With so many projects on the go at once, perhaps it’s not surprising to hear Martin Scorsese share the following sentiment: “… I’ve never been on vacation. I began with my wife Helen. And with my daughter Francesca, who’s turning fourteen. Now I’m taking a break for a week, a week and a half. We might go and visit my wife’s family in Maine. But normally no, I don’t go on vacation. I work, I read, I go to dinner with friends, I listen to music,” the director told Swide magazine as part of a wide ranging interview. But of course, it wouldn’t be a discussion without talk of some of the many projects that are keeping him busy.
The current schedule for Scorsese is to make his long-developing dream project “Silence” next, followed by “The Irishman” which will re-team him with Robert De Niro. But for a spell a couple of years ago, it seemed the wheels were turning hard on “Sinatra,” the biopic of the famed crooner. Scott Rudin came on board to produce, writers were being sought, 3D was toyed with and even leading men were discussed. And then nothing. But Scorsese confirms that it’s still a gig on his table, telling the magazine, “That project’s still going strong.”
And while he didn’t offer up much else in the way of details, the connection with Scorsese to the singer is personal. “I grew up before rock’n’roll. The music in our house was the music that came out of the radio. Bing Crosby, Cole Porter, Frank Sinatra…”
Indeed, some of Scorsese’s best pictures have grown out of what he experienced or saw on the streets going up, while his faith has also been deeply important to his cinematic vision. And after creating a stir with “The Last Temptation Of Christ” and once again exploring the limits of the devout in “Silence,” it seems there are even more stories he wants to tell about men of God. And he’s got another faith based project in the works for TV.
“Right now I have a project for HBO, the pay TV cable channel, about another big name in the Church….Celestine V,” he shared. “…It’s a story that takes place over just a few days. And it’s great.”
So what makes Pope Celestine V such an intriguing figure? He’s the only Pope to have ever resigned from the position, with history deeming Celestine V as one of the more ineffective church leaders to come along. Most of his edicts were annulled by his successor and it’s said he wasn’t cut out for the political aspects that the role of Pope required. So yeah, fascinating material and we’d guess with the story being told in such a tight frame, it’ll likely center around his decision to step down.
And while both of these projects represent different sides to Scorsese’s complex personality, his own personal standard for the best of his abilities is “Italianamerican,” the short 1974 documentary about his own parents, which he still considers his finest work. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Scorsese declared. “It was then I realized that just one image of one person can tell a story. A world. They were better than actors, but they weren’t actors.”
Thus, another day, and more from Scorsese to consider as his work ethic puts us all to shame. Be sure to read the entire interview where he talks about doing ads to raise financing for films, the violence in his movies and much more.