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The Legend takes center stage at Wm. Paterson University in New Jersey!

from Kara Yorio for North Jersey.com article dated October 1, 2010

The clips came furiously, one iconic moment in film after another. It showed the legendary actor at his most intense best. This man was bigger than life!

Q & A: What was he really snorting in Scarface?
"It was lactose, I think. I hope." (laughs)

Throughout the night, Pacino showed a clear passion for his craft but without the self-importance that would seem almost inescapable at this point in such a career. People left commenting on how comfortable he seems with himself and how in his element he appeared.

A Conversation with Al Pacino was part of the William Paterson University Distinguished Lecturer Series. For most of the evening, the conversation was between Pacino and Richard Brown, a friend of Pacino and NYU professor who started the International Center for Film and Television.

Through most of the night, Brown helped walk Pacino through his life and career and his view of himself and his success. He talked about growing up in the Bronx and coming of age as an actor in the Village. Pacino never focused only on Brown, seeking a relationship with the audience throughout the evening. Pacino connected with the crowd and made the audience feel a part of the conversation.


A Question from the Q & A with the audience:
"What character stayed with you the longest"?

“Michael Corleone stayed with me for a long time, because that was a cool way to be, don’t you think? You have a lot of friends when you’re Michael Corleone.”

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Hollywood acting legend speaks at Brick City Homecoming at RIT in Rochester, NY.


On October 16, the Hollywood film legend Al Pacino took the stage in the Gordon Field House as part of the Horton Distinguished Speaker Series sponsored by Student Government (SG). The event was the highlight of this year’s Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend, selling out all 4,800 tickets.


Pacino shared his thoughts on why “The Godfather” is such an iconic film. “I think it has something to do with the universality of family. I think it’s the first time we saw gangsters holding babies,” he said. He kept the audience engaged with his responses even while seated. He drew you in as he spoke, his hand movements showing emphasis and emotion.


Pacino advised budding young actors to get out there, do auditions, and hone their craft. “Just be committed to what you do and just work. I know it sounds like what everybody says, but it’s true,” he stated.


After the interview session, Pacino showed a preview for his latest independent project “Wilde Salome” and read two poems: one by E.E. Cummings — which according to Pacino, “is a great date poem ... It beats Sinatra.”

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Below, read the beautiful poem that Al read for the audience at RIT; keeping in mind that in his work, Cummings experimented radically with form, punctuation, spelling and syntax, abandoning traditional techniques and structures to create a new, highly idiosyncratic means of poetic expression.   We happen to think you'll enjoy it either way!

Somewhere I Have Never Travelled

by E. E. Cummings

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
                  any experience,your eyes have their silence:
                  in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
                  or which i cannot touch because they are too near
                  your slightest look easily will unclose me
                  though i have closed myself as fingers,
                  you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
                  (touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose
                  or if your wish be to close me, i and
                  my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
                  as when the heart of this flower imagines
                  the snow carefully everywhere descending;
                  nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
                  the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
                  compels me with the color of its countries,
                  rendering death and forever with each breathing
                  (i do not know what it is about you that closes
                  and opens;only something in me understands
                  the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
                  nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

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An evening with Al Pacino at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas


Pacino's love of the theatre and live performance seemed to be a major theme of the evening: He spent a good deal of time relating stories about his work with Judith Malina in The Living Theatre, and with Joe Papp, whose breaking down of ethnic barriers in the Shakespearean realm received praise. Acting teacher Lee Strasberg made an initial positive impression on Pacino by pronouncing his name correctly when no one else could seem to get it right.

Pacino opened it up to audience questions. One woman proclaimed herself a huge fan of Scent of a Woman, and wanted to know if he would mind...


"HOO-ah!" Pacino interrupted, to delighted crowd applause. (He went on to describe how the famous line originated: A military instructor was tasked with teaching him how to take apart and reassemble a .45 auto. When Pacino began to get it right, the soldier let out a "HOO-ah!" Inspired, Pacino incorporated it into his portrayal.


"Films are hard to do for me," said Pacino. "Always have been. There's a distance to film. A coldness to it."

Which might be why Pacino's most celebrated directorial effort — Looking for Richard — is based on a performance of Shakespeare's Richard III. We saw a pair of clips from that independent film (which won a Director's Guild award in 1997), along with one from an obscure and peculiar indie in which Pacino appeared in 1990: The Local Stigmatic.

Pacino wound up the evening with a series of dramatic readings. "You know, I wish I was taller," he quipped, abandoning his chair for a podium. Pacino read a poem from e. e. cummings; a scene from The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel, by Rabe; a scene from Eugene O'Neill's Hughie; something from American Buffalo, by David Mamet; and the bit about the legless bird from Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending.

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Orpheus Descending reading reference to the legless bird:
 "They live their whole life on the wing, and they sleep on the wind … they just spread their wings and go to sleep and … never light on this earth but one time when they die!" The image suggests a kind of freedom, to which human life may aspire but not be able to reach.

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Hollywood actor brings cast of his characters to Carmen’s

excerpts from Jeff Mahoney's article for The Spec.com in Canada dated November 23, 2010

At 9:30 Monday night, Al Pacino shambled onto the stage at Carmen's Banquet Centre almost modestly, a little stooped, a little tired-looking but with a smile that was lit by the thunderous standing ovation from a crowd of 1,200!


“I can't see you out there,” he said, squinting into the audience. “But I can feel you. I have been here since 4 this afternoon and what I feel here is such warmth.”


Pacino sat on a chair beside Richard Brown, a film professor at New York University who plied the star with a variety of questions about acting and the differences between movies and live theatre.


Pacino would answer from his chair and then, as the spirit took him, he got up and walked around the stage, his voice growing stronger, his posture more erect and robust, it seemed, with each breath, as he warmed to the subject. All the while, the crowd was riveted by that unmistakable Pacino face, framed under fly-away hair, the large expressive eyes set over cheekbones that seem carved by time itself.


“An actor depends on the adrenalin. Live theatre does something to your biochemistry. What it does to you is physically different than movies where you spend 15 hours a day waiting for them to light your scene.”


“This is the best night we have ever had at Carmen’s,” said Peter Mercanti of Carmen's Banquet Centre, host of An Intimate Evening with Al Pacino, a fundraiser for Empower Global and Good Shepherd Centres of Hamilton. “We've had Bill Clinton, Sophia Loren, many others but no one compares to this.”


The event was also a fundraiser; The $250-a-plate dinner fundraiser raised over $150,000 for Empower Global and Good Shepherd Centres of Hamilton.


Mercanti family members were still on Cloud 9 Tuesday from the success of the gala. Not only did it see the most money raised at a Carmen’s fundraiser, but with 1,100 people attending, it was the second largest gala crowd. The largest, about 1,150, came out in 2001 to see former U.S. president Bill Clinton.


Peter Mercanti and his family, who hosted the 70-year-old actor at a charity fundraiser at their east Mountain banquet centre, are beside themselves that he liked their homemade lasagna so much and actually wanted to take a piece home.

The 10-layer lasagna is from a recipe created by Mercanti’s 90-year-old mother.

“He enjoyed the lasagna so much,” said Mercanti, who runs Carmen’s Banquet Centre with his two sons, PJ and Joey. “He just said, ‘Please, can I get a tray of lasagna to take back with me?’ So, we did. I’m pretty honoured. New York City has some of the best restaurants in the world and he wanted our lasagna.”

Carmen's in Hamilton, Ontario Canada

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