Martin Scorsese

The Wolf of Wall Street

While the trailer for Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street painted a wild world of excess and debauchery, the new stills from the film are only showing a tame little piece of the bigger puzzle. Granted, you’ve still got Leonardo DiCaprio living it up, white guy stockbroker style, but the cash-flinging, womanizing, partying, and domination seen in the trailer (which our own Scott Beggs wrote about here) are replaced by images that depict the business side of the affair. Wall Street before wolfishness? But come on – you know as soon as DiCaprio finishes raising his glass on that classy-as-hell yacht, he’s about to either A) have sex with Margot Robbie B) fling cash at poor people C) snort coke? That’s what rich people do on yachts, right? or D) get into classy fisticuffs. It’s like it’s all just out of reach for us. Hopefully, more stills will appear soon that will better match the tone of the trailer so I can look as excited as Jonah Hill does in that second shot. Take a look:

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marion dougherty casting by

One of the best anecdotes in the documentary Casting By, which premieres tonight on HBO, relates the start of Warren Beatty’s screen career on a 1957 episode of Kraft Television Theatre. We’re told that like many young actors of the time he modeled himself way too much on Marlon Brando. Then we actually see a clip, and sure enough the future movie star looks and sounds like he’s doing a comical impersonation. Fortunately, within the next five years he would find his own comfortable style and manage to break out in Hollywood in order to become one of his generation’s finest. And apparently we have casting director Marion Dougherty to thank for giving him his first shot. There are a lot of first- and second-hand stories in the film about a lot of actors and actresses’ beginnings. And a lot of rare clips to prove just how terrible or terrific they really were. There’s Jon Voight‘s embarrassing performance on Naked City in 1963, which actually kind of foreshadows most of his later work (personally, I’ve always thought him to be one of the worst in the business). Jeff Bridges talks about how he witnessed audiences literally laughing at his tearful work in 1970’s Hall of Anger. Bette Midler thanks Dougherty for allowing her to hide her Jewishness and play a missionary in Hawaii and earn a paycheck that would finally get her to New York. And then there’s a claim that Michael Eisner, while President and CEO of Paramount Pictures, kept trying to […]

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79th Awards Rehearsals Saturday

Ellen DeGeneres has been named as the host of the 2014 Academy Awards, proving that if you want to be asked back to host for a second time, don’t title your big musical number “We Saw Your Boobs.” Got that, Seth MacFarlane? This will be Ellen’s own second time hosting the Oscars, the first time being in 2007, which if memory serves went off without a hitch. Granted, that was the year that Scorsese finally won his Best Director award for The Departed, and that didn’t have much to do with Ellen but the rest of the show was fun and not a disaster. So much so that she won the Emmy for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program” for her hosting abilities. This time around, I guarantee there will be at least one instance where the bubbly talk show host dances down the aisle and tries to get a dour-faced actor like Clint Eastwood to boogie down with her. It will happen. Just let it happen.

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Wolf of Wall Street

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a stockbroker.” Leonardo DiCaprio might as well be laying out that line in Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, where he plays real-life multi-millionaire stockbroker/swindler Jordan Belfort. In the new trailer, gleeful immorality, fat stacks of cash and a self-aware voice-over from a man who wants too much all feel like a sequel to Goodfellas. Or maybe a modern adaptation of “Bonfire of the Vanities” (The Wolfe of Wall Street?). Or maybe the Gatsby For 2013 that’s really for 2013. Comparisons aside, it looks ridiculously cool. Belfort’s trick was artificially inflating a stock price before dumping the lion’s shares and screwing over clients. He made a crazy amount of money that fueled some very profound drug and control problems — and it looks like DiCaprio is having the time of his life here. It’s almost like Django loosened the lid for him, and Wolf has opened the pickle jar. Plus, the script comes from Terence Winter (The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire), and it’s about time he teamed with Scorsese. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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seduced and abandoned 01

James Toback and Alec Baldwin‘s fascinating documentary Seduced and Abandoned opens with a quote from Orson Welles, which attests that 95% of the time and energy expended making a film is actually devoted to securing funds rather than, you know, actually making the film. Toback and Baldwin aim to put this to the test here in a film detailing their visit to last year’s Cannes Film Festival to try and sell a Last Tango in Paris-esque jaunt starring Baldwin (ostensibly, in the Brando role) and Neve Campbell. Toback and Baldwin both attest that what we’re watching is neither a full-out documentary or narrative feature, but rather a crude amalgam of the two. What is certain, however, is that it’s a downright hilarious subversion of the act of filmmaking itself. Toback was smart to choose Baldwin as his brother in arms, because the 30 Rock star consistently steals the show here, trading witticisms and razor-sharp, self-deprecating jibes with the acclaimed director.

