'Cinema is gone,' says Martin Scorsese
By Jake Coyle, AP
December 22, 2016, 12:22 am TWN
NEW YORKMartin Scorsese's Manhattan office, in a midtown building a few blocks northwest of the cordoned-off Trump Tower, may be the most concentrated bastion of reverence for cinema on the face of the earth.
There's a small screening room where Scorsese screens early cuts of his films and classic movies for his daughter and his friends. There's his personal library of thousands of films, some he taped himself decades ago. Film posters line the walls. Bookshelves are stuffed with film histories. And there are editing suites, including the one where Scorsese and his longtime editor Thelma Schoonmaker regularly toil with a monitor dedicated to the continuous, muted playing of Turner Classic Movies.
"It's a temple of worship, really," says Schoonmaker.
Scorsese's latest, "Silence," may be the film that most purely fuses the twin passions of his life: God and cinema. Scorsese, who briefly pursued becoming a priest before fervently dedicating himself to moviemaking, has sometimes seemed to conflate the two.
30 Years in the Making
"Silence" is a solemn, religious epic about Jesuit priests (Andrew Garfield, Adam Driver) in a violently anti-Catholic 17th century Japan. Scorsese has wanted to make it for nearly 30 years. He was given the book it's based on, Shusaku Endo's 1966 novel, by a bishop after a screening of his famously controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" in 1988.
"Silence" is an examination of belief and doubt and mysterious acts of faith. But making the film was such an act in itself.
"Acting it out, maybe that's what existence is all about," Scorsese says of his faith. "The documentary on George Harrison I made, 'Living in the Material World,' that says it better.
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