Martin Scorsese is on a tour of Italy after Cannes, where over the weekend the notoriously religious director met with Pope Francis and announced he would make a film about Jesus.
“I responded to the Pope’s call to artists in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a script for a film about Jesus,” Scorsese announced Saturday during a Rome conference at the Vatican, according to multiple sources. references. “And I’m about to start doing it,” the director added, suggesting that this could be his next film.
Also on Saturday, before attending the conference – titled “The Global Aesthetics of the Catholic Imagination” – Scorsese and his wife Ellen Morris met with Pope Francis during a brief private audience at the Vatican.
The conference was organized by the Jesuit publication La Civiltà Cattolica and Georgetown University. Antonio Spadaro, editor of the religious magazine, told the publication’s website that during their conversation at the confab Scorsese exchanged references to his films and personal anecdotes and explained “How he was moved by the Holy Father’s appeal ‘to let us see the Jesus”. he said.
As for movie references, during the conversation Scorsese mentioned his admiration for Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to Matthew. Scorsese also spoke about the meaning of his own 1988 epic The Last Temptation of Christ and the “next step in his investigation of the figure of Jesus” represented by the smaller-scale 2016 persecution drama Silence of the Jesuit Christians in 17th century Japan. This film was screened in 2016 at the Vatican. Francis is the first Jesuit Pope and is known to have joined the Jesuit order hoping to become a missionary in Japan.
Scorsese’s manager, Rick Yorne, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the director’s new religion-related project.
Scorsese’s Italian tour also includes a series of screenings of his films, alongside works that have inspired his work, which he will present on Monday at Rome’s Casa del Cinema. a master class on Tuesday for students of Rome’s Centro Sperimentale film school. and a discussion on stage on Friday in Bologna, where he will be a guest of Cineteca di Bologna, the films that run the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival dedicated to heritage cinema.
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