Archive | 11:45 pm

He Arrived for The Departed

12 Apr

As a movie fan, there are few things I enjoy more than seeing a film and then having the director, screenwriter, or an actor present to do a Q&A afterwards. I got to do that twice last fall, for The Last Kiss and Fast Food Nation. This week, the Coolidge Corner Theater honored Thelma Schoonmaker, an Academy Award–winning editor who has worked with Martin Scorsese on all his films since Raging Bull, and part of the festivities was a screening of The Departed Thursday night, followed by a panel discussion. You know I was there.

The Departed is, of course, my favorite movie of 2006, and seeing it again reminded me of just how much I love it. Sure, I still think Mark Wahlberg is overrated, but Leo DiCaprio is so so so good that it’s criminal he wasn’t Oscar-nominated for this role. And seeing it on the Coolidge’s big screen was actually really good, surprisingly. Usually I hate seeing movies at that theater, but the picture and sound were both excellent.

Anyway, participants for the panel had been posted on the Coolidge’s web site, so we knew who was and wasn’t going to be there in advance. And I’d say it was enough that Schoonmaker, composer Howard Shore, and screenwriter William Monahan would be in the house, and that the panel would be moderated by Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr (Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers was supposed to do it, but he had to cancel for health reasons). Still, we were all in for a big surprise: Scorsese was also there. That just made the whole evening so much cooler. (Thelma who?) He got an appropriately large and loud standing ovation when he was introduced.

The discussion lasted close to an hour, during which time the group dissected the scene where Martin Sheen’s character is thrown off the roof. Monahan and Scorsese explained how Sheen was supposed to land on a cab, because that’s what happened in Infernal Affairs (the film Departed is based on), but that it had to be changed because Michael Mann had already used that gimmick in Collateral. Scorsese and Schoonmaker reported that Leo’s reaction shot in that scene was take two. We learned that many of the songs on the film’s soundtrack are ones that Scorsese found on jukeboxes in the various bars the film was shot in. Scorsese rattled off the names of obscure foreign films and filmmakers like they were household names. Schoonmaker and Scorsese laughed about how green Boston is, and how hard that made it to film certain scenes. Monahan discussed how Vera Farmiga’s character evolved from how it was originally conceived. Shore discussed how the film’s score resembled a tango. Monahan explained why the film was set in Boston. He and Scorsese discussed the whys and hows of film violence (Scorsese said it’s because that’s the reality he knows, and that he witnessed a lot of it growing up). And the line of the night came from Scorsese (no surprise), who explained that originally the film was going to end more spectacularly, but he decided to go a different route and “Just shoot ’em.” I didn’t take any notes or pictures, but suffice it to say, it was very exciting to have those four there talking about a film I love so much. (And no, they didn’t explain what the heck is up with the film’s ending or discuss the rumored prequel/sequel.)

Scorsese and co. had to dart out right at 11, so there were no autographs or photos. (Good thing I forgot my Departed DVD.) Still, I was really psyched I got tickets and that I could be there for such a cool event.

I’m Too Sexy for the Phoenix

12 Apr

Good news: I did not make the Boston Phoenix‘s list of the 100 Unsexiest Men in the World, like Gilbert Gottfried did.


I guess when Justin Timberlake was bringing sexy back, these guys were otherwise occupied.

Thankfully, I sent JT my $19.95 just in time.

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