Ten years ago, responding to rumors he’d sought to retire, Martin Scorsese succinctly replied, “You’ll have to tackle me to stop me.” Like a lunar cycle following the director on the occasion of three-hour-plus epics starring Leonardo DiCaprio, received wisdom again has it the man’s looking to settle down–then again, a rather elegiac interview on the eve of Killers of the Flower Moon‘s debut would only generate attention of the sort.
Between that film’s Cannes premiere (we have reliably heard it’s very good) and October 20 release, a fantastic profile from Stephanie Zacharek mentions a couple of irons in Scorsese’s fire. Among “lots of movie projects” are an adaptation of Marilynne Robinson’s Home, companion novel to her Pulitzer-winner Gilead, and the synopsis of which is simply steeped in Late Style:
The Reverend Boughton’s hell-raising son, Jack, has come home after twenty years away. Artful and devious in his youth, now an alcoholic carrying two decades worth of secrets, he is perpetually at odds with his traditionalist father, though he remains his most beloved child. As Jack tries to make peace with his father, he begins to forge an intense bond with his sister Glory, herself returning home with a broken heart and turbulent past.
There’s also the matter of his Jesus movie––the new Jesus movie, not that old one. Scorsese claimed that, after visiting the Vatican earlier this year, he “responded to the Pope’s appeal to artists in the only way I know how: by imagining and writing a screenplay for a film about Jesus.” One wonders what new territory there is to explore; Scorsese seems to think there’s plenty. And it seems worth sharing his full quote, so intriguing it is, that in addition to growing from “some of the ideas he explored in Silence,” well:
I don’t know what it’s going to be, exactly. I don’t know what you’d call it. It wouldn’t be a straight narrative. But there would be staged scenes. And I’d be in it.
Is this Cassavetes (ahem) disciple gearing up for his Opening Night? Has this old friend of New York’s underground cinema been revisiting the work of Yvonne Rainer? Such a deeply personal, possibly fragmentary vision from a master in his twilight years––as a long-lapsed Catholic I finally have something to thank the Pope for.