Critics have compared Silence, Martin Scorsese’s latest drama, to his spiritually inclined The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and Kundun (1997). But another way of approaching Silence is in relation to Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street (2014). A cartoonish black comedy about real-life Wall Street swindler Jordan Belfort, Wolf amplified Scorsese’s filmmaking to the point of self-parody, especially with regard to the movie’s subjects: foulmouthed, macho lowlifes who tease each other, do drugs, treat women like garbage, and commit wanton acts of violence (in this case, financial). In many respects Silence is the complete opposite—a largely meditative historical epic about Portuguese Jesuit priests whose faith is tested as they try to spread Catholicism in 17th-century feudal Japan. But Silence, despite its formal deviations, is very similar to Scorsese’s other works. Continue reading>>