New York City, over? Fran Lebowitz and Martin Scorsese say it's 'out of the question'

Meredith Blake, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Lebowitz: You have to be a lot more hardworking and organized than I am to have your daily patterns disrupted. What was disrupted were my nightly patterns.

Unlike Marty, I live by myself. If I had to go through this with someone else in the apartment, that someone would be killed. The people I know who don't live by themselves, I think, "How can you bear it?" Even if they're living with other people that I like, I think, "Well, I like them. But are you kidding me? You're stuck in an apartment with them?"

I realized at the very beginning that I was waiting for it to end, you know ? By the ninth day, "Is this over yet? No? Come on. End this, it's too long." At a certain point, I just accepted it. I tell myself, "Fran, you're not in a refugee camp." That's true. I'm not. But it still means that I can't go to a restaurant and that most of the things that make up my life in New York are gone. But they're not forgotten. And they're not gone for good.

There was a period where walking around was so heartbreaking, because you were seeing these refrigerated morgues in front of hospitals all over New York. The sight of those things was so horrible and now you don't see them. That period was so different that it seems like it might have been like 10 years ago.

Ever since the holidays, when I watch the news, I see the airports packed with people saying, "Well, I haven't seen my mother, you know, for 10 months." I think, "So what?" The unfortunate thing is we have to live in the same world with these morons. And these morons don't just annoy us like they used to by not moving on the sidewalk. Now they can kill us.

There are even some tourists in New York now, of course not anywhere near what there used to be. The people in charge of the city would say, "Great. They came here to spend money." I think they came to annoy Fran. And possibly sneeze on Fran.


Scorsese: I actually was supposed to have shot ["Killers of the Flower Moon"], finished it and be editing right now. Friday, March 13 was the last day I had a screening in my office. My assistant told me, "We're locking down." I expected nine days, 10 days. And I was told, "It'll be a couple of weeks, maybe a month."

We were about to move out to Oklahoma and start shooting, and it took all that pressure away. We were basically down to the essentials — breathing, thinking, trying to see our daughter. But she couldn't come to the house for four months. So everything slowed down.

We're still working on the film. I did costumes last night. We're working on casting, all done by Zoom and FaceTime. I miss people. Normally, Fran is with us and a number of other people on New Year's Eve. We used to screen a film and have Champagne right afterwards and watch the ball drop. This year, it was just myself and my wife, Helen. And we watched an empty Times Square. And the next day, our daughter was able to come over. That's it.

The isolation for the work has been very good. Lonely. A little maddening at times. I have a room here, it's soundproof, but I've been sort of locked in it for months. It's like in the film I made, "The Aviator," where Howard Hughes lives in the screening room.


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