The experience is extraordinary from different reasons. Martin Scorsese with a legendary career behind him breaks new ground with the fierce and renewed passion. A film made for the love of film not for box office expectations. A work of love from beginning to end. Then, Andrew Garfield. What a year for this young spectacular actor. The kindness in his eyes made the journey so personal for me. I must say that I've been very lucky because I've been lead by my mentor another Martin by the way into the world of Scorsese. I found Scorsese's films brilliant yes, but too dark, too <more>
violent and hopeless and my mentor said, "No, don't stay in the periphery, go in. You'll see Martin Scorsese's films are religious experiences" Well I got in, I saw, I felt, I understood and as a consequence I wept for most of Silence. Thank you Marty and Martin from the bottom of my heart.
Scorsese in Bergman/Dreyer mode, and it's amazing (by Quinoa1984)
It's Scorsese. Martin Scorsese. He makes the best films. Is this one of his best? Hmm....It's a personal/religious epic, but it's all about the interior self - an intimate epic, which is always the toughest to pull off. Silence chronicles morality in such a way that is staggering and with very few specks of light that is, brief relief through laughter - it does come through the character Kichijiro, more on him in a moment , and it's practically an anomaly to be released by a major studio with such a budget and big stars. This is a story that comes from history you rarely ever <more>
get to see anymore - history from a country like Japan that doesn't involve samurai at least how we see them and dealing with Christianity vs Buddhism - and it's directed with a level of vision, I mean in the true, eye-and-heart opening sense that declares that this man still has a lot to say, maybe more than ever, in his latter years.Silence is, now pondering it hours after seeing it, possibly the best "faith-based" film ever made or at least since Last Temptation of Christ ; in its unintentional way, a great antidote to those pieces of garbage like God's Not Dead and War Room which preach only to a select few and insult the intelligence of everyone else. In this story of Jesuit priests who go on a journey to find a priest who may be long gone but could be found and brought home, it's meant for adults who can and should make up their own minds on religion and God, and the persecution part of it isn't some ploy from the filmmakers for fraudulent attention. This is about exploring what it means if you have faith, or how to question others who do, and what happens when people clash based on how people see the sun. Literally, I'm serious.It's also heavier than most other films by this director, which is good but also tough to take on a first viewing. And yet it feels always like a Scorsese film, not only due to the rigorous craft on display I could feel the storyboards simmering off on to the screen, I mean that as a compliment, this is staggeringly shot by Rodrigo Prieto, I'm glad Scorsese's found another guy , or the performances from the main actors Garfield is easily giving his all, and not in any cheesy way, Driver's solid, Neeson seems to be paying some sort of penance for some mediocre action fare , but because of a key character: Kichijiro.He's someone who really fits in to the Scorsese canon of characters who are so tough to take - he makes things difficult for Rodrigues, to say the least, and yet keeps coming back like some sad pathetic dog who can't make up his mind - but, ultimately, the toughest thing of all for this Father, as it must be for this filmmaker, is 'I know he is weak and irrational and probably bad in some way... but he must be loved as all of other God's children.' So as far as unsung performances for 2016 go, Yôsuke Kubozuka follows in a tradition set out by none other than De Niro think of him in Mean Streets and Raging Bull, it's like that only not quite so angry .I may need another viewing to fully grasp it. But for now, yes, see it, of course. For all its length and vigorous explorations and depictions of suffering occasionally highly graphic , not to mention the, for Scorsese, highly unusual approach of a lack of traditional or any music or score, it's unlike anything you'll see in cinema this year, maybe the decade, for pairing the struggle of a man to reconcile his God and his responsibility to others in a repressive regime with the visual splendor of something from another time - maybe Kurosawa if he'd had a collaboration with Bergman. And yet for all of this high praise, there's also a feeling of being exhausted by the end of it. Whether that exhaustion extends to other viewings I'm not sure yet. As a life-long "fan" of this director, I was impressed if not blown away.
