The Rave about Films: Silence

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Ryen McHenry

With only one month left in the 2016 film year, a prominent film titled Silence is about to be released. Silence is a historical drama directed by acclaimed film director Martin Scorsese. It is based on the 1966 novel of the same name by Shūsaku Endō. Set in the 17th century, Silence follows two Portuguese Jesuit priests played by Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman, The Social Network) and Adam Driver (Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens, Inside Llewyn Davis) who face violence and persecution when they are tasked to find their mentor in Japan. The priest Garfield’s and Driver’s characters are looking for is played by Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List, Taken).

For over 20 years, Scorsese’s 24th film has been considered one of his passion projects. Not only is the film intriguing and exciting, it brings Scorsese back to a film about faith, a subject which he covered in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). Beginning in 1990, the film didn’t come into fruition until 2009. Within that time span, Scorsese produced films such as Casino, The Departed, Shutter Island, and Hugo. After making Shutter Island, Scorsese announced Silence would be his next film. However, while developing a biopic about Frank Sinatra he put it on hold and later produced his Oscar nominated rated-R film The Wolf of Wall Street.

After the release of The Wolf of Wall Street, in 2014, it was announced Silence would be Scorsese’s next project. He collaborated with Jay Cocks – who served as the writer for other Scorsese films such as Gangs of New York and The Age of Innocence – on adapting the screenplay. The director also began scouting for shooting locations and decided to shoot in Taiwan due to lower costs for shooting. Principal photography took place from January 30th to May 15th, 2015. In October 2016, Scorsese announced the film would be complete after editing had been finished. On November 29th, 2016, the film had its premiere at the Vatican for 400 clerics including the Pope. Last week a trailer debuted. Silence is scheduled for a limited release December 23rd, in order to compete for awards season. Its release will expand to more theaters in January 2017.