Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Goodfellas at the Odeon




The Flashback season  continued Monday 6th with Martin Scorsese's 1990 Gangster classic.

Scorsese's roaming camera, sharp period design and bursts of manic violence looked good on the big screen- even with a few frames and sound missing from the vintage film reel.

I seemed to understand the plot better this time, despite having previously watched it on video about ten times. (But even I didn't leave the cinema before the credits even started rolling, like some mugs did. There's a chunk of text information at the end of the film, saying when the characters are due to be eligible for parole etc. It's important, damn it!)

There was just one thing that has never sat right with me every time I've watched Goodfellas. I nailed it with this viewing. Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and Tommy Devito (Joe Pesci) meet at the start of the film when they are teenagers. The film continues through to their adulthood and their life in the mafia, so by the time we see Liotta and Pesci on screen, Hill and DeVito have had a few years of working together. Not long after this, there's a very awkward but brilliant confontation in a bar- the “funny how” scene, as most people would know it, where the conversation gets VERY tense. To me this has always felt like Hill and DeVito don't really know each other- like they've just met. Surely if you'd known each other since teens, that “get the fuck outta here” line would have come much sooner, no? Still, great scene.

The film takes up 3 hours, but it flies by thanks to Scorsese's masterful visual storytelling. I have a copy of Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi- the book on which the film is based- at home waiting to be read. I might squeeze that in soon.

If you haven't already, see Goodfellas as soon as you can.

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