The Break
by The Break

Silence, a film adaptation of Shūsaku Endō’s historical fiction novel, is the “dream project” of director Martin Scorsese. Set in 17th Japan, but entirely shot in Taiwan, the film deals with faith and martyrdom in an age of religious persecution. The Oscar-winning director returned to Taiwan last week to promote and attend the premiere of Silence – and met with filmmakers from various countries, including Singapore.

Silence marks the first English-language film entirely shot in Taiwan

Invited by CATCHPLAY ON DEMAND, Boo Junfeng, director of the acclaimed Apprentice, met Scorsese and conducted a brief interview. Boo presented a screener of Apprentice to Scorsese and was glad to hear that the latter already knew the film. At the end of the interview, they took a selfie, and people were quick to point out their similarities with characters from a certain Pixar movie:

Purely Coincidental. (credit: Boo Junfeng)

Also invited to meet Scorsese in Taipei were Indonesian director/screenwriter Riri Riza and film producer Mira Lesmana. Together they produced Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? (What's Up with Love?), a 2002 teen drama considered to be groundbreaking and controversial at the time, and one of Indonesia’s highest-grossing films. They exchanged ideas on filmmaking with Scorsese during the interview.

Riri Riza (left) and Mira Lesmana (right) with Scorsese (credit: Mira Lesmana)

Another director to show up at the premiere, as a special guest, was Hsiao-Hsien Hou, famed Taiwanese filmmaker whose most recent film, The Assassin, helped him win Best Director at Cannes 2015. Both Hou and Scorsese were happy to meet each other, expressing admiration for each other’s work. Hou’s production designer for The Assassin, Wen-Ying Huang, assisted Scorsese during location scouting and was impressed by Scorsese’s team. Hou cited Mean Streets as a film that “mesmerised” him; and Scorsese said that Hou’s filmography had influenced him greatly.

Hou (right) and Scorsese shared friendly conversations both on and off stage

Silence will see release on 16th February 2017 in Singapore.