The Tribeca Festival wrapped Sunday night, its last event a retrospective screening of Raging Bull with a video (pre-recorded) of Leonardo DiCaprio interviewing Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro about the iconic 1980 film. The director called it, “the culmination of everything I had desired it to be.”
“I didn’t care what happened to it, or if I made another movie,” Scorsese said. He did, including with De Niro. The duo has a 50-plus year collaboration running from Mean Streets and Taxi Driver in the 1970s to The Irishman for Netflix in 2019 and Apple’s Killers of the Flower Moon, currently in production.
“There is a trust there that was carried over and lasted,” Scorsese said.
The video was taped recently before cast and crew on the Oklahoma set of Killers of the Flower Moon. Scorsese is directing, DiCaprio and De Niro starring in the film, which depicts the 1920s serial murder of members of the oil-wealthy Osage Nation, a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. De Niro suffered an injury on set. He had his left leg raised and resting on a stool during the interview.
The outdoor screening in Battery Park was a new 4K scan from the original camera negative of the film that was nominated for for eight Academy Awards. De Niro won a Best Actor Oscar for his performance as Jake LaMotta, a boxer whose psychological and sexual complexities erupt into violence both in and out of the ring. Joe Pesci and Cathy Moriarty co-star.
Scorsese and De Niro have been fielding questions about the film and their fruitful working relationship for years and talked with DiCaprio about the original source material — an autobiography by LaMotta that De Niro was drawn to but Scorsese at first resisted since he disliked sports; the complexity of production, including the balletic, bloody fight scenes; and convincing United Artists to let them film in black and white.
“We didn’t know how well it would do. But we knew it was a special movie,” said De Niro.
The actor founded the Tribeca Festival with Jane Rosenthal, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises, in 2001 to spur the economic and cultural revitalization of lower Manhattan following the September 11 terrorist attacks. This year’s edition ran from June 9 through Sunday with screenings and in-person events across the five boroughs as the city reopens.