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Posts tagged “Gangs of New York

Scorsese: An Art Show Tribute

Martin Scorsese_portrait art Spoke Art has taken over New York’s Bold Hype Gallery for Scorsese: An Art Show Tribute, featuring work based on films such as Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Departed, Gangs of New York, Casino and many more. Artists such as Scott Campbell, Joshua Budich, Dave Perillo, Fernando Reza, Jayson Weidel, Jessica Deahl, Jon Smith, New Flesh, Paul Shipper, Rhys Cooper, Rich Pellegrino and Sam Smith have all contributed to the show, which is open Friday April 19 through Sunday April 21.

Scorsese: An Art Show Tribute takes place April 19-21 at the Bold Hype Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY. The hours are 6 p.m.-close April 19 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. April 20-21. Check out some of the prints here and on the official facebook page HERE

Martin Scorsese_Taxi Driver_Poster Art


Gangs of New York – The Television Series

gangs-of-new-york-five-points-brawlThis is how it should have been done originally, Deadwood style… Gangs of New York is being developed for the small screen.

Scorsese is now working with his Gangs of New York distributor Miramax (or the current version of Miramax, at least) to develop a TV series based on the 2002 film.

The idea is not just to explore the area of early New York covered in the film, but to look at gangs in cities such as Chicago. And while the show would no doubt lack the commanding presence of the film’s top-level cast, this seems like a much better idea than a Goodfellas show, which was originally planned a few years back. By expanding the scope, the creators would have ample opportunity to break away from what we saw in the film. And while Goodfellas is a look at a single iconic character in the sweep of American crime history, Gangs offers the potential to craft an on-going story that would not affect or diminish the better aspects of the film. After his success with the superlative Boardwalk Empire, this looks promising.

In short, Gangs of New York is great material, but while the film has incredible aspects, it was not exactly an exceptional exploration of the story. There’s a lot more to play with.

Via Variety, Scorsese said in a release,

This time and era of America’s history and heritage is rich with characters and stories that we could not fully explore in a two hour film. A television series allows us the time and creative freedom to bring this colorful world, and all the implications it had and still does on our society, to life.

Current Miramax head Richard Nanula said,

No one better exemplifies what the new Miramax is and will be better than Martin Scorsese. His dedication to quality and the art of storytelling continues to excite everyone that works with him and watches his films and television programs. We could not think of a better partner for this project than the creator of the wonderful film on which it is based.


Daniel Day-Lewis – Part 2

In 1992, three years after his Oscar win, The Last of the Mohicans was released. Day-Lewis’s character research for this film was well-publicized; he reportedly underwent rigorous weight training and learned to live off the land and forest where his character lived, camping, hunting, and fishing. He even carried a long rifle at all times during filming in order to remain in character and learned how to skin animals.

He returned to work with Jim Sheridan on In the Name of the Father, in which he played Gerry Conlon, one of the Guildford Four who were wrongfully convicted of a bombing carried out by the Provisional IRA. He lost a substantial amount of weight for the part, kept his Northern Irish accent on and off the set for the entire shooting schedule, and spent stretches of time in a prison cell. He also insisted that crew members throw cold water at him and verbally abuse him. The film earned him his second Academy Award nomination, his third BAFTA nomination, and his second Golden Globe nomination.

Day-Lewis returned in 1993, playing Newland Archer in Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel The Age of Innocence, opposite Michelle Pfeiffer and Winona Ryder. In 1996, Day-Lewis starred in a film version of The Crucible, the play by Arthur Miller, again opposite Winona Ryder. Daniel met his wife, Rebecca Miller, while filming “The Crucible”. He followed that with Jim Sheridan’s The Boxer as a former boxer and IRA member recently released from prison. His preparation included training with former boxing world champion Barry McGuigan.

Following The Boxer, Day-Lewis took a leave of absence from acting by going into “semi-retirement” and returning to his old passion of woodworking. He moved to Florence, Italy, where he became intrigued by the craft of shoemaking, eventually apprenticing as a shoemaker. For a time his exact whereabouts and actions were not made publicly known. Day-Lewis has declined to discuss this period of his life, stating that “it was a period of my life that I had a right to without any intervention of that kind.”

