Tag Archives: martin scorsese

Everyone On Scorsese

Nine years. 108 episodes. 126 filmmakers. Lots of minutes.

It’s been a brilliant run, but it had to end at some point, and nine years feels like the right number. It’s a lot without dipping into double figures, which feels too many.

That said, there’s an important caveat: this is not necessarily the end of the show. What’s ending is Hyphenates as a monthly series. We’re leaving the door wide open for future episodes, standalone shows that may drop at any moment. You may hear one later this year. Or you might not hear it for a good couple of years. And we don’t even know what format it will take, who will be hosting, how it will sound. Your best bet is to remain subscribed, with an eye on our social media accounts, so you don’t miss out when we suddenly get, say, Quentin Tarantino on to talk about the films of Paul Anthony Nelson. (Watch Trench now on Amazon Prime!)

And we can’t imagine all of you have heard every single episode from our past, so feel free to click on the Index tab up the top of the page and browse our archives. See if there’s a filmmaker or guest you want to catch up. We’ve talked to a lot of cool people about a lot of other cool people, so there’s lots of gold in there.

But for now, let’s focus on this month’s episode. You may have noticed that our usually-militant one-hour running time has been blowing out a bit lately. We parted a bit too hard for our 100th episode, and it was hard to maintain the discipline in the months that followed. But for our last show, we really let it fly, with the show clocking in at an epic 222 minutes. That’s 3 hours and 42 minutes.

But fear not, because it’s not just three voices for all that time. We decided to end with a look at the films of Martin Scorsese, one of the few filmmakers who you could legitimately claim every film is somebody’s favourite. And although we didn’t find the person who wanted to spruik Boxcar Bertha above all others, we covered almost every one of his films, without giving any direction or influence to our guests.

A whole bunch of our alumni returned to talk about their favourite Scorsese thing, be it a film, a scene, a shot, or something entirely different. For this episode, we’re joined by Ian Barr, Michael Ian Black, David Caesar, Sarah Caldwell, Thomas Caldwell, Mel Campbell, Tom Clift, Perri Cummings, Guy Davis, Glenn Dunks, Tim Egan, Marc Fennell, Abe Forsythe, Garth Franklin, Rhys Graham, Richard Gray, Giles Hardie, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Zak Hepburn, Jon Hewitt, Tegan Higginbotham, Blake Howard, Cerise Howard, Hayley Inch, Briony Kidd, Maria Lewis, Alicia Malone, Shannon Marinko, So Mayer, Pollyanna McIntosh, Drew McWeeny, Simon Miraudo, Anthony Morris, Rhys Muldoon, Josh Nelson, Jennifer Reeder, Eloise Ross, Stephen A Russell, Jeremy Smith, Rohan Spong, Kriv Stenders, Chris Taylor, Brian Trenchard-Smith, Christos Tsiolkas, George Viscas, Andrew Kevin Walker, Sarah Ward, Scott Weinberg, Emma Westwood, and Cate Wolfe.

And, of course, Paul returns, joining Rochelle and Lee for the entire show to help see Hi4H off.

We hope you enjoy this episode. We hope you enjoyed the show. And we’ll see you when we see you.

The Martin Scorsese Cheat Sheet

Want to become an instant expert in our filmmaker of the month without committing yourself to an entire filmography? Then you need the Hell Is For Hyphenates Cheat Sheet: we program you a double feature that will not only make for a great evening's viewing, but will bring you suitably up-to-speed before our next episode lands…

TAXI DRIVER (1976) and THE DEPARTED (2006)

There are so many different variations of Scorsese that could be paired to adequately summarise his career. You could compare his early work to his newer work, or his grittier output to his glossy homages, his hard-boiled violence to his gentle all-ages fare. But let's throw all those high-minded classifications out the window and go with the path of least resistance: his De Niro films and his DiCaprio films. De vs Di, if you will. And doing it that way pretty much covers most of the above categories, anyway. That's why we're kicking your evening off with Taxi Driver, perhaps the most quintessentially classic Scorsese film in his canon. Scorsese is the poet laureate of lonely disaffected men, extreme violence, and New York streets, and this film represents the zenith of each; the poetic, post-Vietnam fable somehow no less relevant and no less shocking than it was 43 years ago. Follow that up with The Departed. This latter-day Marty film proves that even when he fills his cast with pretty movie stars, and substitutes his usual New York Italian mafia for Boston Irish mob, his fundamental storytelling tools remain unchanged. Yes, Scorsese has clearly evolved as a filmmaker, but he's managed to do so without losing the energy and drive that made him who he is. This is a rare quality, and why his 21st century works will be remembered on equal footing with the early classics that cemented him as one of cinema's all-time greats.

Substitutions: If you can't get or have already seen Taxi Driver, seek out Mean Streets (1973). This is the film that really put Scorsese on the map, kicking off his collaboration with De Niro and establishing the motif of pop music combined with violent, compromised men that would serve as the backbone to much of his career. If you can't get or have already seen The Departed, get your hands on The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). It's glossier, and the crimes are of a more white collar variety, but this is still classic Scorsese, applying all the tropes of gangster stories to the tale of high finance and corrosive greed.

The Hidden Gem: Want to see something off the beaten path, a title rarely mentioned when people talk about the films of Martin Scorsese? What's a little surprising about Scorsese is that despite nearly all of his films being venerated - or, at least, frequently cited - there are still many that could still conceivably be considered hidden gems. Among them, the all-night fever dream that is After Hours (1985). It has the veneer of a character study, but there is something vaguely nightmarish in this often funny, but incredibly dark, tale of a frustrated man who seems to have drawn the ire of the entire universe.

