BY BEN PENSANT
Marvin Scorsese has made a fortune out of offending people. For fifty years he’s terrorised audiences with his abhorrent blend of racist sloganeering and blood-splattered exploitation, safe in the knowledge that his status as white Hollywood royalty insulates him from the consequences of his crimes.
From The Godfather to The Wolf Of Wallsend, Scorsese’s films are crude celebrations of toxic masculinity, with an unhealthy dollop of eye-popping Italian stereotypes thrown in for good measure. His determination to offend liberals is so pathological he even made a film about Jesus, gleefully erasing superior religions more deserving of a silver screen tribute, such as Islam, Radical Islam, and that nice, peaceful, progressive version of Islam that only exists in Walford-on-Twitter.
The rest of his career is equally problematic: a six-decade spectacle of bigotry and incitement. From smearing immigrants as murderers and thieves because society forced them to murder people and thieve stuff, to directing incel guidebooks masquerading as sitcoms like Taxi and The King Of Queens.
All in all, you’d think at the age of 87 he’d be retiring the reactionary rhetoric, hanging up his white hood, and shopping for coffins. Think again. Because from Lewis CK to Harvey Wankstain, the entitled white male just can’t help himself. No guilt, no shame, no insincere apology. And with Scorsese’s latest Amazon Prime cash-in The Irishmen traumatising decent liberals and delighting racist arseholes, it seems Marvy has sunk even lower.
I’ve long boycotted Amazon as a result of their fascistic policy of making people pay for films and albums, so when the time came to endure Scorsese’s latest disgrace, I was left with no option but to sneak into my neighbour’s flat and watch it on her laptop while she enjoyed her afternoon nap. And trust me, there’s a hell of a lot to be offended by. Indeed, the sheer outrage I felt was so intense it drowned out the constant crying from my neighbour’s white male rugrat.
First off, despite the film’s title, there isn’t a single Irishman in the film. That’s right, vile ‘auteur’ Scorsese is so sophisticated he thinks the best way to offset accusations of racism is to make a film about paddies played by wops. Genius.
So in a foul insult to the good people of Derry, Swansea, and Brigadoon, Scorsese trolls Irish audiences by casting swarthy Latin muse Al Pacino as Gaelic hitman Frank Shearer, caking the grumpy actor’s face in computer-generated latex to make him look less Italian rather than giving the role to an authentic, preferably trans, Irisher. On this form don’t be surprised if Scorsese’s next movie is a Blade remake starring Nicholas ‘Trigger’ Lyndhurst.
All in all, I’ve never been so offended on behalf of a minority since that time able-bodied Brian Cranston played a spacka. Needless to say, this disrespectable attitude to the green valleys consumes the film, with nary a shamrock, leprechaun, balaclava, puppy farm or dead race horse in sight. And the film’s 6-and-a-half hours long!
Predictably, Scorsese tries to keep audiences happy by inserting a few well-known Irish traditions, but it’ll take more than cars being bombed or blokes getting gunned down on street corners to make up for such a shocking lack of representation. But amazingly, the anti-Irish racism isn’t the film’s most offensive feature. Because in a gross distortion of socialist history, Scorsese then has the brass neck to depict Teemster legend Johnny Hoffa as a criminal. That’s right, not content with offending the entire population of Boston, Scorsese decides to smear one of the most beloved left-wing figures of the 21st century. And it’s as clear as the blood on Marvy’s hands that the purpose of this betrayal was to defame Jeremy Corbyn and secure victory for Boris ‘Bastard’ Johnston.
The world knows Hoffa was a proud firebrand slandered by the press, targeted by the establishment, and repeatedly attacked for being friends with unsavoury, often murderous characters. Sound familiar? Wrongly convicted of fraud, after his release he was hounded by both the government and the organised crime figures he’d spent years fighting to protect his members’ pensions. Needless to say, such principles made Hoffa a marked man and in 1985, after standing up to the bullies one time too many, he mysteriously disappeared.
Predictably, The Irishmen misrepresents all of this. Scorsese’s Hoffa – played by regular collaborator Robert De Niro under layers of ropey anti-ageing make-up – is depicted as a corrupt conman with a sweet tooth and shit haircut, happy to steal from his comrades by furnishing the Bambino crime family with loans while sharing the profits of their illegal endeavours. Even worse, the left-wing tradition of paying for houses and holidays by dipping into union funds – as practiced by everyone from Arthur Scarsgill to Jan Laivery – is bizarrely presented as a bad thing, Scorsese’s delight at fermenting hatred of Corbyn’s Labour is all too apparent.
As you’d expect, the film gleefully depicts Hoffa’s murder, stretching out the tragic rabble-rouser’s final minutes to wring every last drop of joy from seeing a socialist slain in broad daylight. In an act of jaw-dropping chutzpah, Scorsese then has the nerve to expect us to feel sorry for Hoffa’s killer, the pretend paddy played by aforementioned screen legend-turned-jobbing hack Pacino.
The most disturbing thing about this film is the chilling glimpse of what’s in store for Jezza if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut. That this movie was released weeks before the election is no coincidence, and the lies and misrepresentations it promotes were reflected in the way the British media spent weeks spreading bullshit about the Dear Leader. The Tory establishment couldn’t have picked a better bullshitter than Scorsese, a man with so few morals he spent his entire career brown-nosing Italians only to then accuse them of killing Hoffa. So don’t be surprised if when Jezza finally becomes PM in 2024 he immediately passes a law stating that no Scorsese film will ever see the inside of a British cinema again. In fact, I’d be happy for no movie not made by Ken Loach to ever see the inside of a British cinema again.
Ben Pensant’s other comedic treasures can be found here.