Agnus Dei that is, Lambs of God. What an extraordinary film.Martin Scorsese confirms his seriousness of intent and his enormous respect for his audience.He rates us so highly that he confides in us, telling us something that clearly comes straight out of his heart. Dry, severe, an intellectual's sensibility that becomes clear and accessible to all as we realize that Scorsese is not trying to sell us something but just to tell us, to share with us something that obsesses him. I was enthralled and moved throughout. The performances in a Scorsese film are always superb but in Silence, <more>
Andrews Garfield goes a step beyond superb. He managed to make his priest someone I knew personally even if his reality is far, far away from us in time and space. A masterpiece.
Shines a light on the inadequacy of both secular materialism and fundamentalist religion (by howard.schumann)
Christianity came to Western Japan in 1542 by way of Jesuit missionaries from Portugal who brought gunpowder and religion. They were welcomed mostly for the weapons they brought and their religion was allowed to be practiced openly. Christianity was banned, however, after reports circulated of missionary intolerance towards the Shinto and Buddhist religions, and there were rumors of the sale of Japanese into overseas slavery. It wasn't until the late 1630s, however, that a complete ban on Christianity was declared and enforced by the Tokugawa Shogunate and persecutions, torture, and <more>
murders were relentlessly pursued.Based on Shusaku Endo Edo's 1966 historical novel culled from the oral histories of Japanese Catholics, Martin Scorsese's masterful film Silence brings us face to face with the repression faced by the early missionaries. While the film does not condone the subjugation of religious minorities, it examines the advisability of attempting to convert a country's population without a deep understanding of their beliefs and traditions. The film opens in 1635 as two Jesuit priests, Sebastian Rodrigues Andrew Garfield, "Hacksaw Ridge" and Francesco Garrpe Adam Driver, "Paterson" , request permission from their superior Father Valignano Ciaran Hinds, "Bleed for This" to go to Japan to discover the fate of their mentor, Father Cistavio Ferreira Liam Neeson, "A Monster Calls" , rumored to have renounced his faith and to be living with a Japanese wife.The missionaries are not unaware of the persecution and murder of thousands of peasants and priests who have converted to Christianity, yet they are anxious to undertake their dangerous mission to support the local Christians and to find out the truth about Father Ferreira. When they arrive in Japan they are greeted by a group of "hidden Christians" known as "kakure kirishitan" who have been compelled to publicly renounce their faith and go into hiding to practice their faith in secret, knowing that anyone can earn 100 pieces of silver for turning in a Christian to the authorities and 300 pieces for surrendering a priest. Here, the two priests hear confessions and give baptisms and say mass in the middle of the night In order to avoid capture.Working with such past collaborators as Editor Thelma Schoonmaker "Learning to Drive" , Production Designer Dante Ferretti "Cinderella" , and Cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto "The Wolf of Wall Street" , Scorsese does not hold back in showing the graphic nature of the torture that those who are arrested must endure. This includes beheadings, being wrapped in straw and burned alive or thrown into the sea. Some are mounted on a cross and placed in the sea until death comes mercifully after repeated pounding of the waves against them. For some, to die a martyr is a high calling, one which will be rewarded in the afterlife and they accept their fate willingly similar to today's Islamic suicide bombers.Rodrigues, however, now separated from Garrpe, takes on a Christ-like appearance and begins to see himself as the personification of Jesus. He now must choose between rigidly maintaining his religious beliefs or saving the lives of innocent villagers by surrendering to the audacious Inquisitor Issey Ogata by placing his foot on a carved Christian icon known as a fumie, an act tantamount to renouncing his faith. In doing so, Rodrigues thinks about Kichijiro Yôsuke Kubozuka, "Deadman Inferno" , a convert who continually begs for the Sacrament of Penance after he apostasizes again and again. The issues are further crystallized when Rodrigues confronts the truth about Father Ferreira.While Silence does not fully achieve the transcendence of a true spiritual epic, Scorsese should be acknowledged for opening up the space for a meaningful inquiry into a subject that has perplexed countless philosophers and students of religions for centuries. Perhaps inadvertently, the film, however, does shine a light on the inadequacy of both secular materialism and fundamentalist religion to satisfy our true spiritual needs and answer the overriding question of the film. This must be answered by each person through their own direct experience. For me, to know God is to embrace the silence, to live in it, and know that it is the "source of all sound."
