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Silence (2016)

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opus   
Yeah Jeffrey--that's the documentary about the educated public's worldwide reaction when Hollywood decided Steven Sommers would become a household name. It's compelling, but the parts with Sommers in them drag.

On the plus side, the subtitles help one learn how to curse in 26 different languages.

You just made me spit on my monitor from laughing... laugh.gif

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Peter Chattaway yesterday posted news of this project on his blog. Having looked for a Scorsese thread and found this one, it doesn't seem like fresh news - though this thread has been quiet for almost two years!

I've not read anything by Endo but the Japanese connection reminded me of an article I came across recently arguing that Scorsese is deeply interested in Buddhist themes:

When Martin Scorsese made Kundun, a biopic of the early years of the Dalai Lama a few years ago, many commentators were puzzled. It seemed incongruous that the Roman Catholic ItalianAmerican chronicler of Manhattan’s Mean Streets would turn his attention to the erstwhile peaceful Buddhist enclave of Tibet. It was also argued by some that the movie became more “Western” in it’s second half as Tibet was violently invaded by China. To me, these views seem to betray a simplistic understanding of the dialectic between Occidental and Oriental theological systems that permeates much of this directors’ oeuvre.

It has to be admitted, though, that, at least on the surface, Martin Scorsese’s movies are “Christian”. References to the Bible and images of the Virgin and the Crucifix are a major leitmotif in his films from Mean Streets on. Yet his characters worldviews and his own philosophical orientation often seem to owe more to Hindu and Buddhist mysticism.

Interesting that Scorsese also says that making Kundunhad a profound effect on him:

"Kundun' is a film about acceptance," Scorsese offers. "It has taught me

to accept more easily things I have no control over. Now I put things

more in perspective and handle things better. I'm like a record spinning

out of control with multiple projects. But I try not to get so irritated

and frustrated. I balance out the days better. It's not only a matter of

getting more work done, but [of] getting more value out of that work." (from World Tibet Network News

There's a long article here with many quotes about Scorses and religion.

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Titus   

Masahiro Shinoda filmed this in 1971 -- I haven't seen it, but it's supposed to be very good, and has characteristically fantastic cinematography from Kazuo Miyagawa. There's an English-subbed Japanese DVD of it available but, as with most Japanese DVD's, it's outrageously expensive. Masters of Cinema are releasing it in 2007, though.

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So... anybody have a hunch about who's going to play the lead?

DiCaprio?

Damon?

Wahlberg?

Wahlberg's a Catholic, and very passionate about it. I wonder if Scorsese's considered that...

Personally, I'd hope he would go for someone that isn't a celebrity, but, well... that's quite unlikely.

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Javier Bardem is "rumored" to star, according to IMDB. Wikipedia says Bardem is "set to star." Make of it what you will.

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gigi   

Latest issue of sight & sound carries an interview with Scorsese that largely focuses on Silence & also somewhat on his view of Catholicism. It's still not on the website, but I'm sure it will be updated soon.

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Wow. Bardem is a great actor, but he usually plays such formidable individuals, and I picture the central character of Silence as rather small and meek. And Bardem seems older than I imagined the character too... but perhaps my memory is failing me. I need to go back to the novel...

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Haven't read the book, but I imagine Bardem would at least be more-or-less the right nationality; I don't know if DiCaprio or Damon or Wahlberg could pass for Portuguese. (And FWIW, I'm inclined to take Mark Wahlberg's "passion" for Catholicism with a grain of salt, given that he and his girlfriend have had a couple of kids and aren't married -- the sort of thing I ordinarily wouldn't care about, except that that sort of thing wouldn't pass muster with many Catholics.)

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Andrew   

::Masahiro Shinoda filmed this in 1971 -- I haven't seen it, but it's supposed to be very good, and has characteristically fantastic cinematography from Kazuo Miyagawa.

After watching Shinoda's beautiful, amazing film 'Double Suicide' last week, I'm now very curious about his movie version of Endo's masterpiece (esp. since learning that Endo himself wrote the screenplay).

::There's an English-subbed Japanese DVD of it available but, as with most Japanese DVD's, it's outrageously expensive. Masters of Cinema are releasing it in 2007, though.

Is MoC still planning this? There's no mention of it at their website.

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Next for Scorsese: 17th-century Japan

Scorsese is turning his sights to a story of missionaries in 17th century Japan. "Silence" is a long-cherished project that he hopes to shoot partially in Japan in summer 2008.

