Gay Talese, Martin Scorsese Swoon for Italian Mob Movie

Matteo Garrone’s Gomorrah, a documentary-like depiction of the brutal Camorra organized crime regime that rules the southern Campania region of Italy, screened to a small audience—including Martin Scorsese, Steve Buscemi, Stanley Tucci, Nick Pileggi, John Turturro, and Gay Talese—Friday evening, followed by a dinner discussion at Osteria del Circo. (Mr. Buscemi told the Daily Transom he found the film “beautiful,” adding, “I’m still digesting it.”)

The film, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, will be released in the United States in February. Mr. Talese had been asked to lead the discussion; his 1971 book Honor Thy Father is about the New York-based Bonnano crime family. “It’s a very depressing film, but it will show in New York at a time when everyone’s depressed about business, and it’s a business in the film of money,” Mr. Talese told the Daily Transom. “You know how many times you saw someone counting money? The money in this film didn’t lead to anything. It was visibly detracting.”

The film is based on a book of the same title by Italian writer Roberto Saviano, who is now under protection. Even Mr. Garrone, the director and screenwriter, was shocked to find “in 2008 Italy, a territory at war only two hours from my home” in Rome.

Mr. Talese asked Mr. Garrone if his movie faced opposition in Italy. “People from the system are happy to represent themselves. It’s hard to understand what’s good and what’s bad; it’s a gray zone where legal and illegal mix,” said the director. “I try to tell this…not against the war; it’s inside the war, the people under the system. There’s no hope in front of them.”