An artist's identity may look complex at first, but on deeper analysis a lifetime's work betrays distilled and inescapable pillars. Scorsese's Italian, Catholic, East Coast identities hide behind no subtleties. A pillar of identity does not determine one's belief system or political views. It does not control actions, opinions or decisions. It is an essence that outstays an individual's will and persists in spite of conscious choices.There are atheists, and then there are lapsed Catholics. I am of the latter sort and though I have not professed any form of faith for <more>
three-fourths of my life, the dogmas of that first fourth condition my anguish.The harrowing silence of God: His failure to answer prayers, no matter how fervent; the inescapable injustice of existence; the transparent deception that reward for suffering and iniquity is only given in the beyond from whence no one can give witness to the benevolence of the divine.This violent emptiness is an exquisite shudder down the back of those who pray and those who have long since stopped praying.And cinema, made of sounds and of images, of reflections and actions, of experience and supposition, has on occasion paused to listen to God's silence.The returning crusading knight in Bergman's The Seventh Seal 1957 heaved in exalted frustration at God's apparent indifference to the Black Death. Jehanne the Maid expected St Michael or even Christ Himself to testify for her at the trial when bishops and monks condemned her for heresy. Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc 1928 is famous for exceptionally telling the story of the trial from the point of view of the Maid and her entirely legitimate questions: If not for the most fervent martyrs for the faith, for whom will God deign to break his silence and show an inkling of his power? When will God right all the wrongs?And if life is such a precious divine gift, why does God expect its faithful to throw it away when faced by the prospect of martyrdom when a formal abjuration could preserve that life?These are inevitable questions for anyone who has ever been a Catholic. We are brought up to beg for the opportunity to be challenged to throw away the miseries of our mortal lives in witness of fervent faith and hope of eternal life.And yet, even Jesus, the first and most obvious martyr, wailed at the torment of the abandonment and loneliness left by the deafening silence of God. 'Father, why have You forsaken me?' Would this not be a good time for that drama You pulled at my baptism at the hands of John?A younger Martin Scorsese made The Last Temptation of Christ 1988 . If Jesus was man, and his suffering was to mean anything, he could not be exempt from the doubt and fear that the afterlife and the eternal righting of wrongs may be a hoax.Back when that film was out, the Catholic hierarchy rattled their fatwas at the notion of Jesus the Man wishing, even for a moment, for a long life with a wife and relative prosperity.But Jesus is no example to other humans if he cannot be imagined to have the desires of other humans: sex, money, life itself. The basic needs so devoutly to be wished for while nailed to a cross facing oblivion for a trumped up charge.And, what's worse, on behalf of a God who cannot be bothered to look at the scene for long enough to comment and comfort by some evidence or experience of His presence.Silence, is a retelling of The Last Temptation of Christ, without the confusing dogmatic debate of the duality of the Jesus figure. Instead, the heroes are 17th century Portuguese missionaries smuggled into Sengoku Japan where Christianity was banned and persecuted.Several critics have complained about the white man's burden perspective of a story on missionaries. We no longer approve of the zeal of proselytisers and we are embarrassed by the damage done in the name of the cross throughout the globe in what was arrogantly called the Age of Discovery.But the film is perfectly conscious of the incoherence, the intellectual arrogance, the disruptive and destructive venom of proselytization. It has several Japanese characters, suspiciously gracious, polite and enlightened to the extent that they are probably better representatives of our sensibilities of our time than any historically accurate bailiffs of the Nagasaki regime, making the point and poking the logical holes in Christian zeal even as they boil, behead and burn stubborn anonymous cross-wielders with a very vague appreciation of theology.But this is no historical drama, in spite of all the trappings of a Kurosawa dramatization.This is about the questions Jesus asked on the cross, and following his example, the doubts of all the Joans, Lawrences, Catherines and so on when faced by martyrdom purely on a matter of point.Why will not God speak up? How can I know God has chosen me to suffer this death and what if, after all he has not?The Jesuits in this story have different answers to those questions and the answers they give determine in one way or another their fates. But, they must wonder, where the answers they came up with truly their own, or was God thinking through them?I disagree with those who described this film excessively devotional. Devotion requires fervour, and fervour is the abject abandonment of doubt. This film is about doubt.I do not believe in God. But I always think of Him, and wonder if He thinks of me too. It is not just an artist's identity that is distilled by his work. It also distills the identity of the viewer and this film has touched mine.
