Watch The Irishman On A Phone? Martin Scorsese Has Thoughts About Viewing His Netflix Movie

The Irishman

We all know how Martin Scorsese feels about “cinema,” and the competition between his latest movie, The Irishman, and the superhero movies that crowd the marketplace on a monthly basis. But what about this newfound tragedy of WHERE audiences will watch Scorsese’s epic film? By partnering with Netflix, the filmmaker is settling for the fact that patrons may absorb The Irishman on mobile devices that can be held in one’s hand, in the back of a car or even on an airplane.

How does the esteemed director feel about this harsh reality? Naturally, he has opinions, and recommendations for people to take, in stride. While being interviewed by Peter Travers for ABC News in New York City, Scorsese addressed the topic and advised:

Well, 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.

This is running into a bit of a meme, as people share on social media all of the weird places that they happen to be watching The Irishman, mainly because it’s available on Netflix and can be streamed at their leisure.

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And yet, the new reality of seeing movies on a phone is something that Martin Scorsese admits he didn’t plan for. Later in the interview with Peter Travers, Scorsese elaborates:

That I never thought of. That I never thought of. Certainly, I could say, the past 20-some odd years, I’ve made films both for television and — in terms of the screen size — and for the theater. Never for a phone. I don’t know how to do it. I wish I could, I don’t know how. No, I don’t get it...

And he shouldn’t. With The Irishman, Martin Scorsese is operating on a different level from most other filmmakers. It’s an epic tale of the gangster lifestyle that’s rooted in American history and the blue-collar existence that colors the Eastern seaboard of our country. And it’s the type of movie that could only come from the director of Goodfellas and Casino, but also the reflective filmmaker who recently contemplated his older age and his accomplishments in the difficult Silence.

Part of me is very sad that Martin Scorsese even NEEDS to contemplate the notion that someone might watch his movie on a phone. That’s a disgrace. At the same time, The Irishman wouldn’t exist without Netflix giving him free reign to create the three hour and 30 minute masterpiece, so it’s a wash.

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Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.