' ' Cinema Romantico: Ray of Light

Thursday, March 04, 2021

Ray of Light

I have been reading Glenn Kenny’s excellent “Made Men”, a gift from My Beautiful, Perspicacious Wife. And while its subtitle, “The Making of Goodfellas and the Reboot of the American Gangster Picture”, holds true, it proves to be even more, like the Cinema Interruptus sessions Roger Ebert used to host at the Conference on World Affairs, where he and an audience would go through a movie virtually shot-by-shot. Kenny uses the page to dissect “Goodfellas” in a similar manner, scene-by-scene, frame-by-frame, using those to go off on other tangents, like the backstory of Johnny Roastbeef or why making a prop prison ledger is not as easy as it sounds. That includes a digression on Kevin Corrigan, playing the younger brother to Ray Liotta’s Henry Hill. Corrigan was just 20 years old, wide-eyed and an avowed Scorsese fan, telling Scorsese he was a Scorsese fan in his audition. And in describing his experiences on the set, Kenny quotes Corrigan in full, a monologue I have reprinted below for your reading pleasure. (Then go buy the book!) I reprint it because it is so, utterly, wondrously, Corrigan-esque, especially that first sentence (italics his), which I strongly encourage you to read in his voice in your head.


Exhilaration is an apt term. I was so excited it took me out of the story, I felt like a bat boy on the Yankees during the World Series, just being allowed to walk out on the field, it was vivid on the set. When I watch the movie now and I see all the colors in the movie, all those dark red hues, I remember walking through those colors and being in it and being aware I was in it, and walking through the looking glass, into ‘Alice in Wonderland’, it was Scorsese Wonderland.”

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