Silence is amazing. Martin Scorsese has proved to be the most consistent filmmaker of all time with a great body of work for each decade he's made movies. Here he continues to be as versatile and impressive as ever. Just by looking at the past two movies he has made, Silence and The Wolf of Wall Street, you can see this man has no bounds. He's probably the only filmmaker who's quality hasn't gone down over time, and this film proves it.Although this movie is great, its not perfect. Now, this might seem to contradict everything I just wrote, but you will feel the pain all the <more>
Christians in this movie felt by siting through it. By that I mean, you'll need some serious stamina to get through the movie, it's extremely long and at times can be very boring. Its almost like Scorsese was trying to torture us so we can relate to the people on screen. Some parts feel a little repetitive too, especially after the two leads split up. The beginning drags on a little too much and so does the end. The movie didn't seem to know when to end, after the protagonist makes his final-ish decision in the movie, the movie should have been over just a bit after, but instead it kept going. I also feel people who aren't a part of a faith or really familiar with it might not enjoy some of the religious rituals depicted early on, honestly I'm religious and found a lot of those parts boring. I also didn't like that we had a disembodied God voice or the ending "reveal", its just a tool to spoon feed the message to the audience and completely unnecessary, taking us away from reality and taking away from Rodregues' struggle. The ending "reveal" was especially pointless telling us something we didn't need to be told and would have been better if the film let us doubt a bit. Despite the not-so-goodness I just talked about, this movie stuck with me in a good way. This is one of the few movies where as I thought about it more after watching it, I liked it more rather than less. It's just so rich in meaning, everything about it, the decisions each character makes, from the villagers, the three priests, and the villains of the story. Looking at the Christian villagers and the three priests, everyone makes an important decision that is perfectly fleshed out. the motives and consequences of their actions are thought provoking, but I don't want to spoil anything so I'll move on. This is also one of those movies where the title is a beautiful representation of the film. The idea of silence being both the struggle and answer to those of faith is done perfectly and kind of ruined when they give God a few lines, but I guess I'll let that slide . Looking away from the message and at the film itself, there are some scenes in this movie that are extremely tense that kept me hooked, of course there are also some less tense dragged out scenes, but when stuff happens and the plot moves it gets interesting and its too well done to ignore. The entire cast in this movie is great. Liam Neeson isn't in much of this film, but when he is the subtlety of his performance is outstanding. Specifically, his interaction with Andrew Garfield are well done, the awkwardness and genuineness of it is great. Andrew Garfield once again takes the role of a religious man who has his faith tested, pride pushed, and is hunted by the Japanese in Japan. In all honesty, The characters and the films are very different, but this and Hacksaw Ridge are two home runs for Andrew Garfield as he is excellent in both roles, probably more so in this one because of the lack of his creepy smile. Adam Driver, Tadanobu Asano, Yôsuke Kubozuka and the rest of the supporting cast were also excellent and I would have liked to see more of Adam Driver in this because his character didn't have that much of an arch. Overall loved it, it might be too long and religious for some, but I think you should be able to look past that and really see the deep meaning and excellent filmmaking at work.
