Just stumbled across this piece, His Catholic Conscience – Sin and grace in the work of Martin Scorsese from Rev. Robert E. Lauder for America magazine. Figured it would be a rubbishy oul religious thing, but turns out it’s actually worth a read.
Marty was actually all set to be a priest as a young man living in the Bronx. There’s a quote often attributed to him which shows just how ready he was to go down the path of following his vocation – “I just wanted to be an ordinary parish priest“. Thankfully he realised he might actually be pretty good at this movie game and went on to create some of the greatest films of the 20th century. Since the 1970s, critics and academics have always looked for signs of how religion has informed his body of work, but truth be told I’m not sure there is any huge influence.
I could spend days reading about the morality at play in Mean Streets, The Godfather and Road to Perdition and while the article is obviously preaching to the choir, it’s still a worthwhile read. Unfortunately the closing gambit managed to knock me for six…
After viewing Scorsese’s first film, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” (1967), his teacher at N.Y.U., Haig Manoogian, summed up the film, “Too much Good Friday, not enough Easter Sunday.” That is an excellent criticism, not only of the first film, but of the corpus of Scorsese’s work.
[..] If Scorsese could see in the world more powerful evidence of Easter Sunday than of Good Friday, or if St. Paul’s proclamation that “where sin did abound, grace does more abound” could color his conscience more, this exceptionally gifted artist might create films even greater than those he already has made. Might he then produce the masterpiece that so far has eluded him? I cannot help but wonder.
– His Catholic Conscience
So Marty is still in need of a masterpiece? REALLY?!
I reckon the fact that film students across the world would sooner look to him and not the big man upstairs suggests he’s done pretty OK since realising film superseded faith…