Martin Scorsese is no stranger to the thugs, hoods, kingpins and lowlives that keep things hustling on the streets, and he’s chronicled that world more than once on the big screen. In fact, next week sees him in delving into the bacchanalia of the financial sector, with the very debauched, very R-rated “The Wolf Of Wall Street” (read our review). But as folks know, the ever busy director, in addition to his continually growing filmography (check out our complete retrospective of his work) has also got a growing slate on TV. At the top of the pile of “Boardwalk Empire,” but you might be surprised to learn that Scorsese didn’t quite cotton to HBO‘s gangland predecessor.
“I don’t have time to watch any other shows, the famous ones. I’ve seen a few episodes of some, in fact. I only watched ‘The Sopranos‘ once or twice. I just couldn’t connect with it,” the director told The Independent. But perhaps part of that has to do with the fact that Scorsese feels he’s moved on from those types of characters—some he knew from his neighborhood growing up—and it’s why you’re probably not going to see another underworld movie from the filmmaker. “People wonder why I can’t do something with that world now, but it was a different situation to when I was growing up 50 years ago, a different world, the intent is the same, but I won’t get the details right.”
Still, Scorsese is investigating powerful men doing illegal things with “Boardwalk Empire” (notably written by former “The Sopranos” and ‘WOWS’ scribe Terence Winter), but he credits another show for illuminating him to the possibilities of storytelling on the small screen. “Basically, I started watching ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ that is the key one, that is when I realized you could do something on television.”
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So, you can thank Larry David next time you see him for Scorsese’s TV efforts. And clearly, the director was a big fan of the show, appearing in two episodes during the eighth season. Highlights below.