The latest temptation of Martin Scorsese (by Ramascreen)
With regards to Martin Scorsese's SILENCE, let me just put it this way, I saw Scorsese's 1988's "The Last Temptation Of Christ," back when I was in college, as you know that film was also an adaptation, and I thought it was pure masterpiece just in terms of its themes because whether or not you'd want to argue that perhaps that some of the approach may have been sacrilegious or religiously inconsiderate, if you will, to me it was about wondering the what if's and whether or not doubt has any footing in order for faith to grow. To a certain extent, SILENCE conveys <more>
something similar.Based on Shusaku Endo's novel, SILENCE is about two Jesuit missionaries who travel to Japan because they have heard that their mentor, Father Ferreira Liam Neeson has publicly denounced God. At the time, Christianity was outlawed in Japan, so in their search for their missing mentor, they endure torture, suffering, and the ultimate test of faith.In a way you could say that SILENCE is Martin Scorsese's way of paying respect to the legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa especially for us fans who grew up watching old time Japan's samurai classics, although SILENCE is not action-driven obviously, but the authoritarian rule depicted in this film is definitely something that's culturally based on that particular era.From technical standpoint, SILENCE is as rich and complex as the story itself, even the violence is done in a graphic yet artistic manner. Because the story is told through Andrew Garfield's Father Rodrigues' perspective, you'll find some of the shots from inside his prison cell, looking out, with the frame being in between the wooden bars, to be quite engrossing. It makes the tension all the more real because your mind just keeps racing, you don't know how much more gruesome it would get. Odd to say this but it sort of becomes a point of anticipation, it's as if every other half-hour or so, you know some Christians are going to get tortured and so you're just bracing for impact. Martin Scorsese's ever-so-reliable high standard quality filmmaking is present through and through, so there's no disappointing you there.After being religious and full of conviction in "Hacksaw Ridge" as a Seventh-Day Adventist, actor Andrew Garfield becomes religious and full of conviction again, this time in "Silence" and what's interesting is that both films feature Japanese people. All that aside, this is yet another evidence of Garfield's commitment to his work, the same goes for Adam Driver and Liam Neeson who not only went through physical changes, you actually feel a bit concerned for their health, but that conviction is shown in their eyes. It's amazing to see how this former Spider-Man quickly this powerful force. The Japanese actors are equally outstanding, especially Issey Ogata whose performance has his own flamboyant way of being ruthless.This is Scorsese's long passion project, he had been wanting to do this film for years, but the question remains, and those of you who've watched the film are probably wondering it as well. And my answer is no, I don't think SILENCE means to demonize Buddhism. If this film is Scorsese's way of promoting Christianity, then that is his prerogative. But throughout mankind's history, there had been many cases in many lands where the majority religion, whatever religion that maybe, persecutes the minority religion because they view them as a dangerous threat; a symbol of a potential takeover. Inquisitions have happened everywhere. Which leads me back to what I said earlier about how SILENCE reminds me a lot of "The Last Temptation Of Christ," we see men who are supposed to be like rocks, seemingly falter and start to question their faith, but perhaps questioning your faith is one way of reaffirming it. Liam Neeson's character in this film has a counter argument to Andrew Garfield's Rodrigues and he may make a bit of sense if you see it from his version of truth.-- Rama's Screen --
There's a reasonable argument to say that SILENCE is one of Martin Scorsese's better movies. The talk is that it was a passion project of his for decades, finally being released in all it's artistic endeavors and mysteries. I suppose someone else could argue the opposite: that this is a story full of brutality and despair without the signature style of the aged director. I think I'm falling right on the middle on this one. This is surely one of the year's most powerful stories, and yet I have to admit it left me cold.The story follows two priests from Portugal Andrew <more>
