quote about Scorsese and his work, saying he is so far beyond having to explain his work.
To me, Wolf of Wall Street is a film for our time. This moment in American culture where are living stark dualities. Not just between the 99 and the 1% but the picture given to us about the lives we should want. Enjoy!
(Apologies that you can hear my laughter throughout)
The rest continues after the jump.
“A number of people have asked me, what if you had stated your position, the morality, etc. It’s a bad thing they behave this way, not behaving just in terms of the drugs and the sex, it’s the violence of the “confidence man,” taking your confidence and your trust. That’s one guy here, and perhaps other guys, or it could become the entire financial establishment. That’s happened many many times in history. So you take this as a microcosm, this kind of thinking is what it’s about. It’s obscene. And in a way I felt that if ever there was a moment where a character expresses “this is really bad.” I know the guys, I told them, listen to it. You say, okay, fine, you go home and you feel you’ve done your duty by watching a film that has an obvious moral statement, you know it’s there, and forget about it. In the meantime, I wanted to get deeper, and provoke it, provoke the audience. It came out of just frustration. Frustration and anger about this situation in 2008. Go back and there’s more and more. People get thrown out of their houses, people sleeping in the street, people killing themselves. Why, so you can have a plane ride and have sex on a plane. That is the thinking that disturbs me. Saying, what you do with your private life is up to you. But when it’s affecting people the other way, and nobody goes to jail or nobody is really stopped, I don’t understand. Anyway, that’s my reason for doing it this way. ”
Paul Thomas Anderson: “I think you’re way past having to defend any of your movies. Whatever you do for us, for me, for my generation, who grew up with you, you were always The Man. There was you, and then there was some other people. We always felt like, I always felt like, how the fuck does he do it? How does he get the camera to move like that? As you can see there are people, left and right, trying to imitate you, trying to rip-off how you do it. None of us can get it right. There’s a certain vocabulary that a few of us are armed with that get to make movies that directly comes from Marty and he will talk about the films he gets it from but you can never really recognize–you can recognize sort of what he’s talking about but he’s done moves and things, an attack on telling the story that is unique and was brand new when he started doing it, all the way along he’s been doing it, but he’s been developing it over the years – you see the culmination of it every time he makes a movie and seeing it tonight in this movie – we look at him and he is The Governor. ”