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Scorsese Talks to CairoScene Ahead of MENA Premiere of The Irishman At CIFF

"We knew we had to make one more picture together." - Catch his latest masterpiece at Cairo Opera House on November 20th.

Staff Writer

Scorsese Talks to CairoScene Ahead of MENA Premiere of The Irishman At CIFF

The Irishman, an epic mob drama directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Robert De Niro, will open the Cairo International Film Festival on November 20th. The screening at the Cairo Opera House will also mark the film's premiere in the MENA region, and we couldn't be more pumped - so pumped, in fact, that we went to London to have a face-to-face talk with the legendary director about his latest masterpiece!

The Irishman made waves when it was released in New York and London earlier this year. Its harrowing depiction of the true story of hitman Frank Sheeran generated much discourse among viewers and critics alike. There's something special about seeing Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci return to their fictionally criminal roots by depicting mobsters and assassins, and in that vein, we were intrigued to find out about the technology that helped return them to their youth. Digital de-aging technology made it possible to let De Niro play the same character as an old man around the turn of the 21st century and as a young upstart in a flashback 40 years in the past.

Although advanced computer programming may hide the wrinkles that come with age, nothing can hide the prestige and accomplishments earned by the big names involved in this production. But even that can come with its challenges, and while we've tried to avoid spoilers in anticipation of the local premiere, we learned that this challenge and the struggles that come with it is one of the more prominent themes of the film. As Martin Scorsese told us in an interview with CairoScene, “It’s the story of most people’s lives. You attain something, you reach a level – do you sustain, do you grow as a human being? It’s extraordinary for me to see them in that world, because they’re in the dark forces of history, they are the dark forces – how can you grow in that?”

“We are extremely excited to be raising the red curtain of the festival with the epic masterpiece from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, the genius that is Martin Scorsese," said Ahmed Shawky, the artistic director for the Cairo Film Festival. Shawky also added in a statement that he hunted for "as many quality premieres as possible," with an eye on expressing the film industry's global diversity.

The festival will feature 149 films from 63 countries, many of which are in the Arab world. This year's Cairo Film Festival will be the second iteration led by Egyptian producer Mohamed Hefzy, who focused on revamping the oldest film festival in the Arab region since he became festival president last year. His efforts also include rebooting Cairo Industry Days, which will showcase film projects that have been developed or produced in various Arab states in the hopes of reviving the industrial component of film-making in Egypt.

Stay tuned for our full interview with Martin Scorsese himself!

Photo credit to REUTERS/Henry Nicholls.