America was born in the streets. The desperate ones dthe Five Points and those teeming with Little Italy. But after Mean Streets And Gangs of New Yorkk, Martin Scorsese chooses to tell the blood-paved streets of Oklahoma in the 1920s with Killers of The Flower Moon. At the cinema from October 19th, the Italian-American director, even at the age of eighty, knocks out how Wild bull the many unrealistic, beardless filmmakers, incapable of telling the past to explain the present. With a stroke of genius he overturns the perspective of the very valid book The Red Earth Killers: Business, Oil, Murder, and the Birth of the FBI. A frontier story (Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI), written with absolute mastery by David Grann. One of the best essays ever published in recent years. But the written page is not a moving image. So intrepid and talented as always, the director of Taxi Driver brings to light a guiltily forgotten American tragedy with the power of the camera. Without rhetoric and winks, he tears the veil of Maya, with the power of the seventh art. And ultimately, it’s not that important that he doesn’t like superheroes on the big screen.
Oil, Buick. Killers and FBI
In the incipit of “Killers of The Flower Moon”, fortune smiles on the Osage nation, of Siouan-speaking Native Americans. That forced transfer to the Oklahoma territories turns into a real jackpot. The underground oozes black gold like the bubbles of Perrier water. Oil is an epiphany of privilege and wealth. The Osage play golf, fly through the clouds in private planes, and travel in expensive Buicks. In short, these twenties were truly roaring for a oppressed people. But as the bizarre yet truthful Italian dubbing of many westerns made in Hollywood teaches, “the white man speaks a forked tongue”. The sudden well-being of these Native Americans attracts the interest of the whites who begin to manipulate, extort and deceive the Osage’s assets to the point of resorting to murder. For the American government, the wealth of Native Americans must be managed by white guardians. So just marry the local women and then find a way to eliminate them and inherit all their properties. But at a certain point the nascent FBI decides to clarify the case.
Flip the perspective
It could have been yet another grandiloquent blockbuster about the spotless and fearless white knight who saves both goats and cabbages catapulted into another world. It is probably, Killers of the flower moon it wouldn’t have been a bad film, given the caliber of the director. However, Scorsese, who has been eating bread and cinema since the time when he wanted to become a priest, overturns the perspective of the virtuous written page. The birth and first successes of the FBI embodied by the Texan ranger Thomas Bruce White are tantalizing but wouldn’t work transfigured into a feature film. The idea, instead of telling a forgotten tragedy through the eyes of the natives, is more revolutionary and challenging. And instead of the hero we have a veteran of the First World War. (Leonardo Dicaprio). A man without qualities who a wound has left him unfit for heavy work, not intelligent enough to solve Bartezzaghi’s crossword, and yet endowed with a cerulean eye and as mischievous as that of a coyote hunting in the desert.
Goodbye good guys
THE Good Fellas don’t live here. The good guys left style and charm between the teeth of the comb and the jar of brilliantine. Never had Scorsese depicted Caucasian crime with zero appeal. Worse than when you order spaghetti marinara and they bring you fettuccine with ketchup. So much so in Killer of The Flower Moon the white thugs are sometimes the protagonists of unexpected comic interludes. like in classic westerns. However Wild pathshe has inhabited Martin’s cinematography since his first feature filmor. Who’s That Knocking at My Door) (1967). Only this is not a concession to political correctness or the controversial zeitgeist. The film opts for an epic worthy of a John Steinbeck novel. The three and a half hours pass as quickly as a train traveling in the night. Cinema reclaims the strength of its origins. Killer of the flower moon shoots the spectator in the face, as well as the bandit of Thand Great Train Robbery (1903)
Robert De Niro is king again, Leonardo Di Caprio is the fool
Robert De Niro returns for one night, or rather in this case for decades. Only that in Killers of the Flowing Moon, at stand up comedy he waits in the anteroom. The words of William Hale, known as the King are a terrifying sentence: “we love and admire the Osage Only that their time is over.” Cruel, cynical and greedy, in reality, some Native Americans showed up at his funeral. And Bob, with the nuances between empathy and ferocity, goes to great lengths. (The Godfather insign). On the other hand, Leonardo Di Caprio, if directed by Scorsese, always generates a symphony of open applause. Ultimately Ernest Burkhart is not very different from those boys that Martin frequented in his youth, among billiard halls, elegantly dressed, obsessed with women, prone to crime and alien to work. Finally, Lily Gladstone has in her eyes, in her bearing, in her gestures, all the elegance, power and even fragility of her people, so far from Europe and the United States. A pure acting talent destined for future successes. Even the cameos of Brendan Fraser and John Lightow take on a greater value than the few minutes in which they appear in the film. And last but not least, Jesse Plemons remains the only credible and empathetic actor to take on the role of the FBI agent who will finally unravel the very intricate skein. In short, the actors, in a film directed by Martin, amplify their talent exponentially.
Scorsese: Between Boxcar Bertha and the series Watchmen
Western, noir in spurts, even comedyKillers of the Flower Moon it is cinema at its best and most exciting. Scorsese, with the necessary differences, returns to the atmosphere of his second film, that is America 1929 – Exterminate them mercilessly (Boxcar Bertha) dated 1971, But this time the entire Osage people end up on the cross. And for this reason it must be seen in theaters. Those fragments of the ancient shamanic ceremony “A Pipe for February” that open the film, the black and white portraits of Native Americans, the references to the Thulsa massacre, dated 1921 and told by the series Watchmen, are an added value to a unique, exceptional and surprising film, On the notes of a blues that tears your soul, a film that reminds us that films can truly be works of art and at the same time a wonderful and rewarding opportunity to use our time. So, run into the room, it will be three and a half hours really well spent.