Al Pacino: Wilde About Ireland At The Jameson International Film Festival
It’s a cold wet evening on Dublin’s O’Connell Street, but people have been queuing outside the Savoy since 7 am to catch a glimpse of screen legend Al Pacino, in Ireland for one day to promote what he describes as his ‘most personal project ever‘ at the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. Pacino doesn’t disappoint, spending 15 minutes signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans before heading inside.
Wilde Salome is an experimental feature documentary in which Pacino invites audiences into a private world as he explores the the complexities of Oscar Wilde’s notorious 1891 play Salome.
While signing autographs for fans outside the venue, I ask the superstar how it feels to be back in Ireland. Pacino tells me he was here about four years ago, but he’s not precise on the details. “It’s like being back in the Bronx,” he jokes. “Everyone is so welcoming. It’s like coming home.”
So why turn Oscar Wilde’s famous play Salome into a movie? “Well at first – when I started this project – I didn’t even know it was going to be a movie,” he confesses with a smile. “But you know, it’s a great play and one which marks a departure from some of [Wilde’s] other works. I don’t know. It just struck me in a very personal way. I was drawn to it.”
Pacino both directs and also stars as King Herod in this unique project which combines footage from a documentary on Wilde’s life, scenes of a reading of the play in Los Angeles and a film version of the play.
The official Wilde Salome website describes Pacino’s experimental exploration as a story of discovery, passion and above all, obsession.
“Wilde Salome is unlike any other documentary, a profound vision that explores religion, literature, politics, violence and sexuality from one of the world’s greatest artists – Dublin writer, Oscar Wilde.”
“Check it out,” he says with a twinkle. “And let me know if you like it.”