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Martin Scorsese’s SILENCE Thread

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  • KT
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    #101400

    So I’m surprised no one is talking about this, since significant casting news was announced yesterday. And anything with Scorsese is a huge deal, especially a passion project like this one. I’m actually more interested to see what he does with this film than Wolf of Wall Street. It actually reminds me of what Clint Eastwood wanted to do with Letters from Iwo Jima, telling the story through the Japanese language. If there is a thread for this project–I couldn’t find it–please delete this. Just starting the conversation:

    Andrew Garfield(!!!) and Ken Watanabe are onboard (from Variety):

    With
    Garfield aboard, helmer will make his passion project on the ‘essence’ of
    Christianity

    Scott
    Foundas

    Chief Film Critic

    @foundasonfilm

     

    After two
    decades of false starts and near misses, the director can now look forward to
    shooting his long-gestating adaptation of Japanese novelist Shusaku Endo’s
    novel next summer.

     

    Scorsese not
    only has secured the financing he needed and a production greenlight for June
    2014, he’s landed a coveted leading man: “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” Andrew
    Garfield.

     

    The project,
    which also will feature Ken Watanabe, is sure to catch the attention of
    international distributors at the upcoming Cannes market, which marks a new
    experience for the director, who has headed the Cannes jury and presented four
    movies in competition.

     

    Sinking into
    a sofa in his midtown Manhattan office on a recent morning, Scorsese reflected
    on the planned pic, which he holds particularly dear to his heart. The subject
    matter — the very roots of religious faith — has long fascinated him, from his
    childhood aspiration to the priesthood to his controversial screen adaptation
    of Nikos Kazantzakis’ “The Last Temptation of Christ,” released in 1988.

     

    “It’s
    something that has always been part of my life,” he says. “It’s difficult for
    people to understand who are not part of that world that I grew up in, which
    was Roman Catholicism in New York City in the 1950s. I was impressed enough to
    try to become part of that world, and realized at the age of 15 or 16 that it
    was much tougher, much more complicated than I thought … in terms of vocation.”

     

    Garfield
    will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to
    Japan with a fellow priest amid rumors that Rodrigues’ mentor has abandoned the
    Church. It is a moment of religious persecution in the Asian nation, with
    Christians forced to practice their faith clandestinely. Watanabe will portray
    the priests’ interpreter, alongside a Japanese cast that includes Issei Ogata
    (who played Emperor Hirohito in Alexander Sokurov’s “The Sun”). As with
    “Temptation of Christ” and his 1997 Dalai Lama biopic “Kundun,” a box office
    dud, the commercial prospects for Scorsese’s latest passion project are challenging.

     

    Scorsese
    admits that the mostly Japanese-language production is meant for a smaller
    audience than his hits “Shutter Island,” “The Departed” and “The Aviator,” but
    suggests, “Then again, it’s a thriller. Thriller meaning they are undercover,”
    he says. “I’m interested in this, whether it’s undercover priests or undercover
    cops.”

     

    Location
    scouting is still under way for the production, which is being co-financed by
    Emmett/Furla Films and Belgian producer Paul Breuls’ Corsan Films. Scorsese
    hints that a veteran collaborator, singer-songwriter Robbie Robertson, may come
    onboard for the soundtrack.

     

    “He and I
    started talking about this a year and a half ago, before I started ‘Wolf,’
    about ideas for certain kinds of sounds,” said Scorsese, who is busy editing his
    latest film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

     

    The helmer
    first read Endo’s novel 25 years ago, when Archbishop Paul Moore sent it to him
    following a screening of “Last Temptation of Christ” held for New York
    religious readers. He recalls being struck by the book’s “complex simplicity,”
    and its sense of “cutting away all the trappings, cutting away the dogma,
    cutting away everything and dealing with the very essence of … you could say
    Christianity, you could say Jesus.” Added the director: “It seems to have been
    a great idea, but can it be implemented? And if it is, it seems that it has to
    be on an individual level, in how one behaves, in how one treats other people
    in one’s own lives.” (Curiously, Scorsese, a voracious cinephile, admits he
    never saw the 1971 Japanese film version of “Silence,” directed by nonagenarian
    Masahiro Shinoda.)

    Almost
    immediately after reading the book, Scorsese began working on an adaptation
    with frequent screenwriting partner Jay Cocks, but other projects interrupted
    the process, and the script wasn’t completed until 1996. By then, Scorsese
    observes, “the landscape of Hollywood had changed.”

     

    His most
    recent picture at the time, “Casino,” had performed solidly at the box office
    ($116 million worldwide), and was made with the full support of its studio
    backer, Universal Pictures. “But ultimately, when the film was released, it was
    clear that it no longer pays for studios that are owned by major corporations
    to make a $50-$60 million profit on a movie,” Scorsese said. “They want to make
    more. So that was the end of that kind of picture for me.”

