Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

The Next Is Silence

Deadline Hollywood‘s Mike Fleming, Jr. has the scoop:

Martin Scorsese will finally realize his long-held dream to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel about 17th century Jesuits who risk their lives to bring Christianity to Japan. Financing for the film has been secured […]. The plan is to shoot in Taiwan in July 2014 […].

When I interviewed Scorsese for Hugo during our awards season coverage two years ago, I asked him about why his passion for Silence has never waned. Here is what he said:

DEADLINE: You’ve tried to adapt the Shusaku Endo novel Silence, about 17th century Jesuits who risk their lives to bring Christianity to Japan. It isn’t commercial, it has been hard to finance, but it looks like you’ll finally get your chance to make it. Why has it been so important to you?

SCORSESE: My initial interests in life were very strongly formed by what I took seriously at that time, and 45-50 years ago I was steeped in the Roman Catholic religion. As you get older, ideas go and come. Questions, answers, loss of the answer again and more questions, and this is what really interests me. […]

DEADLINE: We Catholics are always struggling for answers.

SCORSESE: There are no answers. We all know that.* You try to live in the grace that you can. But there are no answers, but the point is, you keep looking. […]

Comments

  1. Silence is one of the most profoundly disturbing books I have ever read. I’m not sure I can handle a movie, but it will be interesting to see what Scorcese does with it.

    That last statement–sounds profound at 19 maybe. One could probably write an essay on the implications. I’m glad he’s still looking, but he has to be seriously lying to himself if he thinks that somebody that’s been looking for answers for 70 years doesn’t think there are any.

    AMDG

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

      I’m glad he’s still looking, but he has to be seriously lying to himself if he thinks that somebody that’s been looking for answers for 70 years doesn’t think there are any.

      I agree. Even so, even real answers may be susceptible to deeper and deeper understanding over time, and may themselves prompt new questions.

      • True. And I love these directors and authors who, although they have rejected the Catholic Church, seem to be unable to stop circling around her and examining her from different angles.

        Well, I tried to post something very like this twice this morning and got an error screen, so we will see if this works.

        AMDG

        • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

          And I love these directors and authors who, although they have rejected the Catholic Church, seem to be unable to stop circling around her and examining her from different angles.

          Me, too, and I don’t begrudge anybody an honest doubt. I know firsthand that they exist. It’s the dishonest doubts that gall — the ones that involve obstinacy, willful ignorance, intellectual sloth or sloppiness, and/or self-deception (as would almost — almost! — have to be necessary in one who’s been ‘looking for answers for 70 years’ yet asserting there are none). ‘Bad faith’, indeed. An honest doubt is like the diagnosis of a terminal disease: It concentrates the mind. A dishonest doubt is more like a rash.

          I guess what I’m saying is that the pleasure of watching Marty Scorsese deal with his Christ-hauntedness and Church-hauntedness is something like the pleasure of scratching a rash –?

          Well that’s enough commenting for one night.

          • Being haunted by Christ-haunted, Church-haunted authors, directors, etc., has caused me to spend many hours watching and reading things that are not necessarily the most excellent in search of that moment of grace that sneaks in here and there.

            AMDG

            • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

              Care to name names, Janet? No pressure; just curious!

              • Well, you will probably think me crazy.

                One was the TV series, The Pretender. I don’t know if you remember this, but briefly, it was about abnormally intelligent children who had been taken from their parents and brought up in a mysterious place called The Centre, and trained and used for The Centre’s nefarious ends. It started off fairly light-hearted, but as the series progressed it got darker and darker. I started to notice that almost everyone (and I only say almost because I’m not entirely sure–might have been everyone) that helped the children escape or helped them in any way was Catholic. There were rosaries featured in a few of them. The darker it got, the more the Catholicism showed up as a light. In one episode where the main characters were in danger, another character is kneeling in a circle of candles praying the rosary. Near the end, they find a lab in the center in which was kept the remains of failed genetic research. There was a really strong pro-life message in that one.

                Now, along with all this was a lot of nonsense and a storyline that got so confused that I’m sure the writers wondered how to get out of the mess they had gotten themselves into. They didn’t seem to have anything like a good understanding of what Catholicism is about, but it was so positive about the Church that I found it I’m not even sure why we started watching the show, but once I noticed the always positive portrayal of the Church, I was hooked.

                Still, I’m not sure I could ever recommend it to anyone.

                And X-Files. Again, the writers seemed to be caught in the Catholic headlights. There were pretty frequent appearances of the Church, and always postive as far as I can remember. Scully was supposed to have been raised Catholic, and if so, she must have been the stupidest Catholic ever. She got everything wrong. I wish I could remember what she said about stigmatas (stigmatae?), but it made me laugh out loud.

                There are other things which aren’t so obvious and where these moments of grace just appear, and I know the writers/directors aren’t Christian and yet there they are. The best example I can think of is True Grit, which of course is not terrible at all, and which I’m sure you know all about anyway.

                I’m extremely busy and my head is full of two books that I have to discuss this week, neither of which I’ve finished, but I’ll mention other things if they come to mind. They are hiding from me at the moment.

                AMDG

          • Sometimes when I read things like this, I hear the person expressing a feeling of resignation, not necessarily doubt. At 70 that’s to be expected, no? I wonder if the person didn’t mean to say something more along the lines of “There are no satisfying answers” or “There are no solutions.”

            • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

              And this would be an excellent beginning to a potentially fruitful discussion of what constitutes an ‘answer’ — in which discussion I have not at present the time, alas, to participate.

              • Just came across this yesterday, which seemed timely. Only some food for thought. No pressure to respond!

                “If people were to really read me, they might not take it for granted that I could simply reach into the back of my mind for a dish of ready-to-serve Catholic answers about everything under the sun. It seems to me that one of the reasons why my writing appeals to many people is precisely that I am not so sure of myself and do not claim to have all the answers. In fact, I often wonder quite openly about these ‘answers,’ and about the habit of always having them ready. The best I can do is to look for some of the questions.”

                Happy Sunday, Korrektiv.

                • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

                  Ah, yes…. Thanks, Ellen; I’d almost forgotten that particular ‘deep cut’! It’s great to see you delving into the later encyclicals of Pius IX.

                  • I don’t trust late Merton. Do you trust late Merton?

                    AMDG

                    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

                      Handy heuristic: Never trust anybody over 30, except Ratzinger.

                    • Oh, dear.

                      What happens at thirty?

                    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says:

                      I would ask those who coined the phrase in the 1960s (minus the Ratzinger exception, which I added, but which is so self-evident it should have been implicit all along), though they’re all well over 30 by now, so we couldn’t trust what they have to say.

                      I could tell you after my next birthday, but by then, you shouldn’t trust me, either.

                    • Even when I was 18, I thought that was stupid.

                      AMDG

  2. Matthew Lickona says:
  3. Well, there are no answers sounds very apophatic. You can be a Catholic apophatic (carefully). In any case, will be interested to see it.

  4. Bets, meet hedge.

    JOB

  5. Added to my “must see” list along with “Living in the Material World.” I’ve been on a Beatles kick for weeks. Thanks, Angelico!

Speak Your Mind

*