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What to Know About Martin Scorsese's Mafia

Irishman, the new mafia saga for three and a half hours by director Martin Scorsese, debuted in select theaters on Friday, before its release on Netflix on November 27, just in time for Thanksgiving. The thick, scattered, surprisingly melancholy drama revolves around Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro), the self-proclaimed hitman who said he shot and killed Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino) in 1975.

The movie is rarely expected for Holly. production without Marvel characters or Star Wars in the title, and it's easy to see why. He marks Scorsese's triumphant return to the mafia genre for the first time since his Oscar-winning The Departed; a rare gathering for co-stars De Niro and Pacino; return to big screen for supporting player Joe Sands; and gambling for $ 1

59 million from Oscar-starved Netflix distributor.

If you have not directed the Twitter and industry buzz sections of the movie, here is an example of some of the key issues and storylines that revolve around "The Irishman. "(There are no big spoilers here so you can breathe easily.)

" The Irishman "killed Jimmy Hoffa? The jury is out of

" The Irishman "was largely adapted from" I heard you were painting houses, " a 2004 book by former homicide prosecutor Charles Brand that chronicles the life of Sheeran, an employee of the International Brotherhood of Teams, who says he works as a commission killer for the Buffalo crime family in Philadelphia. Sheeran, who died in 2003 , has been posing as Forrest Gump of the Northeast crime chain since the 1970s and last century, allegedly responsible for the murders of Hoffa, New York gangster Joseph "Crazy Joe" Gallo, and other people in the underworld, most notably the death of Hoffa has caused supporters of true crime for decades. [19659002] Scorsese and De Niro, who have been reading Brand's book and have worked to obtain a film adaptation for more than 15 years, present Sherman's version of 20th-century history, portraying a stoic veteran of World War II as committing a series of murders from the 50's to the beginning of The 80's. The film, mostly told with slow-burning flashbacks and interrupted by a sad voice from De Niro, even hints at the possibility that mafia figures may be linked to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Joe Peski as Russell Buffalo and Robert De Niro like Frank Sheeran in The Irishman. Nico Tavernise / Netflix

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But historians, academics, and amateur sleuths have long questioned Sheiran's allegations transmitted in Brand's book, with some unequivocally stating that a union official is nothing more than a plot. Two recent, very detailed articles related to the release of "The Irishman" – Journalist Bill Tonelli's "Irish Lies" at Professor Jack Goldsmith's "Slate and Harvard Law School" A True Crime Story? in the New York Book Review – a must-read for viewers curious about the denials of Sheeran's country.

Reunited and look so … young

The Irishman, among other accomplishments, has a responsibility. for a handful of long-awaited events and at least one collaboration for the first time.

Scorsese and De Niro add another chapter to one of the most fruitful partnerships in American film history, uniting in a full-length project for the ninth time. Sands, who won an Oscar for his bravura performance at Goodfellas, has come out of an informal retirement to work with Scorsese for the fourth time. Pacino, for his part, has never played a movie about Scorsese, although he has starred with De Niro in the 1995 crime classic "The Heat" and the 2007 cop thriller "Righteous Murders," a critically acclaimed production, which neither actor, as Harry Smith recently told NBC News,

But when crime connoisseurs head to the multiplex (or sofa in their living room) for the Irishman, some may be surprised by the relative lack of wrinkles on these celebrities, I hired Scorsese and his production team Industrial Light & Magic, a visual effects company created by Star Wars creator George Lucas, and Oscar-nominated wizard Pablo Hellman ("War of the Worlds") to give the stars of septugener computers a facelift. for a person with a technique known as "de-aging". The video below explains the fat-grained process:

The process, met with equal enthusiasm and astonishment in the film industry, has been used in at least six Marvel franchise entries – Samuel L. Jackson has been "retired" for about 25 years for Captain Marvel "For example, and most recently in Will Smith's action vehicle" Twins Man. " But the visuals in The Irish could mark a turning point, foreshadowing a future in which "aging" technology is common not only in summer blockbusters but also in somber dramas with more subtle artistic ambitions.

Netflix takes another swing at Oscar

The Irishman was originally created at Paramount Pictures, the studio that released most of Scorsese's features over the last decade, including Wall Street and Silence. But as the budget balloons, in part because of the high cost of "aging" technology, Paramount effectively scrapped the project – and that's when current giant Netflix got involved and bought the movie for more than $ 100 million.

Recently, Netflix has been courting A-list directors with promises of creative freedom and a global distribution platform, raising top-class talent such as the Cohen brothers (The Ballad for Buster Skrugs), Korean author Bong Jo-ho (" Okja) and Stephen Soderbergh (The Laundry), among others. Scorsese, considered the greatest living creator of English-language film, is the undisputed giant feather in Netflix's hat.

Netflix is ​​clearly striving for the critical respect and marketing prestige that has traditionally led to the Oscars, where last year the company won Alfonso Quiron's Roma Award but failed to win the best picture trophy. The Irishman, attached to Netflix's falling story by Noah Baumbach's Marriage Story and Fernando Meirels' Two Pope, gives the company another shot at rewards, which can then be hooked to potential subscribers.

Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver in The History of Marriage. Wilson Web

The brilliant reviews "The Irishman" received after it premiered at the 57th New York Film Festival in September, signal that the film may be included in the awards season as a major contender, major theater chains in the country – AMC, Cinemark, Regal – have refused to screen. The reason: Netflix wants to make it available to its 158 million subscribers in just about a month on the big screen, shrinking the traditional quarterly theatrical window and depriving exhibitors of additional revenue.

However, New Yorkers will have a chance to avoid conventional movie theaters at all. Netflix has arranged for the Irishman to play at the Belasco Theater, a Broadway institute that has never shown a movie in its 112-year history. But the place has the most up-to-date equipment for the whole month.

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