Somehow the end of “The Sopranos” as we know it seems to me a reasonable excuse for this web-logs first post, since back at the turn of the century the fate of one of my movies became breifly entangled with what is now known simply as “HBO’S Flagship Series.”
Briefly: when casting my film “Two Family House”, our casting directors (Walken/Jaffe) started bringing in a lot of
talented Itailian-American actors who they had just started seeing for a show they were working on for HBO.
Since “TFH” is also an Italian-American based story, this was a no-brainer of no significance. In and out of our offices walked John Ventimiglia, Vincent Pastore, Michael Rispoli, Sharon Angela, Katherine Narducci, Elizabeth Bracco. Just about everyone but Gandolfini. The word on the street was that the show was excellent but probably wouldn’t last out its original commitment (thirteen episodes?)
Less than a year later I woke up and found myself and my film tied to a phenomenon. “Soprano’s” became what is
irritatingly called an “instant classic.” The crossing of my movies cast and theirs briefly
gave our movie some real street cred and after we won the Audience Award at Sundance and were bought by
a distributor, it was ‘The Sopranos’ connection that everyone was most eager to exploit.
Happily, the actors who appeared in my movie (Rispoli, Narducci, Pastore, Matt Servitto etc.) had no issues
prevailing on David Chase and James Gandolfini for a little support. They generously showed up at screenings.
Gandolfini gave me a very Italian kiss in front of People Magazine. (I wonder who has the negative of this pic.)
Did it matter? Well, yes and no. It certainly did to me, but like most independent films made in this day and age, TFH
had to wait until its cable and DVD bow to make any real impression. (This despite maddeningly good reviews. One
has to really be “ready” for show-biz to stomach these disconnects.)
A final note before getting to the business at hand (which, in the case of this web-log, is another Italian-American,
the one and only and maddeningly obscure Jackie Paris and my new movie about him). The final scene in what I
truly hope is the final episode of ‘The Sopranos’ is, for my money, the most delightfully perverse and ultimately
sublime wind up that could have been imagined, the cinematic equivalent of the old aphorism: “when you have to
cut, it’s best to cut quick.”
Having shamelessly reused an old connection to a headliner to establish a little footing, I’ll move on to the stated
purpose of this weblog in upcoming posts: my passion for music and the music of Jackie Paris; the movie that I made about him that is coming out this fall; and a general sort of look at the digital universe as it appears before my not terribly sophisticated eyes and how I think it will all shake out and ultimately benefit the so-called “little” films.