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benicio

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s headlined by news of three big actors working with three well-respected directors, but it also has news about new jobs for ladies like Keira Knightley, Reese Witherspoon, and the Dowager Countess. Benicio Del Toro is the talented and unique sort of actor who manages to be interesting to watch even when he’s in a project that isn’t that great. The dude was fun in Savages. Basically, you can set your watch to him. But pair him with a director who’s good at working with actors, and you’re likely to get pure magic. That’s why The Wrap’s news that Del Toro is in talks to join Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is basically the best thing that’s happened all day. Big actors often times give their best performances when working with Anderson, Del Toro is a big actor—it’s perfect. Also, he’s supposed to be playing a lawyer in the film, which, if you’ve seen Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you know can get pretty entertaining. Zang.

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Oscar Statue

You know how sometimes your favorite series will do a clip show, or how a popular radio broadcast might replay old segments that tie-in thematically in order to take a vacation? Well, I’m using the occasion of the Academy Awards to do pretty much the same thing. It’s sort of obvious that several of the directors featured in this column are also Oscar winners. It’s a veritable Hall of Fame. Doing an Oscar-themed entry is a little bizarre because several weeks feature a gold-owning alum anyway (so this isn’t a complete list of the Best Directors featured on 6 Filmmaking Tips), but it’s still worth packaging their advice as a kind of collective knowledge set held by people who have statues on their mantel. Which means, depressingly, an excerpt from our most popular entry won’t be featured here. Not to mention others like Kubrick, Cronenberg or PTA. Fortunately, there are some truly immense talents who have hoisted Oscar on high even if some towering talents never had that particular honor. So here are some filmmaking tips (for fans and filmmakers alike) from an incredibly elite club of Best Director winners.

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Infernal Affairs

Okay, this is really cool. First, Andrew (Wai-keung) Lau directed Infernal Affairs, then Martin Scorsese remade it as The Departed and won and Oscar, and now the pair will unite to make Revenge of the Green Dragons. No surprise, it’s a NY-set gang thriller. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Scorsese will executive produce and Lau will direct the story of two Chinese immigrants climbing the career ladder of a mob, only to fight back against them when one of them is cast out. It’s based on a true story that was distilled into a “New Yorker” article and turned into a screenplay by Michael Di Jiacomo (Somewhere Tonight). There is nothing about this that isn’t awesome.

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The Best Short Films

Why Watch? This is a two-for-one deal. In 2007, Martin Scorsese – one of the biggest film geeks out there – took three pages of an Alfred Hitchcock movie and decided to “preserve” it by filming it in Hitch’s style. Thankfully those pages weren’t from a scene where the hero brushes his teeth or buys new shoes or something. The result is played after Scorsese talks to an interviewer about his intentions and what they mean. Thus, it’s half documentary, half quick fiction. It’s also sadly appropriate to post today because it was shot by the incredible Harris Savides, the DP behind movies like Elephant, Milk and Zodiac. Word is going around that he’s died. There’s little information on it and no firm news (so if it turns out mercifully to be untrue, it’ll be one of the stranger cultural moments of the year). Regardless, it’s still a thrill to watch the man’s work. Update: Unfortunately, the news of Savides’ death is accurate. His talent was immense, and he’ll of course be missed. What will it cost you? Only 9 minutes. Skip work. Watch more short films.