After a five-year absence from filming, Day-Lewis returned to act in multiple Academy Award-nominated films such as Gangs of New York, a film directed by Martin Scorsese (with whom he had worked on The Age of Innocence) and produced by Harvey Weinstein. In his role as the villain gang leader “Bill the Butcher”, he starred along with Leonardo DiCaprio, who played Bill’s young protegé. He began his lengthy, self-disciplined process by taking lessons as an apprentice butcher, and while filming, he was never out of character between takes (including keeping his character’s New York accent). His performance in Gangs of New York earned him his third Academy Award nomination and won him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor.

After Gangs of New York, Day-Lewis’s wife, director Rebecca Miller (daughter of playwright Arthur Miller), offered him the lead role in her film The Ballad of Jack and Josie, in which he played a dying man with regrets over how his life had evolved and over how he had raised his teenage daughter. During filming he arranged to live separately from his wife in order to achieve the “isolation” needed to focus on his own character’s reality. The film received mixed reviews, and is the only Day-Lewis film I’m yet to see.

In 2007, Day-Lewis appeared in director Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the Upton Sinclair novel Oil!, titled There Will Be Blood. Day-Lewis received the Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, Screen Actor’s Guild Award for Outstanding Performance (which he dedicated to Heath Ledger, saying that he was inspired by Ledger’s acting and calling the actor’s performance in Brokeback Mountain “unique, perfect”), and a variety of film critics circle awards for the role. In winning the Best Actor Oscar, Day-Lewis joined Marlon Brando and Jack Nicolson as the only Best Actor winners awarded an Oscar in two non-consecutive decades.

In 2009, Day-Lewis starred in Rob Marshall’s musical adaptation Nine as film director Guido Contini. In November 2010, it was announced that Day-Lewis was cast to play Abraham Lincoln in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming biographical film Lincoln. Based on the book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, the film is scheduled for release in late 2012.


Dante Ferretti

Dante Ferretti (born 26 February 1943) is an Italian production designer, art director and costume designer for film.

In his career, Ferretti has worked with many great directors, in America and hos native Italy; such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Federico Fellini, Terry Gilliam, Franco Zefferelli, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Anthony Minghella and Tim Burton. He frequently collaborates with his wife, set decorator Francesca lo Schiavo. Ferretti was a protégé of Federico Fellini, and worked under him for five films. He also had a five collaboration with Pier Paolo Pasolini and later developed a very close professional relationship with Martin Scorsese, designing seven of his last eight movies.

Among his major triumphs include the movies: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, commonly referred to as Salò, a controversial 1975 Italian film written and directed by Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini. It is based on the book The 120 Days of Sodom by the Marquis de Sade. Because of its scenes depicting intensely graphic violence, sadism, and sexual depravity, the movie was extremely controversial upon its release, and remains banned in several countries to this day. It was Pasolini’s last film; he was murdered shortly before Salò was released.

The Name of the Rose, a 1986 film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Sean Connery is a Franciscan friar who are called upon to solve a deadly mystery in a medieval abbey. The sets add to the sense of dread and deception.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a 1992 American Gothic-horror-romance directed and co-produced by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Bram Stoker. Gary Oldman apart, the movie is laden with wooden performances, however the sets and look of the movie are exceptional.

Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles is a 1994 American horror-drama directed by Neil Jordan, based on the 1976 novel by Anne Rice. The film focuses on the homo-erotic relationship between vampires Lestat and louis, beginning with Louis’ transformation into a vampire by Lestat in 1791. The film chronicles their time together, and their turning of a twelve year old Creole girl, Claudia, into a vampire. The narrative is framed by a present day interview, in which Louis tells his story to a San Francisco reporter. Once again, beautiful art direction and sets dominate the film.

Gangs of New York is a 2002 historical drama set in the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of New York City directed by Martin Scorsese. Made in Cinecitta Studios in Rome, and nominated for numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Picture. In order to create the sets that Scorsese envisioned, the production was filmed on the largest stages in Cinecitta. Production designer Dante Ferretti recreated over a mile of mid-nineteenth century New York buildings, consisting of a five-block area of Lower Manhattan, including the Five Points slum, a section of the East River waterfront including two full-sized sailing ships, a thirty-building stretch of lower Broadway, a patrician mansion, and replicas of Tammany Hall, a church, a saloon, a Chinese theater, and a gambling casino. For the Five Points, Ferretti recreated George Catlin’s painting of the area.

In 2008, he designed the set for Howard Shore’s opera The Fly, directed by David Cronenberg, at the Theatre du Chateletin in Paris.

