Saturday, October 10, 2009

Five Feet From Scorsese and The Certifiable

On Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a screening of Min Ye (Tell Me Who You Are), a film from Mali directed by Souleymane Cisse, at The Director's Guild of America Theatre. Following the screening (which was part of the DGA's Global Cinema Series), there was a question-and-answer with the director moderated by none other than Martin Scorsese.

In anticipation of this incredible opportunity to see Scorsese with my own eyes, I arrived at the DGA Theatre early enough to guarantee a front-row seat, along with my friends Morgan Block and Jeremy Keller. Before the screening, we surveyed the crowd and discovered that actor Steve Buscemi and my favorite screenwriter, Paul Schrader, were both in the audience, among many other distinguished filmmakers and actors. Min Ye is a fascinating picture about a polygamist in Mali and the emotional distress of his first wife, who has been unfaithful to her husband.

When Scorsese entered the theatre and took a seat only a few feet away from me, I was wearing a decidedly goofy grin, as if I were in some sort of fantastical dream. I'm not usually one to be "starstruck" by a celebrity, but Scorsese may be the sole exception. As evidenced by this blog, he plays a larger role in my life than he will ever know. I know - I am sure many film students around the globe would say the exact same thing - but still, actually seeing my hero with my own eyes was a truly spectacular occasion. Unbeknownst to me, Jeremy snapped a few pictures of Scorsese during the Q&A - and, as you can see above, my fingers are visible in the photographs. Does it say something about my love for Scorsese that I am extremely proud to have my fingers appear in the same picture as the great director? Perhaps it is a severe case of idol worship, but it's well-deserved.

In even more exciting news, I received word today from Tisch New Theatre that they will be staging and producing my original play The Certifiable this fall. They've already chosen a director for my script, and they are keeping me updated with auditions and rehearsal schedules. The play is scheduled to premiere on November 1st. I couldn't be more excited about the prospect of seeing my play onstage. I submitted The Certifiable last month on a lark to Tisch New Theatre, and I am thrilled that it has been chosen for a staged reading.

I recently attended a performance of Peter Sellars' Othello at NYU's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman as Iago and John Ortiz as Othello. I found the production, which has been unfairly maligned by critics, to be an exciting re-imagining of Shakespeare's play. The four-hour running time led to many walk-outs during intermission, but Hoffman, Ortiz and Sellars created what I believed to be a fascinating modern take on the classic text.

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