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Okay, so maybe screen legend is pushing it, but it’s kind of hard not to get excited about the career resurgence that Matthew McConaughey has experienced in the past year. Remember all those years he was doing lame romantic comedies and cashing checks? Well, forget them, because hopefully that’s all over. This year the man famous for his bongos, his abs, and his southern drawl has already shown up in worthwhile projects like Bernie, Magic Mike, and Killer Joe, and now Variety has word that he’s keeping that momentum going by being the latest to sign on for Martin Scorsese’s next, The Wolf of Wall Street. You remember what The Wolf of Wall Street is, right? We’ve only written up about a thousand casting announcements for it so far. It’s Scorsese’s look at the real life adventures of decadent day trader Jordan Belfort, and all of the drug and adrenaline fueled shenanigans he got himself into back in the ’80s (you know, before he got caught being involved in illegal trading and money laundering and had to go to jail).

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a column about things and stuff. Mostly movies, a little television, all worth reading. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better assortment of things to read without having to dig through the same story 35 times in your RSS reader. We do that part for you. We begin this evening with a first look at Cloud Atlas, the upcoming film from the Wachowskis and director Tom Tykwer. This one features a man (Tom Hanks) who comes into contact with an emissary from an alien world. They both look frightened.

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We haven’t reported much on the progress of Raging Bull II, mostly because making a sequel to something as beloved as Raging Bull thirty-some years after the release of the original and without the involvement of any of the iconic names who made the first so beloved is a dumb idea unworthy of much attention; but let’s do a quick rundown of the particulars anyway. The subject of the first film, Jake LaMotta, sold the rights to the sequel of his life story to a company called RB II Productions. This has led to co-writer/director Martin Guigui putting a film together that’s going to work as part prequel and part sequel to Martin Scorsese’s 1980 film, Raging Bull. This new film, which stars William Forsythe as LaMotta, will focus on the period of the boxer’s life before Raging Bull took place, as well as on what happened to him after. It’s currently filming in Los Angeles. For now. The interesting news about this ill-advised and sure-to-be-reviled project is that the studio behind the original film, MGM, is trying to get it shut down. A report from Deadline Coventry says that the studio has filed a complaint against LaMotta and RB II Productions stating that, due to an agreement drawn up in 1976, MGM still has the rights to the boxer’s original memoirs as well as right of first refusal to any “owner-written sequel.” Seeing as LaMotta never took the idea of a sequel to MGM, and RB II Productions has […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a hunter of the best stories of the day. Most days. Pretty much every week. It works 24/7 to give you one article per night. Because sleep is for the week. And whatnot. We begin this evening with a new image from Breaking Bad and its upcoming season five premiere, a shot of a particular character who is likely to be the most interesting story. At least, early on in the season. How will everyone’s favorite henchman Mike (Jonathan Banks) react to the events that concluded season four? This new image gives us a bit of a preview.

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While my interest in The Walking Dead dropped off about halfway into the AMC’s television series’ first season, I’ve remained abreast of many of the machinations of the Frank Darabont-concieved zombie drama, including the fate of one of its most asshole-y and ultimately most interesting characters – Jon Bernthal‘s Shane Black. Spoiler alert – Shane’s not around so much, but it looks like Bernthal will continue to wreck total goddamn havoc on people and their emotions in his next role. Deadline Queens reports that the actor is set to co-star in Martin Scorsese’s currently-casting The Wolf of Wall Street. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio as real-life New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who saw his life crumble after bad business and personal decisions (only to write a book about it). And nothing says “bad decisions!” quite like drugs, so Bernthal’s role is a pretty essential one – he will play a drug dealer and a money launderer in the film. Wait, drugs and money laundering? Yup, looks like Belfort’s life must have really imploded and Bernthal’s character most likely plays a huge part in that.

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Martin Scorsese continues to round out the cast of his upcoming The Wolf of Wall Street with unexpected and potentially inspired choices (save for star Leonardo DiCaprio, as only his non-casting in the role would have been unexpected). The true life story of New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort and his meteoric rise and fall (both personally and professionally) has already lined up DiCaprio to star, alongside Jonah Hill, Jean Dujardin, and Kyle Chandler, and now it’s high time for Scorsese to throw a lady into the mix. To that end, the filmmaker has looked to Broadway star Cristin Milioti (who recently earned a Tony nomination for her starring role in the Great White Way adaptation of Once) to play DiCaprio’s wife, and the actress is currently in negotiations for the part. Variety reports that the role is for “Belfort’s first wife, an Italian-American hairdresser who is devoted to her husband and heartbroken when he strays outside the marriage.” Oh, yeaaaah, emphasis on the first part of that description.

