The Many Saints of Newark director delivers master class at this year’s VIFF
Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF)
That film will certainly be part of the conversation when Taylor takes part in a directing master class at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) on until Oct. 11. Director Tim Southam will host the talk and the live Q&A on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m.
On the phone from his home in Brooklyn, just days before The Many Saints of Newark was released, Taylor let out a small laugh when asked about whether he was worried about bringing The Sopranos back from sleeping with the fishes.
“Yeah, yes, yeah, I thought about it,” said Taylor about the pressure. “My career has been up and down like everybody’s and I’ve been on the receiving end of really a lot of fan love and appreciation and also fan hate, so I know how powerful the fans response can be and on a show like The Sopranos. I really identify with the fan because I loved it too; so going in it was really daunting. The opportunities to screw it up were all over.”
A big challenge was taking The Sopranos back in time and stay true to the tone that made the David Chase-created HBO series must see Sunday night TV.
Then they had to populate this earlier world with earlier versions of much loved characters such as Silvio (Steven Van Zandt), Paulie Walnuts (Tony Sirico), Uncle Junior (Dominic Chianese) and Tony’s mother Livia who Vera Farmiga perfectly plays with the same penchant for emotional blackmail and blood curdling cruelness that Nancy Marchand delivered as the senior version of Livia in the original series.
However, while the supporting cast is scrutinized closely the burning spotlight falls directly onto the teenage version of the big boss. In this case Chase and Taylor truly upped the stakes and cast Michael Gandolfini, the son of the late James Gandolifini, as the younger version of the emotionally complex, brutal but beloved mob boss that his father made into an icon. Talk about fuhgeddaboudit.