     

    In the two
    decades since, Scorsese, like many of his generational colleagues (Woody Allen,
    Francis Ford Coppola, William Friedkin), has depended largely on independent
    financing, much of it from longtime patron Graham King, who produced/and or
    co-financed “Gangs of New York,” “The Aviator,” “The Departed” and “Hugo.” King
    has a stake in “Silence,” which he helped shepherd since 2001, but his ultimate
    involvement in the production is uncertain. “It’s an issue of what makes sense
    at that time,” said Scorsese, whose frequent collaborator Emma Koskoff (a
    producer on “Wolf of Wall Street” and executive producer on “Hugo”) will
    produce “Silence,” along with Irwin Winkler, Randall Emmett, George Furla,
    Vittorio Cecchi Gori and Barbara De Fina.

    Asked whether he has any hesitation making a film about
    Catholicism at a moment when the Catholic Church has been making its most
    unflattering headlines since the reformation, Scorsese said: “Not at all.
    Certainly, it’s a religious subject, but the mystery that I’m talking about,
    Rodrigues’ conflict with himself, and the essence of Christianity — which is
    something I believe in strongly — is timeless, and has to do with who we are as
    human beings.”

     

    Reply
    babypook
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    #101402

    “Garfield will star as Father Rodrigues, a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit who travels to Japan…”
    Uh-huh. Well, we’ll see how Scorsese and his vision wrangles with their influx during that time…..

    “Scorsese admits that the mostly Japanese-language production is meant for a smaller audience than his hits “Shutter Island,” “The Departed” and “The Aviator,”  
     Yes well, what a thing to admit…..

    I have some serious reservations about this. But then again, I have watched all of Scorsese’s available endeavors and I’m not likely to miss this one, if all goes well and it’s released. I think, the film has the potential to make me angry. Lol.  

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    KT
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    #101403

    I have some serious reservations about this. But then again, I have watched all of Scorsese’s available endeavors and I’m not likely to miss this one, if all goes well and it’s released. I think, the film has the potential to make me angry. Lol.

    That makes sense. I don’t think Scorsese has as strong a range as some of his contemporaries do, especially with regard to his period films. Nonetheless, I’m interested to see what happens.

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    Renaton
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    #101404

    I know he has been trying to get this off the ground for a while now, so I’m interested. I’ more interested in him doing personal projects which he believes in today than trying to emulate his greatest classics in newer, lesser versions or just vying for an Oscar.

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    KT
    Member
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    #101405

    Me too. Glad he has the Oscar behind him, so now he can do what he wants with this film. Some of those efforts in the 2000s certainly can speak to your point “just vying for an Oscar.” I’m not really a fan of The Departed and am not that excited for Wolf of Wall Street, so I hear you when you say you’re not that interested to see him trying to recapture what worked in his classics.

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    Emmys2011
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    #101406

    Glad to hear about andrew garfield !!! I was afraid he would get lost in spiderman territory since he hasn´t done much lately. He really needed a great post TSN role and it can´t get better than this! Let´s just hope this carries him to the nomination (stolen of course) he didn´t get for the social network. He absolutely deserves awards attention asap.

    Don´t know much about the project but I´m glad to see scorsese leave america anf for a project that he is apparently very passionately about (not that he isn´t ever)

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    Malick
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    #101407

    I wish i could speed time up, i wanna see this now. A passion project from a masterful director usually can produce something extraordinary! Two prime examples off the top of my head are, Schindlers List from Spielberg and The Tree of Life from Terrence Malick. Im sure theyre a ton more, but hopefully the point was illustrated well enough. Scorsese usually brings out something really special in his leading men. So i expect the wonderful but unfortunately grossly underrated Ken Wantanbe and the bright young star Andrew Garfield to be amazing!

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    Beau S.
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    #101408

    Glad to see that he is not slowing down since he finally won the Oscar. Shutter Island, Hugo – also should have won him an Oscar, Wolf of Wall Street and now this.

    Hopefully he can turn his passion project into something beyond amazing. 

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    babypook
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    #101409

    I hope so too. Actually I find I LOVE his music/bands tributes as well.

    I do have this marginal fear however, that Marty might begin channelling von Trier, which is wonderful for some, and lately, Malick……not that I dont appreciate a director doing whatever he wants. If he’s going through a ‘phase’, I just hope he doesnt take it out on us.  

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    Miss Frost
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    Sep 14th, 2011
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    #101410

    So happy for Garfield! So glad a talented, good looking fellow like himself is getting high class work with Scorsese.

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    Leonardo
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    Aug 21st, 2011
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    #101411

    Looking forward to this! Excited…

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    ENGLAND
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    Oct 5th, 2011
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    #101412

    Not the biggest Scorsese fan but I do believe he was snubbed for Shutter Island. Happy about Ken Wantanbe (who I felt should have won awards for The Last Samurai).

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    Nessie
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    #101413

    Is this actually shooting? I thought Scorsese was tied up with a mini-series about music in the 70s (?) with Juno Temple.

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    manakamana
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    #101414

    Is this actually shooting? I thought Scorsese was tied up with a mini-series about music in the 70s (?) with Juno Temple.

    I thought I remember reading that it won’t start shooting until about February-ish. Sadly, I doubt Scorsese will have it done by 2015’s end. 

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    manakamana
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    #101415

    Or, maybe not…

     · 22h22 hours ago

    Scorsese’s SILENCE scheduled for a January 21, 2016 Oz release (via ) 

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