So will Martin Scorsese be remaking “Taxi Driver” in the style of Lars Von Trier’s documentary, “The Five Obstructions” as reported over the weekend by Danish magazine, Echo?
Many asked with major hopefulness and enthusiasm if this project could actually happen. But Variety has the real report. What actually happened in Berlin during the Berlin Film Festival — which Scorsese is at for “Shutter Island” — is that Lars Von Trier challenged the filmmaker in the style of “The Five Obstructions.” Or at least Variety says, “at least for the time being, [this] appear to be true.” But we’d surely buy that before we’d believe that the duo had already agreed to this.
In Von Trier’s 2003 ‘Obstructions’ doc (one of our personal favorites of his work), he challenged fellow Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth to make five short films with impossible impediments in front of each setting him up to fail each time. It’s a fascinating picture in that Von Trier clearly idolizes Leth, but at the same time, puts him through veritable hell; it’s likely his twisted way to show affection. Apparently “there will be a statement coming shortly,” from Lars Von Trier’s camp.
So it’s a cute idea, but apparently Von Trier has challenged both Scorsese and Robert DeNiro to remake this film with some obstacles in the way. It’s an amusing thought, but we’ll bet you $5 trillion dollars when this idea makes its way to Marty he will chuckle and that’ll be as far as it goes. He’s a busy man. He’s getting old and life is short. He’s not going to be tortured or subject to Von Trier’s ideas even if he’s challenged (and DeNiro? Shit, he’ll just hear this idea and scowl and never give it a second thought).
So yeah, fun to think about, but keep dreaming and if it did happen, it wouldn’t be a full 0n remake like most are positing (who haven’t probably seen ‘Obstructions’ and understand its concept). In “The Five Obstructions,” Leth essentially “remade” his 1967 film “The Perfect Human” as five little short films (one of the challenges was remaking the film in 12 frames or less) and it’s some that could ideally be banged out quickly in a few months if it indeed did happen (good luck including DeNiro in this).
But Scorsese is tied up for the next couple years and DeNiro’s not getting any younger. The filmmaker still has the kids film, “The Invention Of Hugo Cabret,” his long-awaited 17th century Jesuit Priest drama, “Silence” that was set to star Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal, then a mob project with Robert De Niro, either called, “The Irishman” or “”I Heard You Paint Houses.” Plus there’s also a George Harrison documentary and a Frank Sinatra film. Don’t hold your breath.