Garfield and Adam Driver who venture into hostile Japanese country in search of their mentor, Father Ferreira Liam Neeson , who has abandoned his Christian faith. Some chalk it up to mere rumors. These two young ministers take the journey to find out for themselves.What begins as a fairly traditional story ventures into the heart of Japan in the 16th Century with a sharp attention to both detail and horror. This is less a story of a search for one man as it is an odyssey into the despair found in conflicting religious beliefs. Father Rodrigues Andrew Garfield holds hope that Ferreira is alive while also working to convert as many locals under cover of darkness. Upon landing on the shores of Japan smuggled in on small fishing boats from China , he encounters villages of faithful Christians who worship in secret. For them, the arrival of Rodrigues and Father Garupe Driver is confirmation of their beliefs. Through language barriers, it seems that God is always present.As we delve further into the country towards Nagasaki where Ferreira is said to be held , the two priest break off on separate journeys. Rodrigues, though oftentimes alone, is shadowed by a Japanese recluse named Kichijiro, a drunk who once betrayed his faith in order to spare his life he witnessed the execution of his entire family but returns to the faith time again in order to make Confession and amends with the Lord. Rodrigues continues to absolve him, and yet this is the slow unraveling of an aspect of this story: do the Japanese really comprehend the religion in the same way Westerners do?There are three people who make this movie better than average: Andrew Garfield surely gives one of the year's best performances as a man trapped in his own personal Hell, forced to grapple between martyrdom and eternal damnation. It's a strong year for Garfield, getting accolades and Oscar buzz for his other leading role in 'Hacksaw Ridge.' Trust me, this is the better performance. Second is the skill of Martin Scorsese, who slowly paints a portrait of a time long forgot with such attention to tone. It's a horrifying and at times morbid story to sit through, but there was never a moment I found myself any less than fully-focused and contemplative.Third is a surprise, a breakthrough performance by a Japanese actor named Issey Ogata who gives without a doubt one of the year's most memorable performances. Throughout the film the Christians living in Japan are routinely inspected by samurai officials who intend to hunt down and capture any found citizens in violation of the law. One such official is Inoue Masashige Ogata who treats the job with a certain flair. Constantly waving a fan and with an ear to ear smile, this is a performance that steps above the rest of the cast by perfectly encapsulating the braggadocious nature of Japanese law without missing a beat. It's a winking devil performance that I hope the Oscars won't look over.'Silence' is at times hard to palpate and yet rewards the audience for it's patience. Whether or not this film can be interpreted as being pro or anti-Catholic is maybe not the ultimate message of this film. While the final act delves into a horrifyingly-dark arena, consider the final shot before the credits begin to role I won't spoil it . In such a brutal era with antiquated customs, isn't there still hope left to be found?
Powerful, meditative religious epic on struggles with faith and persecution by the master Scorcese (by heisenberg12)
Silence is an incredibly well made film about the struggles of early Japanese Christians in the 1600s against religious persecution. Martin Scorcese directs a near masterpiece of a film, beautifully shot, with powerful scenes and good all- around acting. His depiction of 17th century Japan is absolutely stunning, and the story is easy to follow despite the clashing of languages. Gar field and Driver are sent from Portugal to find Father Fierera, who is feared to have renounced his faith among the persecuted Christians. What they discover is the hostility towards Japanese Christians is violent <more>
and intolerant. It's a story of the struggle of faith and how far would you go to remain true to your faith and beliefs. In the end, the answer might not be what you would expect. How the inner belief differs from the outward profession is brought into discussion as the consequences of nonconformity to cultural absolutes enforced by the empire's oppression of foreign religious sects may undermine their cause. A well-made movie on many fronts, Silence is unique and comes off like a spiritual, exploratory epic and a work of art with much more depth and insight than most movies this year. It seems like a movie that could have been shot in the 80s as it has an older feel and ambiance to its staging, pacing, cinematography, and characters.While the movie is long, it is mostly engaging, and although the pacing is slower, it still maintains your interest in this reflective, introspective epic.8/10