I don't quite remember last night's dream, only two women, twin sisters with long dark hair in white dresses. They both seemed to be feeling smug about something, I'm not sure what. Either a pile of garbage or a corpse--something sinister and messy in the corner of a room. The thing that struck me is that the two felt like fully formed characters in my mind, like I could now very comfortably write stories about them.
It's amazing I dreamt anything, with this cold keeping me up. I finally had to drag myself outside to-day to replenish soup, bread, and honey supplies. I willed myself not to have a sneezing fit. I was listening to Dark Side of the Moon and I kept telling myself, "As long as there's Pink Floyd, I won't sneeze." I managed to avoid sneezing right up until I was parking the car when I got home.
I haven't had much time for anything else to-day. I didn't get out of bed until 12:30, and everything I do seems to take twice as long. I watched Goodfellas yet again a few days ago. I can't believe how many perfect scenes are lined up to make that movie. So many make me smile just thinking about them--the guys beating up the mail man so he won't deliver school notices to Henry's parents, the awkward way Henry thanks Jimmy for that first huge tip, Henry just getting interested in Karen when she gets angry with him for standing her up, the insurance scam with the restaurant of the guy who awkwardly asked Paulie to wack Tommy, all of Tommy's monologues that are scary and funny at the same time . . .
You like Henry, Jimmy, and Tommy, not because the movie glorifies them, but because it makes them human. That's what makes Goodfellas such an unusual gangster film. These aren't mythological figures, these are, as Karen says, "Regular blue collar guys," who only live this life because it's the best way they know. How can you argue with Henry when, as a kid, working with the gang had him parking cadillacs, all the other kids in his neighbourhood showing him and his parents respect . . . Scorsese talked in the DVD commentary about how essential Henry's voice is to the story, the voice over narration, and yeah. He's one of those guys who is just naturally good at telling a story, he effortlessly makes you warm to it, he makes you care about what he cares about.
And I love Scorsese's use of camera movements and editing to bring us into a character's emotional state. Like the double cut on Henry's face when he looks up from the sauce on that last, drug hazed day before he gets caught. The abrupt switching from George Harrison's "What is Life?" to Muddy Waters' "Mannish Boy" when Henry does a shot of cocaine. It seems like Scorsese doesn't do as much of that now--the modern Scorsese seems more like a director composed of his influences. Which isn't bad, but gods, was he exciting before.