Although it's a period piece, Scorsese thinks it has lessons for America today.

"It raises a lot of questions about foreign cultures coming in and imposing their way of thinking on another culture they know nothing about," Scorsese told The Associated Press on Thursday -- raising his eyebrows just to make the point absolutely clear.

Associated Press, May 24

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Although it's a period piece, Scorsese thinks it has lessons for America today. "It raises a lot of questions about foreign cultures coming in and imposing their way of thinking on another culture they know nothing about," Scorsese told The Associated Press on Thursday -- raising his eyebrows just to make the point absolutely clear.

"Imposing"? That sounds so top down. In reality, we are dealing with missionaries who are trying to spread Christianity and attract followers. I don't see how the word "imposing" relates to this. I don't think Endo uses that language. I think he uses a metaphor of transplanting a beautiful tree into a swamp -- will it grow there? By contrast, Scorsese's language seems much more ham-fisted to me. That raises my concern level for this movie.

BTW, Scorsese's comment reminded me of Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible book. However, Endo's book goes far beyond that into questions of the nature of apostasy and how God responds to human suffering.

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Curious: There's already a film version of Silence in the IMDB. And it's not the Scorsese project. Anybody know anything about this?
Masahiro Shinoda filmed this in 1971 -- I haven't seen it, but it's supposed to be very good, and has characteristically fantastic cinematography from Kazuo Miyagawa. There's an English-subbed Japanese DVD of it available but, as with most Japanese DVD's, it's outrageously expensive. Masters of Cinema are releasing it in 2007, though.

Apparently our very own Doug C. just finished writing the liner notes.

Edited by Guest
edited last name of Doug

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The first half of Doug Cummings' essay.

And I can't fathom why we would censor any external author's name when citing them on this or any other board, especially if we are doing so in a positive context.

But if we MUST censor his name, even in the most positive of contexts, then let us do so using his own chosen moniker. Which in this case would mean deleting the period after the C.

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I think Overstreet is about to explode with anticipatory delight.

- - -

Scorsese, King talking up 'Silence'

Martin Scorsese is determined to make "Silence" his next movie. The helmer and Graham King's GK Films are negotiating with Oscar winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio Del Toro to star. Gael Garcia Bernal is also circling the film, expected to begin production later this year in New Zealand.

Variety, February 1

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I hope this is true.

What is 100% locked in for Scorsese’s post-”Hugo Cabret” feature? According to Scorsese’s PR, none other than”Silence,” the long-gestating adaptation of Shusaku Endo‘s a drama about two 17th century Jesuit priests who face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and to spread the gospel of Christianity. A Scorsese passion project that’s been percolating since early 2009 is set to star Daniel Day-Lewis, Benicio Del Toro and Gael Garcia Bernal. Start dates are totally unknown and likely won’t come into focus until ‘Cabret’ is complete.

The script was adapted by Jay Cocks who also penned “The Age of Innocence” and the original version of “The Gangs of New York” which he started working on in 1976 (Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan also had screenwriting credits on the picture by the time in hit the screen in 2002 with Zaillian doing the lions share of the rewriting and retooling). Cocks also did an uncredited rewrite of James Cameron‘s screenplay for “Titanic.”

Last year a legal battle was brewing over “Silence,” but that appears to have been resolved.

This project has been bumped farther and farther out so many times, I think it's only appropriate that U2 be asked to do the soundtrack.

Edited by Overstreet

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Jay Cocks, eh? Not too happy about that selection.

Part of me wishes he would get back together with Paul Schrader for this film. Not that Schrader has been in particularly fine form as of late, but he and Scorsese make a good pair (there's a case to be made that their last film, BRINGING OUT THE DEAD, is better than any of the following features), and it's possible that their synergy combined with this subject matter could bring about strong results.

Edited by Ryan H.

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Tyler   

My favorite book ever. I don't care how long I have to wait, as long as we get it eventually.

Hey, mine too!

it's only appropriate that U2 be asked to do the soundtrack.

Sure they're a great band, but are you sure you want anyone associated with the Spiderman Musical attached to a project that's already had this much production trouble?

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Andrew   

A good reminder to rewatch Masahiro Shinoda's 1971 film version again - when I first saw it a few years ago, I remember being quite impressed with it. From the handful of Scorsese films I've watched over the years, I find him interesting but uneven, so I'm warily curious and a bit hopeful.

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