Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will open the New York Film Festival on September 27.
My first thought on this is that we will have to wade through a double scoop of hype and a fair amount of bullshit after the film plays at the fest, for those of us who won’t be seeing it right off. With so few actual movies playing for people to sink their teeth into, and even fewer bonafide “Oscar movies,” there is a lot of attention paid to early screenings. Thus, it must be viewed with a huge grain of salt. Skepticism and patience are two key ingredients required for this part of the Oscar race. The reaction out of New York is only going to be part of the story, as we found out with “Life of Pi” and various other films. At any rate, it’s an exciting jump into awards season as Netflix and the Scorsese film announce their presence with authority. I love a big dare by Netflix to the film snobs and the awards community: come at me, bro.
Film at Lincoln Center announces Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman as Opening Night of the 57th New York Film Festival (September 27 – October 13), making its World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on Friday, September 27, 2019. The Irishman will be released in select theaters and on Netflix later this year.
The Irishman is a richly textured epic of American crime, a dense, complex story told with astonishing fluidity. Based on Charles Brandt’s nonfiction book I Heard You Paint Houses, it is a film about friendship and loyalty between men who commit unspeakable acts and turn on a dime against each other, and the possibility of redemption in a world where it seems as distant as the moon. The roster of talent behind and in front of the camera is astonishing, and at the core of The Irishman are four great artists collectively hitting a new peak: Joe Pesci as Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino, Al Pacino as Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa, and Robert De Niro as their right-hand man, Frank Sheeran, each working in the closest harmony imaginable with the film’s incomparable creator, Martin Scorsese.
“The Irishman is so many things: rich, funny, troubling, entertaining and, like all great movies, absolutely singular,” said New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair Kent Jones. “It’s the work of masters, made with a command of the art of cinema that I’ve seen very rarely in my lifetime, and it plays out at a level of subtlety and human intimacy that truly stunned me. All I can say is that the minute it was over my immediate reaction was that I wanted to watch it all over again.”
“It’s an incredible honor that The Irishman has been selected as the Opening Night of the New York Film Festival. I greatly admire the bold and visionary selections that the festival presents to audiences year after year,” said Martin Scorsese. “The festival is critical to bringing awareness to cinema from around the world. I am grateful to have the opportunity to premiere my new picture in New York alongside my wonderful cast and crew.”
Campari is the exclusive spirits partner for the 57th New York Film Festival and the presenting partner of Opening Night, extending its long-standing commitment to the world of film and art.