Martin Scorsese, Joe Pesci, Robert De Niro and Frank Vincent on the set of Goodfellas.
“I’m a New Yorker, so when it starts to go down, it seems part of the cycle. I mean, I knew that 42nd Street and Times Square was hitting a new low. It was not a safe area. But being a lover of the city, I knew that the city was just going through a phase and it would come back. I was more aware of, and more attracted to, this new expression of open sexuality. Where I came from, sexuality was restricted and repressed. I tried to understand and tried even to join in - as a person. But I always say, when I try to be amoral, I turn out to be immoral. So it wasn’t for me. In Taxi Driver, I didn’t enjoy shooting in those X-rated areas. The sense of wallowing in it was, for me, always filled with tension and extraordinary depression. And the film is very, very depressing. The key is when De Niro tries to open up to Peter Boyle. The guy can’t talk to him. He’s not a philosopher. He just isn’t. And Bob did an improvisation, and he said ‘You know, I have these thoughts,’ and Peter says, ‘Oh, you’ll be okay.’ And he said ‘No I’ve got these bad ideas in my head.’ And that for me was as close as he’s going to get to it. What are these bad ideas? His feelings of rage, his feelings of anger, his feelings of acting out. He did act out before, when he was in the war. But what’s the next step? To pick up a gun again? Or kill someone? He’s trying like hell to keep those feelings down, but they’re coming out, and the guilt over that, too, is strong.” - Martin Scorsese
‘If there is one movie in the past few years this writer feels was underrated and dismissed too easily, it’s Robert De Niro’s 2006 effort “The Good Shepherd.” Running way ahead of more critically acclaimed fare like “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” De Niro’s film was an equally cold and sober look at the spy game, which quietly but effectively explored the moral and emotional toll it takes. For a while, he had been talking up a sequel — and was even dreaming of a trilogy — but considering the film cost about $80 million, only grossed $59 million domestically and topped out around $100 million internationally, it’s no surprise Universalwasn’t in a hurry. But it seems the project hasn’t left his desk, and now has found some intriguing new life.
De Niro and screenwriter Eric Roth are set to dip into the world of spies once again, as they are teaming up to bring “The Good Shepherd” to Showtime. They will use the small screen format to delve deeper into the characters from the film, and will center on the family of a CIA operative. And we’d reckon the breathing room and space is an attractive opportunity for De Niro who mentioned this spring that Universal had given the go-ahead for a followup film, but at a much lower budget that he turned down.
Roth will write and De Niro will direct, but the big question will be if they will be able to crack the expectations of a weekly show. One of the big complaints for many was that “The Good Shepherd” was too cold, internal and slow. And a serialized format generally demands more cliffhangers and incidents to keep viewers returning, rather than a slow burn which is a much tougher sell. But at least on Showtime they’ll be free of the constrains of network TV, so that’s a plus…’
Red Lights (2012) trailer, starring Sigourney Weaver, Cillian Murphy, Elizabeth Olsen, and Robert De Niro.
The Deer Hunter