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Five things we learned at Tribeca's Goodfellas reunion

Joshua Rothkopf
Written by
Joshua Rothkopf

After 10 days of unspooling an unusually strong lineup of movies, the Tribeca Film Festival concluded this weekend with a special 25th anniversary screening of Goodfellas at the Beacon Theatre Saturday night. The packed house whooped with excitement at not only the film, but a special video introduction taped by bushy-browed Martin Scorsese (currently shooting in Taiwan), as well as a postscreening Q&A with cast members Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Robert De Niro and co-screenwriter Nicolas Pileggi, moderated by a palpably jazzed Jon Stewart. Here are five takeaways from the exclusive event:

RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of the Tribeca Film Festival

1. Joe Pesci remains elusive. A no-show at the event, Pesci sent his regards through De Niro, who softened the blow by comically reading his email: "Fuck, fuck, fuck…Fuckity fuck. Fuck." Then he translated that into something much less interesting.

2. The film itself was the night's highlight. Even with all the star wattage in attendance, the digitally restored Goodfellas—crisp and loud—stole the show. During the screening, attendees experienced a new form of obnoxiousness: taking flash photos of your favorite iconic moments and posting them.

3. Catherine Scorsese was a brilliant improviser. Martin Scorsese revealed that his mother, a scene stealer in multiple moments, played her classic dinner-and-painting sequence without "about two lines of dialogue written." Later, Pileggi mentioned that the real-life Henry Hill (Liotta's character) advised them on how to authentically shake a bottle of ketchup. That's research, people.

4. Ray Liotta and Lorraine Bracco sometimes go out to dinner. Bracco mentioned that the pair recently had dinner, leading all in attendance to speculate how surreal it would be to see Karen and Henry Hill arguing in a restaurant (or snaking their way through the kitchen to the best table).

5. Paul Sorvino's a big softie. Strenuously, Sorvino made it a point of letting us all know that he's actually a poet and singer. As a result, his silent-but-deadly performance as crime lord Paul Cicero seemed like a miracle. De Niro, meanwhile, was typically stone-faced, apart from mentioning that he first recommended Liotta to Scorsese—proving it's not how much you say, but what you say.

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