It’s been a long, prolific career for Martin Scorcese. The sheer power of his storytelling, in crime biopics, contemporary dramas and period pieces (from Mean Streets to Taxi Driver, to Goodfellas and Casino, from the Color of Money to the Gangs of New York, to the Age of Innocence and Shutter Island, from the King of Comedy to Key Largo) is unrivaled. I find myself drawn with fascination to Henry Hill’s and Lefty Rosenthal’s real-life underworld histories as sidebars to the acting, writing and directing showcases that inform their filmed stories.
But the larceny and substance abuse reenacted on the big screen in Wolf of Wall Street I think to be visceral and revolting in ways not shared by the entertainment of Scorcese’s other crime films. I find the real story purely negative — and its filmed version irrelavent.
Perhaps through some fault of the storytelling, Jordan Belfort’s life is not outsized by his own written words, this hit film or his equally enriching career in motivational speaking. This is what I believe to be true and real about Jordan Belfort:
Digital Dealer, for a decade, has been the twice-yearly meet-up of internet sales practictioners in the car business. One part teach-in and one part vendor expo, it’s a valuably immersive learning environment. Although it still claims to the the largest conference in the industry, today it represents one of many choices for peer-to-peer networking and education (some more vendor-centric, some more dealer-centric): Driving Sales Executive Summit, Dealer Think Tank, GM eSummit, Google’s Digital Summit at Mountain View, AutoCon, Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind, Internet 20 Group, etc.
As disgusted as I am about the real-life toll taken by life-savings swindlers and practicing addicts, I am equally disgusted by an auditorium of “progressive” car dealers delivering a standing ovation after a spellbinding speech from the likes of JB, no less in the symbolic backdrop of the city of Vegas. I can’t think of a more damaging impact on our collective reputation.