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Jean Dujardin

Seeing as it’s been confirmed that Martin Scorsese’s next film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is going to start shooting in August, the clock is starting to tick when it comes to getting the cast together. Already we know the obvious part, that frequent Scorsese collaborator Leonardo DiCaprio is going to star as the titular bad boy investor. And we also have word that intriguing supporting players Jonah Hill and Kyle Chandler have signed on as DiCaprio’s wing man and the FBI agent trying to take him down, respectively. But Scorsese’s job doesn’t stop with just a recruiting of three big names. Variety is reporting that casting on the film has continued, and Scorsese is close to landing a fourth big name as well.

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Kyle Chandler should be one of the biggest leading men in Hollywood. That’s really all there is to it. Post-Friday Night Lights, the Emmy-winning actor has started to line up some really solid feature work, like Argo, Broken City, and Zero Dark Thirty. Seeing such a talented actor getting some big breaks lessens the sting of the end of FNL – just a bit. But Chandler isn’t content to work with just Affleck, Bigelow, and Hughes, though, he wants the big guns. Deadline Dillon reports that Chandler has now joined the cast of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street. Leonardo DiCaprio is already on board to play the lead, Jordan Belfort, as the film is based on Belfort’s memoir about his dramatic rise and fall on Wall Street, one punctuated with both bad personal (drugs! booze! parties!) and professional decisions. Jonah Hill is also set for the film, playing a friend of Belfort who gets mixed up with his business dealings as well. But if DiCaprio and Hill are going to wheel and deal, just who is going to take them down? Chandler, of course.

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Coming off his Oscar nomination for Moneyball, it’s no surprise that Jonah Hill is finally starting to line up some suitably grown-up and dramatic roles. His last release was the hilarious ’80s send-up 21 Jump Street and he’ll next be seen in the suburban alien comedy The Watch, but Hill’s dramatic talents are desperately needed in other features – like Rupert Goold’s True Story and now Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street. Deadline Yonkers reports that Hill is now in talks to co-star in Scorsese’s fact-based film, playing a wingman of sorts to Leonardo DiCaprio, who will star as Jordan Belfort, the former Wall Street heavyweight who wrote about his dramatic rise and fall in his memoir of the same name. Hill will star as a close friend of Belfort’s who eventually became his business partner “when the charismatic stock broker persuades him to quit his job in the furniture business to jump into the lucrative, volatile world of stocks.” And it won’t just be the workplace that will be volatile, as Belfort was also a big party dude who ended up with drug and alcohol addictions.

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In his review of Mean Streets, Roger Ebert claimed that Martin Scorsese had the potential to become the American Fellini in ten years. It probably didn’t really take that long. Scorsese is a living library of film, but he isn’t a dusty repository of knowledge. He’s a vibrant, imaginative creator who might know more about movies than anyone else on the planet, and that makes him uniquely qualified to be both prolific and proficient. Over the course of his career, he’s created indelible works bursting with anger, violence, fragility, care, and wonder. Never content to stick with one story mode, he’s run the gamut of styles and substance. So here’s a free bit of film school (for filmmakers and fans alike) from our American Fellini.

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Recently, Flavorwire got a kick out of a post from Slacktory where they used that ever-present man behind the curtain called Google to see what our internet age connects with celebrities. Then, we got a kick out of Flavorwire’s answer which involved 25 famous authors and what the search engine had to say. The experiment is simple. Type a name into Google Image Search, and the program automagically suggests more words to narrow down your search. Judging from entries like “white people problems” for J.D. Salinger and “death, oven, daddy” for Sylvia Plath, it seems like Google might be kinder to famous movie directors. Some of the responses fully encapsulate the person’s artistic output while others push toward the fringe, but all are shaped by what we’re searching for. Here’s a few things Google thinks you should add to the names of some of your favorite filmmakers.

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published: 12.23.2014
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