Not at Sundance? Stuck in this cement cage of fluctuating temperatures? Big whoops! Although, yes, it is troubling when you see the rest of the world incessantly writing about all the premieres and film events you’re missing down in Austin. However, this week happens to not be the worst for film fun in New York. After speaking at SXSW this past weekend, Danny Boyle is headed to Manhattan tomorrow to speak at 92YTribeca for "A Conversation with Danny Boyle"—and how can you miss that? But Boyle’s not all, this week—and tomorrow night in particular—appears to be packed with some pretty great cinematic events from Harmony Korine to Martin Scorsese. Here’s looking at this week’s film events around the city.
A Conversation with Danny Boyle at 92YTribeca
Goodfellas & Post-Film Discussion with Anthony Bourdain at IFC Center
Spring Breakers with Harmony Korine in Person, Museum of the Moving Image
Cheatin & Post-Screening Q&A with Bill Plympton at Nitehawk
Double Feature: The Mad Genius + Alias the Doctor at BAM
Today in blogs I wish I thought of: Google Street Scene mashes up scenes from popular movies ranging from Goodfellas (at left), Back to the Future, and Blue Velvet, among others, with the street view feature on Google Maps. Remember how David Lynch bitched about watching movies on "your fucking telephone"? I can’t imagine he’d be too thrilled about this new artistic development. It’s a good resource to find the settings of your favorite movies, at the very least. [via Gawker]
A few years ago, we found out that a television adaptation of Goodfellas was in the works, albeit in a wishful "boy wouldn’t this be great" thinking type of way. Today, that questionable idea becomes a firm reality, as Deadline reports that AMC has decided to get the party started. The show will be co-written by Nicholas Pileggi, who wrote the Goodfellas script based on his book, Wiseguys, and Jorge Zamacona, a writer for the legendary cop drama series Homicide: Life On The Street.
It’s very hard to avoid dropping any number of tired mob jokes while discussing the project, but I’ll try: one wonders if Pileggi is capable of doing any non-gangster project, as a Goodfellas adaptation isn’t the most timely concept anymore in our post-Sopranos world. Of course, he’s entitled to his vanity projects, and AMC, home to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, is probably as good a choice of any network out there to render an alternately funny and violent vision of the wiseguy world. What, you thought Goodfellas would be allowed to respectfully fade away to its rightful place as one of the more entertaining gangster movies in history? Fuhgeddabaddit! (drives off a cliff) I can’t embed it below for whatever legal reason, but please rewatch the famous Copacabana scene from the movie.
The only thing worse than a bad movie based on a great book is a bad TV series based on a great movie (exempt is Friday Night Lights, a TV show based on a movie based a book), which is why I really hope the rumors aren’t true that Martin Scorsese is planning to make a TV series based on Goodfellas, the early years.
According to Nicholas Pileggi, the author of the book that the film is based on, “I want to do it, Marty wants to do it, Warner Bros wants to do it. Of course, you can’t pick up from Goodfellas, since we murdered everybody, or rather, everybody was murdered! There’s nobody left. But I think we’re going to figure out a way to do the early years – sort of a prequel.”
Hopefully Pileggi’s words are nothing more than wishful thinking. After all, there’s absolutely no reason for Scorsese to do this show. He definitely doesn’t need the money. He definitely doesn’t need the work. And he’s already executive-producing another mafia show, the underrated Boardwalk Empire. But writers and directors are often so in love with their own material that they fail to see when to end the damn thing. Maybe this will be Scorsese’s Godfather III.
Twenty years after its release, Goodfellas is still a high-water mark for Martin Scorsese, mob pictures, and, dare I say, American cinema itself. To commemorate the anniversary, GQ has assembled an oral history of the film’s making that reveals, among other juicy morsels, some dubious casting choices that were considered early on in pre-production. A certain pop star was at least briefly in the running, as was a certain well-known (and at that time still sane-seeming) leading man.
According to Producer Irwin Winkler, “Tom Cruise was discussed” before Ray Liotta eventually won the part of Henry Hill. Considering Cruise’s star power at that time, and Liotta’s relative obscurity, this isn’t totally shocking, although the idea is nevertheless distasteful in the extreme. Even more so, however, is the thought of Lorraine Bracco’s role as Karen Hill having gone to Madge. “Madonna seemed to be in the mix,” said producer Barbara De Fina. “I remember that we went to see her in the play Speed-the-Plow. Marty said hello to her afterward. There was definitely somebody somewhere wanting to cast her. Can you imagine? Tom Cruise and Madonna?”