- Martin Scorsese's new film "The Irishman" begins its limited cinematic release today, but the major Australian cinema chains aren't running it.
- The Netflix-produced film has been a source of drama, with major cinema chains bristling at Netflix's narrow theatrical release window.
- But there are still independent cinemas running it in Australia – find out where below.
To the seasoned cineaste, the very thought of catching the latest Martin Scorsese film on a tiny television screen is a heresy. And yet for many this will be how they see "The Irishman", which begins its narrow cinematic release today.
"The Irishman" is a passion piece for Scorsese, a three-and-a-half hour gangster epic starring frequent collaborators Robert De Niro and Al Pacino which charts the rise of a truck driver through the ranks of a mafia family over the course of decades. It was tremendously expensive – over $159 million, by some estimates – and the only outfit willing to part with that kind of cash for that kind of movie was Netflix.
As a result of the deal struck between Scorsese and the streaming giant, "The Irishman" secured a very limited theatrical release window, for the fans who wanted to see it on the big screen as intended. In the United States, that deal caused massive friction with the cinema chains, who bristled at the idea of a very brief 45-day cinema release before the movie hit Netflix. Traditionally, movies are in US cinemas for at least 72 days before home release.
Here in Australia, it's no less controversial among cinema operators. The major cinema chains, including Hoyts and Event Cinemas, won't be showing "The Irishman" at all.
David Seargeant, chairman of the National Association of Cinema Operators – Australasia, which represents the major chains and a handful of independent cinemas, told the Inside Film magazine he has concerns about traditional release windows being undermined.
“NACO is committed to the theatrical window," he said. "We are very concerned that several exhibitors, who are not our members, are taking a short-term view and showing films without an appropriate theatrical season.”
As a result of all this argy-bargy, your options for seeing "The Irishman" over the next few weeks are somewhat limited. But you've still got options – here's where you can catch it in major Australian cities.
Dendy Opera Quays
Ritz Cinemas Randwick
Dendy Brisbane Portside