Ferretti won two Academy Awards for Best Art Direction for The Aviator and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He is nominated at this years awards for Hugo, he has had nine previous nominations. In addition, he was nominated for Best Costume Design for Kundun.


LEGO – Bill the Butcher

Cool LEGO model of Bill the Butcher from Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York.


Martin Scorsese – Part 4 (Mid to late 90’s)

1991 brought Cape Fear, a remake of a cult 1962 movie of the same name, and the director’s seventh collaboration with De Niro. Another foray into the mainstream, the film was a stylized thriller taking its cues heavily from Alfred Hitchcock and Charles Laughton’s ‘The Night of the Hunter’ (1955). Cape Fear received a mixed critical reception and was lambasted in many quarters for its scenes depicting misogynistic violence. However, the lurid subject matter did give Scorsese a chance to experiment with a dazzling array of visual tricks and effects. The film garnered two Oscar nominations. Earning eighty million dollars domestically, it would stand as Scorsese’s most commercially successful release until The Aviator (2004), and then The Departed (2006).

The opulent and handsomely mounted The Age of Innocence (1993) was on the surface a huge departure for Scorsese, a period adaptation of Edith Wharton’s novel about the constrictive high society of late-19th Century New York. It was highly lauded by critics upon original release, but was a box office bomb. As noted in Scorsese on Scorsese by editor/interviewer Ian Christie, the news that Scorsese wanted to make a film about a 19th Century failed romance raised many eyebrows among the film fraternity all the more when Scorsese made it clear that it was a personal project and not a studio for-hire job.

Recently, it has started to come back into the public eye, especially in countries such as the UK and France, but still is largely neglected in North America. The film earned five Academy Award nominations (including for Scorsese for Best Adapted Screenplay), winning the Costume Design Oscar.

1995’s expansive Casino, like The Age of Innocence before it, focused on a tightly wound male whose well-ordered life is disrupted by the arrival of unpredictable forces. The fact that it was a violent gangster film made it more palatable to fans of the director who perhaps were baffled by the apparent departure of the earlier film. Critically, however, Casino received mixed notices. In large part this was due to its huge stylistic similarities to his earlier Goodfellas, and its excessive violence that garnered it a reputation as possibly the most violent American gangster film ever made.

Scorsese still found time for a four hour documentary in 1995 offering a thorough trek through American cinema. It covered the silent era to 1969, a year after which Scorsese began his feature career, stating “I wouldn’t feel right commenting on myself or my contemporaries.”

If The Age of Innocence alienated and confused some fans, then Kundun (1997) went several steps further, offering an account of the early life of the Dalai Lama, the People’s Liberation Army’s entering of Tibet, and the Dalai Lama’s subsequent exile to India. Not least a departure in subject matter, Kundun also saw Scorsese employing a fresh narrative and visual approach. Traditional dramatic devices were substituted for a trance-like meditation achieved through an elaborate tableau of colourful visual images.

Bringing Out the Dead (1999) was a return to familiar territory, with the director and writer Paul Schrader constructing a pitch-black comic take on their own earlier Taxi Driver. Like previous Scorsese-Schrader collaborations, its final scenes of spiritual redemption explicitly recalled the films of Robert Bresson.
(It’s also worth noting that the film’s incident-filled nocturnal setting is reminiscent of After Hours.) It received generally positive reviews, although not the universal critical acclaim of some of his other films.

With a production budget said to be in excess of $100 million, Gangs of New York was Scorsese’s biggest and arguably most mainstream venture to date. Like The Age of Innocence, it was set in 19th-century New York, although focusing on the other end of the social scale (and like that film, also starring Daniel Day Lewis). The film also marked the first collaboration between Scorsese and actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who since then has become a fixture in later Scorsese films.

The production was highly troubled with many rumors referring to the director’s conflict with Miramax boss Harvey Weinstein. Despite denials of artistic compromise, Gangs of New York revealed itself to be the director’s most conventional film: standard film tropes which the director had traditionally avoided, such as characters existing purely for exposition purposes and explanatory flashbacks, here surfaced in abundance. The film still received generally positive reviews with the review tallying website Rotten Tomatoes reporting that 75% of the reviews they tallied for the film were positive and summarizing the critics by saying “Though flawed, the sprawling, messy Gangs of New York is redeemed by impressive production design and Day-Lewis’s electrifying performance.”

Gangs of New York earned Scorsese his first Golden Globe for Best Director. In February 2003, Gangs of New York received ten Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, however it did not win in any category.