Martin Scorsese, the director of, “Taxi Driver,” “Raging Bull,” and, “Good Fellas,” to name a few told Miguel Arteta the director of, “Youth in Revolt” that when you want to show the audience that violence is about to happen things get very still, don’t move the camera.
Life is like that when somebody is about to get violent they will get very still and then explode into the violence. Violence can happen in a reverse of still to violent. The perpetrator can go from still to explosive, but the behavior we want to talk about is the calm to violent.
Scorsese is a master of his craft, his movies and accolades clearly show that he knows how to touch us with his film making. The way he does it is he uses common experience, a common environment is not necessary, experience is necessary. Using fear, hatred, love, and betrayal, Scorsese has to reach out and meet us with these experiences to be good at what he does. This meeting of commonality allows him to bring us emotionally into a foreign environment, like that of a boxer or mobster.
So when you watch for violence, watch for what real life says, and listen to what one of the greatest film directors of all time pointed out…when violence is about to happen things get very still.
Now go and ponder some of the greatest violent scenes you have seen in film and you will see Scorsese is right. Oh and do not forget to review the violence you have seen or experienced in real life. You’ll Scorsese is correct there as well.