I wonder what confession would have been like with Martin Scorsese. (Legend has it he almost became a priest.) I picture myself (a good Catholic boy) confessing to some venial sin, and Father Scorsese…socking me in the jaw. He’d get my attention, no two ways about it. His sermons, doubtless, would be filled with anguished, sweaty, febrile saints. There’d be a lot of talk of blood, tough words on redemption. All the altar boys would look like Ray Liotta. By God, I’d be transfixed. As a director, Scorsese is Catholic the way Papal shoes are Catholic (N.B. the Pope’s shoes look like matador slippers). Marty’s new movie is for people who can pardon indulgence.
What was it like to be Martin Scorsese on Oscar night in 1981? Think on it: you’re Marty; you’ve just made Raging Bull; you and everyone else know it’s a masterpiece – but Ordinary People wins Best Picture. Do you: a) Rip Bob Redford’s lousy throat out? b) Gouge his eyes a little first? or c) Clap along with all the other saps? Bear in mind your movie is, definitely, a masterpiece. And you’re probably coked to the gills tonight. You may or may not be sleeping with Liza Minnelli (I can’t remember who you were sleeping with in ’81). Whatever’s goin’ on, the Sundance Kid deserves a slap. Oh Marty. And to think: you lose to Kevin Costner in ten years.