Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is an epic in every sense of the word, including its three-and-a-half-hour runtime which means a bathroom break or two may be necessary.
With the film both in select cinemas and on Netflix, how you watch it will vary and while Scorsese hopes you will see it in a cinema, this week he admits he “covered all the bases” in terms of how people might watch the picture – structurally laying out the film in a way he was aware that people might watch it in sections and in different ways.
Speaking with Peter Travers on his Popcorn With Peter Travers series, Scorsese admits he’s fine with all that but still doesn’t want people watching it on their phones and tries to come up with other suggestions:
“I would suggest – if you ever want to see one of my pictures, or most films – please, please don’t look at it on a phone, please. An iPad, a big iPad, maybe. I’m not saying because, ‘Oh, I made it’. It was an interesting narrative structure, and it got me involved each time. In a funny way, I think I made it to cover all the bases in terms of how you could watch this picture.
Ideally, I’d like you to go to a theater, look at it on a big screen from beginning to end. And I know, it’s long – you gotta get up, you gotta go to the bathroom, that sort of thing, I get it – but also at home, I think if you can make a night of it, or an afternoon thereof, and know that you’re not gonna answer the phone or you’re not gonna get up too much, it might work.”
Would Scorsese ever make a film specifically for phones? The master director has no such plans: “I don’t know how to do it. I wish I could, I don’t know how. No, I don’t get it”.
The film’s producer Gaston Pavlovich also spoke about it recently, saying Netflix went into the film with understanding that it was a gamble and it could go over three hours. They embraced it though, Pavlovich telling Forbes that Netflix told the film’s makers “that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a masterpiece.”