Martin Scorsese almost quit directing after The Aviator
Quentin Tarantino‘s ode to old-time Hollywood, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD highlights a movie landscape in the waning days of its Golden Era. With films like BONNIE AND CLYDE as well as ROSEMARY’S BABY and EASY RIDER, the writing was on the wall that things were about to change in Tinseltown. The 1970s saw a complete revolution in the filmmaking industry. Maverick directors like Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, Steven Spielberg, Peter Bogdanovich, and George Lucas completely changed the landscape.
Another director integral to the Hollywood film revolution of the 1970s was Martin Scorsese. In a span of ten years the man released MEAN STREETS, ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE, TAXI DRIVER, and RAGING BULL. That’s just astonishing. Ever the auteur, Scorsese decided to utilize the Netflix platform for his latest film, THE IRISHMAN. You can make the argument that the $159 million project couldn’t have been made anywhere else. Indeed, in the wake of CASINO Scorsese found it increasingly frustrating to work in the studio system and almost quit altogether after THE AVIATOR:
“The last two weeks of editing and mixing ‘The Aviator,’ I said if this is the way you have to make films then I’m not going to do it anymore. It’s like being in a bunker and you’re firing out in all directions. You begin to realize you’re not speaking the same language anymore, so you can’t make pictures anymore.”
Netflix and other streaming services like Amazon are becoming the go to place for directors. Filmmakers are enamored with the lack of oversight that allows people to tell the stories they want to, the way they want to. However, while that fact can be a positive it can also be a detriment as well. For every MARRIAGE STORY or DOLEMITE IS MY NAME there’s a MUTE or a BRIGHT. Sometimes having an outside perspective is a good thing.
Despite the seeming friction between Scorsese and Hollywood executives, the director is nonetheless returning to the studio system very soon. His next picture, KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON, will be at Paramount and Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio are already in talks to star. in the meantime you catch Martin Scorsese‘s THE IRISHMAN currently streaming on Netflix.