The next episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates, featuring us talking the films of Martin Scorsese, will be released on 30 April 2019.

Our Next Hyphenate

Our next guest is something of a mystery. In fact, they are everything of a mystery. And in order to preserve that mystery, we're not actually going to tell you who it is.

If all this sounds incredibly enigmatic, then… yes. That's what we're going for. You'll find out why in about a week-and-a-half.

But we can answer the other question usually raised by these announcement posts: which filmmaker will we be the topic of discussion?

Well, go home and get your shinebox, wipe the scum off the streets, and ship yourself up to Boston, because we're going to be talking Martin Scorsese over here!

If you're not familiar of his work, Scorsese is the filmmaker behind the likes of Boxcar Bertha, Mean Streets, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, Taxi Driver, New York New York, The Last Waltz, Raging Bull, The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Bringing Out the Dead, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, No Direction Home, The Departed, Shine a Light, Shutter Island, Hugo, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence, and a whole lot more besides.

He was one of the key figures of the American New Wave, and arguably the most consistently successful filmmaker of that generation. He's also something of an icon in his own right, his unmistakable rapid-fire voice forever associated with the passionate praise of all the cinema he adores. Between his work as filmmaker and fan, he's perhaps the most effective advocate film has ever had.

So what is it about his works that appeals to us, to the world, and to whoever our guest may be?

Join us on April 30 for a personal journey through Scorsese movies in what will perhaps be the biggest episode of Hell Is For Hyphenates ever.

Our next filmmaker of the month, Martin Scorsese

Hi4H’s 2014 Year In Review

Hi4H 2014 Montage

2014 was a pretty great year for Hell Is For Hyphenates. We reached our 50th episode, we had our first ever live show at the Sydney Film Festival, we landed guests such as Lynn Shelton and Joe Swanberg, and, most importantly, we started this blog.

We thought this would be a good opportunity to take stock, and make some lists that isn't the traditional “Best Of” (those will come later). Please feel free to chime in with your own answers in the comments.

Top five Hi4H film discoveries (that you hadn't seen before)?

Paul: The Long Goodbye (1973, Altman - I'm restricting myself to one film per filmmaker, so just know I could've easily filled this list with Altmans: California Split and HealtH chief among them), M. Hulot's Holiday (1953, Tati), An Unmarried Woman (1978, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Subway (1985, Besson).

Lee: I'm also gonna limit it to one per filmmaker to keep things slightly easier. Images (1972, Altman), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, Mazursky), Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (1974, Hough), Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2002, Maddin), Beau Travail (1999, Denis).

Which new filmmakers to emerge in 2014 are you most excited about?

Paul: Can't I just say “Xavier Dolan” five times? No? Okay. But Xavier Dolan is my clear #1 here. While he's been making films since 2009, I saw four of his five features - two of which were premieres - in 2014. A preternatural wunderkind who brings a unique blend of social realism, melodrama and bold cinematic style to bear, with uncommon power and moxie. Ana Lily Amirpour (just for being supercool and singular of vision), Jennifer Kent (for bringing a dramatic, thematic approach back to horror), Damien Chazelle (while Whiplash blew others away more than me, there was an uncommon command of craft - and an interesting voice - I'm keen to see more of), Joe & Anthony Russo: with one film, these frequent sitcom directors managed to single-handedly restore my faith in the Marvel Studios model.

Lee: So, so many. Gillian Rospierre (Obvious Child), Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behavior), Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), Jennifer Kent (The Babadook), Charlie McDowell (The One I Love), Lake Bell (In a World…), Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night), Sophie Hyde (52 Tuesdays). I'm excited about what everyone in this group will make next.

Five filmmakers you'd like to see us cover on the show?

Paul: Because they're Masters: Martin Scorsese, Stanley Kubrick, Howard Hawks, Mario Bava. Because I want to examine their career in context: John Carpenter.

Lee: I'm gonna eschew the obvious names (Hitchcock, Scorsese, Kubrick), because they are givens, and go with Kenji Mizoguchi, Agnès Varda, Michelangelo Antonioni, Alexandr Sokurov, Douglas Sirk. Is that a bit of a pretentious list? If so, replace one of those names with, I don't know, Brett Ratner. Or, better yet, don't.

Given we're an Australian show, what were your favourite Australian films of the year?

Paul: 1) Cut Snake; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) The Babadook; 5) The Infinite Man.

Lee: 1) The Babadook; 2) Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films; 3) The Rover; 4) Charlie’s Country; 5) Canopy. The fact that this list was so difficult to curate speaks to what a great year it was for Australian cinema.

Most Anticipated Films of 2015?

Paul: 1) The Hateful Eight (was there ever any doubt??); 2) Inherent Vice; 3) Tomorrowland; 4) Foxcatcher; 5) Serial Season 2… oh, it has to be films? Okay… Mad Max: Fury Road.

Lee: 1) Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice; 2) Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron; 3) Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight; 4) Todd Haynes' Carol; 5) Martin Scorsese's Silence.

Thank you all for listening this year. We hope you enjoyed it, and we hope you enjoy everything to come in 2015. We have some big plans we can't wait to tell you about.

Big thanks to everyone who helped us out over the year, from our guests to the good people at the Sydney Film Festival, and everyone who loaned us the DVDs and autobiographies we needed for research. Huge thanks to our loyal artist Caroline McCurdy, who did all of our amazing artwork and design.

In the meantime, 2014 isn't done yet! We have our final show for 2014 coming out on the morning of December 31, featuring Richard Watts talking about the films of Gregg Araki, so make sure you kick off your New Year's Eve plans with our latest show!