I attended a yacht party in Cannes today for Martin Scorsese and Silence, the long-gestating, much-delayed historical drama set in 17th Century Japan that Scorsese will finally begin directing in June 2014. Andrew Garfield, Ken Watanabe and Issei Ogata will costar. The floating soiree was thrown by Emmett/Furla Films, which is producing. The hosts were producers Randall Emmett and Emma Tillinger Koskoff.
(l.) 42West honcho Leslee Dart, (r.) director Martin Scorsese during yacht party earlier today for Silence.
Scorsese arrived about a half-hour after things began, and his publicist Leslee Dart allowed me to speak with him for about four minutes. Mainly we talked about the restored Shane (“I’m waiting to see it…I hear it looks fantastic”). He and George Stevens, Jr. conferred about Shane, he said (presumably about the aspect-ratio situation) and just before they were about to get in touch with Warner Home Video, which will release the Shane Bluray in August, they were told that WHV had flipped on the 1.66 aspect ratio position and that they’d decided to go with 1.37.
Scorsese also mentioned that work is being gone on forthcoming restorations of Nicholas Ray‘s Rebel Without A Cause, Elia Kazan‘s East of Eden and George Stevens‘ Giant. I told Scorsese that the restored Giant actually screened at the TCM Classic Film Festival last month, which he hadn’t been told about.
Scorsese said that he first resolved to direct Silence, an adaptation of a 1966 fictional novel by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, in 1990. But that he and screenwriter Jay Cocks didn’t really get the script right until ’05 or ’06. Not a word has been changed in the script since.
Silence producer Randall Emmett, 42West’s Leslee Dart, producer Emma Tillinger Koskoff — Thursday, 5.26, 6:25 pm.
Set in 17th Century Japan, Silence is the story of a Jesuit missionary, Father Rodrigues (Garfield) who endured discrimination and persecution for his Christianity. It sounds grim and austere, but Koskoff assured me that Silence won’t be Kundun 2. In ’07 Scorsese announced his intention to direct an adaptation of Silence. In 2009 it was reported that Daniel Day-Lewis and Benicio del Toro had been signed to star. Earlier this year Garfield and Watanabe were announced as attached to the film adaptation, which enters production in June 2014.
Why is Scorsese in Cannes? Presumably to help raise Silence funds. I can’t believe he’d come all the way to Cannes just to attend a yacht party and schmooze with people like me.