The Irishman VFX

In recent years, the visual effects used to de-age actors has produced impressive results. Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L Jackson, Kurt Russell, and Michael Douglas have all been made young again in the movies of Marvel Studios. But those are blockbuster movies. Could the same digital technology be effectively used to craft an award-worthy drama featuring de-aged actors? Director Martin Scorsese wasn’t entirely sure it was possible for his long-gesting movie The Irishman, but Industrial Light & Magic visual effects wizard Pablo Helman made it work with an entirely new approach to digital de-aging.

Learn how The Irishman VFX came together below. Read More »

martin scorsese joker reaction

Whatever you think of Joker (it’s fine!), you have to admit that Todd Phillips’ dark, violent take on Batman’s arch-nemesis owes a considerable debt to the work of director Martin Scorsese. Scorsese was even mentioned as a possible producer at one point. You would think that might inspire The Irishman filmmaker to watch the movie, but you’d be wrong. According to Scorsese himself, he has yet to watch Joker, and probably never will.

Read More »

Killers of the Flower Moon filming

Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman is now on Netflix and will probably be a contender come Oscar season. But Scorsese is already moving on to other things. Not only is he set to make a documentary about the music scene in the 1970s, he’s also about to film his next feature: Killers of the Flower Moon. While the casting hasn’t been officially announced yet, Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro are both expected to star in the film, which chronicles the investigation into The Osage Murders of the 1920s. According to cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, Scorsese’s next movie will start filming in March 2020.

Read More »

The Irishman as a TV series

Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest champions of the cinematic form, but he’s not averse to television. Over the past decade, he’s directed the pilots for and executive produced both Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl for HBO – but in a new interview, he says he never once thought about making The Irishman as a TV series. His new Netflix epic has raised eyebrows with its three-and-a-half-hour runtime, leading some to wonder if the story may have been better served as a limited series. But Scorsese is adamant that it could only have worked as a movie. Read More »

the irishman iphone

Where do you stream movies? The best possible choice would be a TV, but there are some people out there – lunatics, I call them – who stream movies and TV shows on their phones. The Irishman, Martin Scorsese‘s masterful epic, debuted on Netflix over the Thanksgiving holiday, and since it’s streaming, that means someone, somewhere, probably watched this nearly four-hour movie on their phone. As you might expect, Scorsese – a man who cherishes the cinematic experience – doesn’t love the idea of someone watching his latest movie on their phones. But he’s willing to make some exceptions.

Read More »

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: The Irishman is a regression on multiple fronts for director Martin Scorsese.)

In ancient Egypt, pharaohs would be entombed with everything they needed for the next life: all their treasures and their mummified cats and even their living servants. This was before someone had the bright idea that you could just make lifelike models of the servants and not have to bury people alive. Obviously, in this case, the models weren’t CG … but you get the point. The Irishman sees Martin Scorsese, our greatest living filmmaker — the Ramses II of cinema — nesting below his pyramid, snug in his bed of mob movie hits. At this point, Scorsese has nothing left to prove. He’s made his masterpieces. We can look on his mighty works, and rejoice.

In this one instance, I will not rejoice, because— like Peter Griffin assessing The Godfather — “I did not care for” The Irishman.

Read More »

Martin Scorsese Music Documentary

Martin Scorsese can’t stop, won’t stop. He just delivered The Irishman, one of his best films, and he’s also working on Killers of the Flower Moon. You’d think he might want to take a break, but no – he’s already got something else lined-up: a new documentary. The doc is about the 1970s New York City music scene, and while more specific details aren’t known, Scorsese has a proven track record with music documentaries.

Read More »

the irishman featurette

The Irishman brings together Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci with director Martin Scorsese for the first (and probably last?) time, and that’s a big deal. These guys are all legends, and they’re also all well into their twilight years. The prospect of them coming together for one last hurrah is exciting, and it helps that The Irishman is one of the year’s best movies, too. A new The Irishman featurette highlights how crazy and cool it is to have all these actors together in a new Scorsese epic.

Read More »

The Irishman Actors

Martin Scorsese’s sprawling new mob epic, The Irishman, opens with a tracking shot through a nursing home. We’re a long way from the Copacabana in Goodfellas, but that nightclub, too, makes an appearance later, and the shot in question here is still soundtracked by a golden oldie. “In the Still of the Night” takes the place of “Then He Kissed Me.” The camera glides past senior citizens with cane walkers to a place where a white-haired old man in tinted glasses sits, looking like a shadow of his former Casino self.

Scorsese’s nine-time feature film collaborator, Robert De Niro, plays Frank Sheeran, a war veteran turned trucker turned labor union official turned nostalgic wheelchair occupant who paints himself as a Mafia assassin in flashbacks. That’s not the only “painting” we’ll see him do, either. “When I was young, I thought house painters painted houses,” Sheeran says at the top of his voiceover. Hearing these words in this context, it’s not hard to think of Henry Hill in Goodfellas, narrating, “As far back as I can remember, I wanted to be a gangster.” In Sheeran’s world, it turns out painting houses entails splattering their walls red with people’s blood.

Without delving into spoilers beyond the opening shot, it’s enough to say that cinephiles versed in the visual language of Scorsese’s films will be able to pinpoint many such callbacks when The Irishman hits Netflix on November 27 (it’s playing in limited theatrical release right now). Among other things, the movie serves as the summation of cinema’s greatest director-and-actor collaboration. Critics have described it in almost oxymoronic terms, calling it “a bold and shattering epic of old age.” Beyond the hype lies a film about human frailty, with one foot in the grave and one foot in the almighty past.

Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

King Leopold's Ghost

Ben Affleck (Argo, The Town) is getting behind the camera for a new movie called King Leopold’s Ghost, a true story of rebellion against genocide in the Congo in the late 1800s. Affleck will produce alongside Martin Scorsese, and the script will be written by Apocalypto screenwriter Farhad Safinia. Get the details below. Read More »