Martin Scorsese Panders to Jesuit Superfandom with Priests-Only ‘Silence’ Screening in Rome
Martin Scorsese has been peculiarly secretive about his long-brewing religious epic Silence. There have been no festival premieres, no advance screenings, not even a real trailer to speak of. Paramount talks a big game about an Oscar-qualifying limited release on December 23, but apart from a sizzle reel of upcoming films that the studio showed to select media types late last month, it’s been mostly rumors and hearsay. Whispers of Silence, if you will.
But an odd exclusive from Deadline today brings the news that at least somebody‘s going to see Scorsese’s passion project some time soon. At the end of November, Marty’s throwing a private screening of Silence in Rome for 400 Jesuit priests, widely known to be the most cinephile-heavy sect of Christianity. Thanks to his close relationship with U.S. Reverend James J. Martin, a prominent Jesuit and consultant on Silence, Scorsese will unveil his work of worship in one of the holiest places on Earth. The good Reverend, per Deadline, has compared the experience of watching Silence to “living in a prayer.” (He did not comment as to whether or not the film would take audiences “halfway there, whoa-whoa.”)
Scorsese’s latest is a massively-scaled adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s 1966 novel about a pair of Jesuit missionaries (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) in 17th-century Japan, searching for their lost master (Liam Neeson). The choice of material continues Scorsese’s career-long engagement with religious themes, though this looks like it’ll rank among his most explicitly Catholic pictures. Watch your back, Heaven Is For Real 3: Celestial Pajama Jam — Christian movies are about to get good again.