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January 18, 2014 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Paul Thomas Anderson interviews Martin Scorsese and AD Adam Somner about The Wolf of Wall Street
part 1, part 2, part 3
posted by timshel (19 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
Awwwww! Ugh no...I love PTA so much, but goddamn if Wolf of Wall Street didn't feel like a 3 hour advertisement for an industry I don't care for.
posted by lslelel at 1:29 PM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Seriously. I love Scorsese and all the principal actors in it, but it took me three days to get through it purely because I couldn't stand a single one of the characters.
posted by nevercalm at 1:44 PM on January 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I will watch this because I want to know more about Scorsese's motivation for making this movie.
Raging Bull was also about a terrible guy, but at least it had an arc. It had pathos. It had reflection. It had moments of poetry. WoWS was a 3-hour cocaine party. I couldn't tell if I was supposed to be laughing at them or with them. It was all craftsmanship without any heart. Maybe that's what it is supposed to be. I can't figure it out.
posted by starman at 1:56 PM on January 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


I loved the movie. It's a horror-comedy, not unlike the film version of American Psycho.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:15 PM on January 18, 2014 [9 favorites]


The movie is amoral and it revels in that, but in its enthusiastic depiction of all the bad behaviour it draws us in and makes us all culpable. Money and glitz and freedom from rules is what we as a culture idolize. I thought that was the point of the final scene, showing all the regular Joes that want to be just like him, even after being told - as we in the audience have been told for the last three hours - that he and his associates were fools and idiots with no sense of responsibility to anything or anyone. I'm in Ontario and until recently was in Toronto, and I couldn't help thinking, as I watched all the partying and drug abuse and overtly stupid and criminal behaviour, of Rob Ford. He's a man who still has his fanbase, despite all.
posted by TimTypeZed at 2:34 PM on January 18, 2014 [11 favorites]


Wolf of Wall Street didn't feel like a 3 hour advertisement for an industry I don't care for

I think you saw a different Wolf of Wall Street than I did...
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:56 PM on January 18, 2014 [6 favorites]


What a shitball of technically good movie. Such great performances of utterly loathsome people. Game of Thrones looks like wholesome family entertainment in comparison.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 PM on January 18, 2014


I thought the movie was great for insisting over and over that Wall Street's a scam, brokers are just sales people with no special insight, and 90% of the time nothing of value is created when stocks are conjured up and change hands. (All that happens is that brokers get their cut.) There was even a little bit about derivatives trading, reminding us of all the criminals that are still out there.

On that level I thought it was a fairly moralistic movie. It was pretty clear who the bad guys were, even if they were the main characters.
posted by subdee at 1:05 AM on January 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Amazing film. Without a doubt he is the greatest single American filmmaker currently active, next to the team Coen brothers. Not his greatest film but he proves he still has "it." The entire 'Lude sequence will go down in cinematic history next to the Copa shot in Goodfellas, the ring entrance in Raging Bull or the rampage in Taxi Driver. Masterful filmmaking, whether you like the characters or not! (Who cares anyway?)
posted by ReeMonster at 1:54 AM on January 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's truly odd to me how many of y'all base your opinions of this film on what you assume to be its moral stance. Even if you don't agree with what you perceive to be the film's morality (and I think that its morality is, quite deliberatley, anything but clear), there's no reason that that makes it a bad movie. Good art can be made about morally corrupt people, situations, events. It's genuinely weird to me that anyone would think otherwise.

I am not trying to troll, and am taking no particular stance on the film, which I liked fine. But I found it so strange that much of the popular discourse surrounding it excoriated the film on moral grounds.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:10 AM on January 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Good art can be made about morally corrupt people, situations, events. It's genuinely weird to me that anyone would think otherwise.

