Well time to wrap up the Art collection inspired by 21st Century Gangster movies. So we started with Scorsese's The Irishman as wearable art, then came American Gangster, The Departed, City of God and we are completing the circle with an Art print of The Irishman.
It's been a great couple of weeks sharing the above work and I've enjoyed revisiting the movies ready to write up notes for the blog. Time to move on and have several pieces in the pipeline including art prints of Robocop, Star Wars (including a Yoda portrait that's been hanging around unfinished for ages) and some tee's of some classic 80s movies. (Below is a revisit of last weeks blog so feel free to kip and go straight to the new art print here)
In 2014 it was announced that Martin Scorsese was to direct The Irishman, a film he had spent years trying to get made (originally in the 80s and then the idea really picked up in 2004, with the release of the book I heard you paint houses). De Niro, who also served as producer, and Pacino were confirmed within a month, as was Pesci, who came out of his unofficial retirement to star after numerous requests.
Why with these three icons of cinema did it take so long to get made? No one was making films like this anymore for the budget he needed to make it work. It wasn't a superhero movie, there was no franchise, it was a gangster movie set in the 50s with a run time of 209 minutes and needed a huge budget to cover the cost of de-aging the then 76 years old De Niro and Pacino.
Streaming giant Netflix ended up picking up the film rights as no other film studio would cover the now ballooning budget which may have ended up as high as $200 million.
Released at the beginning of 2019 to cinemas for a limited number of cinemas before it was dropped on to Netflix at the end of the month. It was generally well received and praised by critics and audiences and gave Netflix the gravatas is wanted as a serious movie studio.
The Irishman is not Goodfellas or Casino and it isn't trying to be, it's a sombre, regretful story that is the mirror opposite of Scorsese’s earlier gangster films. The first hour is a little bit jarring with the special effects, although impressive in some places don't always work at all, a scene when De Niro starts kicking and beating a store owner still looks like an older man and takes you out of the movie somewhat. Things really start to get going when Jimmy Hoffa appears and Al Pacino gives his best performances in decades.
The main question of the film is about the repercussions of your actions which Frank (De Niro) and Russell (Pesci) deal with after murdering a friend.
How it comes back to haunt them later in life in the loneliness experienced through the estrangement of family, growing old in prison and no matter how powerful you think you are we all become frail and eventually die.
It closes the book on a whole chapter of cinematic history. It's a privilege spending time in the company of De Niro, Pacino and Pesci who all turn back the clock to give us fantastic performances in what surely must be the last time we will see a film like this. It seems like a good way for Scorsese to say goodbye to this type of gangster genre that he helped define.
They don't make them like this anymore, I guess it is what it is.
Now streaming on Netflix.
It's available to buy in Giclee print from our Limited edition collection here
It was pencilled, inked by hand and then digitally coloured. Available in 12” or 20” Giclee prints on 310gsm material.