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Martin Scorsese’s Next Gangster Film Will Be a Different Beast Than ‘Goodfellas’

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See a few of his movies, and you’ll start to recognize the Martin Scorsese style: quick zooms and jump cuts cribbed from the French New Wave, exhilarating tracking shots, the occasional expertly-deployed pop hit, brief breaks from reality straight out of Powell & Pressburger’s playbook. He’s forged an entire career out of synthesizing influences and making their techniques his own, but even as he’s established himself as one of the most distinctive auteurs currently working, he’s never gotten mired in his own aesthetic. He constantly challenges himself to try more (if you need proof, just look at Silence), and in a new interview, he confirms that he’s going for something different with his next picture.

The Irishman, Scorsese’s upcoming feature project, sounds like a possible retread of the territory originally staked out by Goodfellas and Casino. But just because these films share the milieu of organized crime and a handful of key actors, that doesn’t mean Scorsese’s repeating himself. He made this much clear in an interview with The Independentwhere he said he‘s making a concerted effort to move away from his standard style wth The Irishman:

I think this is different [than Goodfellas], I think it is. I admit that there are – you know, Goodfellas and Casino have a certain style that I created for them – it’s on the page in the script actually.  Putting Goodfellas together was almost like an afterthought, at times I was kind of rushing, I felt I’d already done it because I’d played it all out in terms of the camera moves and the editing and that sort of thing. The style of the picture, the cuts, the freeze-frames, all of this was planned way in advance, but here it’s a little different. The people are also older in The Irishman, it’s certainly more about looking back, a retrospective so to speak of a man’s life and the choices that he’s had to make.

It would appear that Scorsese may try to employ the more subdued, contemplative formal strategy that made Silence such a powerful yet tranquil film. This late in a filmography, seeing an artist challenging himself is a heartening sign, no matter the results.

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