For me, the film was very professionally done in terms of directing and acting. But I walked into the film knowing there was a segment of Wall Street brokers that were corrupt assholes who viewed themselves as alpha dogs. This film didn't explore why thought that or how they came to be that way. It was just an endless progression of illustrations of a jackass doing jackass things while various sheep loved him for doing being increasingly assholistic jackass. For 3 hours. I got it after 45 minutes, there wasn't much more to do than "admire" the deeper levels of debauchery.

If anything, I would have loved a Django style movie where the protagonist hunts The Wolf of Wall Street and finally kills him in a bloody shoot out. I might feel differently if my country hadn't been thrown into a global recession by similar Wall Street antics that went unpunished and the ongoing class war.

At least Hannibal had some morals, sheesh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:05 AM on January 19, 2014


We scoff now at the Hay's Code of the Paul Muni Scarface era demanding that gangsters be seen to come to a bad end. So why is so much of the criticism of this film asking for more punishment for the protagonist? More fitting justice wouldn't be true to the story. How many Goldman Sachs people are going to jail these days? The story is that the relatively few financial criminals who are prosecuted get away with doing less than hard time and go on to continue leading lives much much better than your average person with their reputations barely bruised. This movie felt dead on to me.
posted by TimTypeZed at 11:58 AM on January 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Speaking of Scarface movies, how would we have felt if Tony Montana had escaped at the end of Brian DePalma's version and retired to the Bahamas? It's satisfying to see a villain get his comeuppance. It's frustrating to both: a) watch a villainous protagonist do things that might tempt you (get rich, get high, get laid) and b) get away with everything. That's why so many people are rubbed the wrong way by Wolf and feel like it's endorsing the behavior of Jordan Belfort. They want that old Hayes Code morality, sure. It's emotionally satisfying.

In GoodFellas, which has a lot of similarities to Wolf, Henry Hill ends up pretty much getting away with everything. The last line of the movie he's bitching about egg-noodles and ketchup, but he's not killed or imprisoned. Just forced to live like a regular schnook.

Actually, if GoodFellas and The Wolf of Wall Street are the first two parts of a thematic trilogy from Scorsese, I'd love to see him do a political movie as the third.
posted by Cookiebastard at 1:42 PM on January 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


The other thread closed, so I'll just leave this here.
An Open Letter to the Makers of The Wolf of Wall Street, and the Wolf Himself … by a wolf's daughter.
posted by Mezentian at 3:41 PM on January 20, 2014


Part Two of the interview, 11:50 - 14:20 is the perfect response to that stupid open letter.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:31 PM on January 22, 2014


Part Two of the interview yt , 11:50 - 14:20 is the perfect response to that stupid open letter.

Its a poor response that's contradicted by the movie itself. Jordan's first wife does point out how terrible his behavior has become. Another character points out the shiftiness of what they're doing.

It's nice that the director wants to provoke, but after nearly 3 hours of constant glorifying obscene behavior, that desire rings hollow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:00 PM on January 22, 2014


I just don't see how the behavior is "glorified". It's portrayed, sure. But how could anyone watch that movie and think "I want to be like that guy! Look how satisfying and fulfilling his life is!"
posted by Cookiebastard at 5:24 PM on January 22, 2014


Actually, his first wife doesn't do that at all. It's one of the movie's slyest jokes. Everything about that scene, right up to the long lens and blurry waves in the background, leads you expect her to do what the stock First Wife character always does in these rise to decadence pictures: warn the protagonist that he's on the wrong path and what he's doing Is Wrong. But she doesn't. She just suggests that he look for richer suckers. That's part of what's so brilliant and chilling about the movie: it's not just about Jordan Belfort, monstrous sociopath, it's about a world that cherishes, coddles, loves and rewards him.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 9:15 PM on January 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


I just don't see how the behavior is "glorified". It's portrayed, sure. But how could anyone watch that movie and think "I want to be like that guy! Look how satisfying and fulfilling his life is!"

I just got finished watching it.
Isn't that "I want to be like that guy! Look how satisfying and fulfilling his life is!" exactly what happens after the Forbes magazine exposes him?
posted by Mezentian at 7:54 AM on February 1, 2014


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