Last night GQ‘s Logan Hill spoke to Martin Scorsese at a Soho House fundraiser for Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, and they talked a little bit about vampires, zombies, a 2008 Mark Price zombie movie called Colin and Scorsese’s own, dearly lamented New York, New York:
Scorsese: The vampire thing always works for some reason. Always works. I happen to like vampires more than zombies.
Scorsese: Well, a vampire, quite honestly, you could have a conversation with. He has a sexuality.
Hill: And you don’t want to get kissed by zombie.
Scorsese: Yeah. I mean the undead thing…zombies, what are you going to do with them? Just keep chopping them up, shooting at them, shooting at them. It’s a whole other thing that apparently means a great deal to our culture and our society.
There are many, many books written about it and many movies. I saw one in London when I was doing Hugo. I saw one late at night one weekend. It was called Colin, by a young filmmaker [Marc Price]. He shot it, I think, digitally by himself, edited it himself. It was savage. It had an energy that took the zombie idea to another level. Really interesting filmmaking. Disturbing.
Hill: Some directors want to check off these genre boxes: a comedy, a horror film, musical, a sci-fi film. Do you think about it like that?
Scorsese: I thought that in the ’70s. I tried. I really tried. I mean, we did an exploitation film right away, Boxcar Bertha, which was in the new genre of Bonnie and Clyde at the time. Now that’s gone. Mean Streets was Mean Streets. If anything, its lineage was as a film because it was really a story about friends and myself and my father. In any event, it had ties to the early gangster films of Warner Brothers in the 1930s. So, that’s about it.
But the rest, I tried. New York, New York, I tried something there. But I didn’t know. I mean Francis Coppola at the time said you have to stay within the conventions of the genre. I said, ‘I’d like to change it.’ He said, ‘It’s not going to work.’