NEW YORK, March 28 (UPI) -- The Tribeca Film Festival's closing film will be Martin Scorsese's 30-year-old classic "The King of Comedy," organizers said Thursday.
"Twelve years ago when we announced the first festival, it was Marty's idea for us to feature restored and rediscovered films. This year we are proud to close our 12th festival with a restoration of his 'The King of Comedy,'" Jane Rosenthal, festival co-founder, said in a statement. "'The King of Comedy' was so ahead of its time; it seems more relevant today than it was 30 years ago. We are so grateful to Jim Gianopulos and Regency for helping to restore such an iconic film and ensuring it remains a part of our cultural heritage."
"I was a big fan of the script and was very excited to do it with Marty and happy that we finally made it. The fact that it's been restored [hard to believe so many years have passed] is even all the better, and I can't wait to see it on our closing night," said De Niro.
"I've always been partial to comedians -- the irreverence, the absurdity, the hostility, all the feelings under the surface -- and to the old world of late night variety shows hosted by Steve Allen and Jack Paar and, of course, Johnny Carson, to the familiarity and the camaraderie between the guests. You had the feeling that they were there with you, in your living room. Robert De Niro and I were both drawn to Paul Zimmerman's script for 'The King of Comedy,' which really captured the show business atmosphere and the desperate attachments that some of the people on the other side of the screen could form, the ones that in certain cases turned dangerous," Scorsese said.
"Making the picture was quite an experience. We had Sandra Bernhard in her debut. We had New York in summer. We had the beautiful Diahnne Abbott. We had all those wonderful guest stars like Tony Randall and Victor Borge and Ed Herlihy and Dr. Joyce Brothers, and the people who were really in the business, like Freddy De Cordova and Ed Scherick. We had my mother, and my father, and my daughter Cathy. We even had The Clash in a couple of shots, in the role of 'street trash.' And, we had a living legend, the great Jerry Lewis. I'm so happy that after all this time, 'The King of Comedy' is finally getting a restoration, from our wonderful friends at Fox."
The 12th annual Tribeca Film Festival is to take place from April 17-28.