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His Catholic Conscience [Scorcese]
America Magazine ^ | 2/27/12 | Robert E. Lauder

Posted on 02/22/2012 7:20:30 AM PST by marshmallow

Sin and grace in the work of Martin Scorsese

In the opening moments of Martin Scorsese’s HBO documentary “George Harrison: Living in a Material World,” there is a brief but important montage. Scorsese uses a shot from a home movie in which the former Beatles’ lead guitarist, as an infant, is being baptized a Catholic; he follows it with a shot of World War II fighter planes flying over Europe. The montage, a revealing contrast of sacred and profane, the holy and the violent, vividly depicts Harrison’s essential quest: how to be spiritual in a material world. The montage also summarizes the distinguished director’s career.

I remember well my first experience of a Scorsese film; it was the third one he directed, “Mean Streets” (1973). Though at the time I was unable to articulate clearly what struck me about it, I understood that I was having a special cinematic experience. Never had I seen a film that presented such a unique mixture of Catholicism and crime. In a gangster movie like “Little Caesar” (1930), Edward G. Robinson’s character might cry out while dying, “Mother of God, is this the end of Rico?” or James Cagney’s might have a conversion experience as he approaches the electric chair in “Angels With Dirty Faces” (1938). But these were isolated religious moments rather than examples of criminal consciences caught in the Catholic mystery.

The “Godfather” films make it clear that the Italian Mafia leaders were not religious believers. Recall the powerful baptism scene at the end of “The Godfather” (1972) in which Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) claims to reject Satan and sin while at that very moment his henchmen are committing murders he has personally ordered. And while in “The Road to Perdition” (2002) the Irish Mafia members (Tom Hanks and Paul Newman) are believing.......

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TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Religion & Culture

1 posted on 02/22/2012 7:20:34 AM PST by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow
The writer of the piece is Catholic priest. I lived on Long Island so I would read the Long Island Catholic as a teen ager and afterwards. This priest would write some wonderful Film reviews in this paper. Also some I did not agree.

I always felt Father Lauder would try to prop up a Christian theme out of some nihilistic movies. I believe he admired the technique of the art of a film than the moral content at times. But never the less an interesting article.

He talks about the next movie to be about japanese christian matryrs. But what he does not tell from what I read on the script is that is about ones who renounced Christ at the end while being tortured.

This is not a real Christian filmmaker.

But never the less I always pray ever so often a specific pray for Martin Scorsese.

May God have mercy on His Soul through Jesus Christ our Lord! Amen!

2 posted on 02/22/2012 12:37:35 PM PST by johngrace (I am a 1 John 4! Christian- declared at every Sunday Mass , Divine Mercy and Rosary prayers!)
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