Sandy, James and Jeremy return to the airwaves for 2017 with a review of Martin Scorsese's latest epic, Silence. The release of Silence marks the end of Martin Scorsese's 27-year-long journey to film Shusake Endo's powerful novel about Jesuit missionaries fighting against the persecution of Christians in 17th Century Japan. We take this as an opportunity to discuss the other films in Scorsese's canon, which grapple with the power and agony of faith – namely, The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Mean Streets (1973) and Kundun (1997).
The British Film Institute is screening all of Martin Scorsese's films in it retrospective of the directors' work over January, and we highly recommend taking the opportunity to go and see these films on the big screen – details here.
The intensity of the controversy surrounding Scorsese's adaptation of The Last Temptation of Christ is a fascinating one, especially given that Scorsese himself is a practicing Catholic, who expressed his desire to explore his own religion through his art. In Silence Scorsese returns to his exploration of the significance of suffering to the Catholic identity and the burden that religious persecution places upon the faithful. Here are two links for anyone keen to learn more about the background to the movies we discuss on this episode:
Naturally, we expect an episode in which we discuss representations of martyrdom, theology and crises of faith to inspire some strong responses in our audience, to which we say, SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS! Please email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can discuss them on the next episode of the show. Back episodes of FOEC can be found on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, A-cast and Mixcloud.
00:00 – Intro + audio clip from Silence.
05:15 – SPOILER-FREE review of Silence.
19:50 – SPOILERS START for Silence.
25:54 – Discussing The Last Temptation of Christ + audio clip.
37:10 – Discussing Mean Streets + audio clip.
48:00 – Discussing Kundun + clip from the soundtrack by Phillip Glass.
THEME MUSIC: 'Film Film Film!' by Vladimir Golovanov, Fyodor Khitruk and Sokol from Film Film Film! (Фильм, фильм, фильм, 1968)
FILMS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Silence (2016, Italy/Japan/Mexico/Taiwan/UK/USA – dir. Martin Scorsese)
The Passion of the Christ (2004, USA – dir. Mel Gibson)
Mulholland Drive (2001, USA – dir. David Lynch)
Kundun (1997, USA – dir. Martin Scorsese)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988, USA – dir. Martin Scorsese)
The Last Emperor (1987, Italy/UK – dir. Bernardo Bertolucci)
Mean Streets (1973, USA – dir. Martin Scorsese)
ALSO CHECK OUT:
Bringing Out the Dead (1999, USA – dir. Martin Scorsese)
Tetsuo: the Iron Man (1989, Japan – dir. Shinya Tsukamoto)