On the occasion of the publication on September 22 of a graphic novel retracing the career of Martin Scorsese, DashFUN went to meet its author, Amazing Améziane.
Martin Scorsese, 78, is preparing to deliver a new great historical fresco, Killers of the Flower Moon, which should be filmed in the coming weeks. After giving us The Irishman, the legendary director summons Robert De Niro again for a 10th collaboration. His other favorite actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, is also in the game.
But before plunging into this story that will take us to the 1920s, to the heart of the Amerindian Osage tribe, Amazing Améziane invites us to explore the life of Scorsese … in comics! The 384-page book, published on September 22 Editions du Rocher, makes us discover how “a little guy with asthma from Little Italy became one of the greatest directors.”
Améziane, author of the graphic novel Martin scorsese, is a screenwriter, illustrator and graphic designer. Nourished by comics by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz, by films by Bruce Lee and Sergio Leone, he became a comic book author in 2001. After having produced alone the 180 pages of his black thriller Bagmen in just 6 months, he became Amazing Améziane.
The artist then works on his Soul Trilogy with Sybille Titeux de la Croix and publishes Muhammad Ali (New York Times bestseller) and Miss Davis published by Editions du Rocher. He also adapted 1984, the cult novel by George Orwell. In all, Améziane has produced more than 17 books and has been translated in 9 countries. His love for cinema and his Italian origins made him the ideal candidate to tell in images, in a unique and documented way, the life and work of his favorite director: Martin Scorsese. Meeting with this colorful author.
DashFUN: How did this desire to stage the life of Martin Scorsese in a graphic novel come about?
Améziane: I’m not a documentary filmmaker, otherwise I would have made a documentary on him. The only thing I know how to do is graphic novels. I thought an illustrated book to tell the story of Martin Scorsese in my own way would be a good idea. But I didn’t expect to have so much fun … I had just finished my Soul Trilogy comics with Muhammad Ali, Miss Davis (Angela Davis) and Big Black: Stand Attica (the revolt of Attica).
Almost everything takes place around the year 1971 or in the 70s, because I love that time. After having produced with Sybille Titeux de la Croix and Jared Reinmuth, my best books, but also the hardest, three biographies on real people who have suffered a lot, I thought it was time to do something less painful . And my Ciné Trilogy was born. There was no debate, Martin scorsese was to be the first book.
You chose to tell the life of Scorsese in the first person, why this choice?
Scorsese is my favorite director. And by far. I love all of his films, I personally experience all of his films, I understand them and they inspire me a lot in my work too. I’m half Italian by my mother, a little woman who used her kitchen and pizzas like John Wick uses his gold coins. My father was not Italian, he was rather silent, but a rock at the level of righteousness and morality, does that remind you of someone?
The more I read about Scorsese, the more I realized that I had experienced similar stories.
If I had had to make a documentary about my parents, the title would have been ItalianAlgerian … and the result in the image would have been similar to what you saw at Marty. The more I documented myself on him, the more I realized that I had experienced similar stories (choosing an artistic profession when you come from a working-class background and an apartment where there were no books). Not to be very tall, but to have a big mouth and a lot of humor, so that you don’t have to be angry all the time.
Hope it works, but yeah, I thought I would be able to write Scorsese in first person. I wrote sequences that are not in any biography, but I knew how these moments of his life must have happened, because I had been in the same situations as him. Some anecdotes have been told hundreds of times, but in my book you see how they happened. Marty can be seen performing the scenes from his life and the impact that these events had on his films. His life and his films are incredibly …