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Thread: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

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    Japan Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Shūsaku Endō (1923-1996) was a Japanese writer, one of the significant authors after WWII.

    His novel Silence, written in 1966, is set in 1637 in Japan.

    The story begins with the news came in the Church, in Rome: Crist?v?o Ferreira, a Portuguese missioner in Japan, renounced Christ, after he had been tortured in Nagasaki. Since Ferreira was a longtime, respected missioner in Japan and also source of inspiration for many priests and believers, it was hard to believe that such a man would do such incomprehensible thing, although the Christians were constantly prosecuted since 1587, from Hideyoshi's regime onwards.

    The group of missioners is formed to go to Japan and investigate the whole situation; among them were Portuguese priests and Ferreira’s students Francisco Garrpa and Sebastian Rodrigues. Since Japanese borders were closed, they had to “sneak in”. Soon after they had come in Japan, they had to separate. Unfortunately, Rodrigues got caught and was incarcerated. Now, in front of Rodrigues stays a great trial: to renown his faith and save the local Christians from certain death by terrible torturing or not ...

    During Rodrigues’ stay in Japan, he saw many suffering of Japanese Christians, so he constantly asks himself why God is silent, why God allows such terrible things to happen.

    Another interesting character is a Japanese peasant and also a Christian, Kichijiro, Judas-like character. In one moment in the novel, he asks himself why God made him weak and put in front of him tasks that require strength that he, of course, doesn’t have.

    This is a great novel about faith and human compassion and it surely deserves .
    Last edited by sirena; 08-Sep-2011 at 21:32.
    The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it... I can resist everything but temptation.Oscar Wilde

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Thanks.. this prompts me to take up 'Deep River' sooner.
    Jayan



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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    There is apparently a film, directed by Marin Scorsese in 2016.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    There is apparently a film, directed by Marin Scorsese in 2016.
    It got lots of press and nearly endless television commercials for a month. It's still in theaters in some places.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    I'm abroad in a tiny Welsh village at the moment, the only thing playing at the local movie theater (I kid you not) is the stupid Batman lego movie,

  6. #6

    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    At least you got to watch Y Gwyll when it aired.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Just saw the movie.. If its anything like the book, I think that I'll spend my free time reading something else.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    Just saw the movie.. If its anything like the book, I think that I'll spend my free time reading something else.
    If you choose not to read the book because you didn't like the movie, I think you're making a mistake. I suspect that's true in most cases: no matter how true to the text, there has never been a movie that could capture the pleasure of the prose. (As to movies where scenes, story lines, and even endings are invented--as here--the less said the better.)
    Last edited by tiganeasca; 30-Apr-2017 at 14:33.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    ^I think you are also making a mistake insisting that the film should be true to the prose. No, the only thing the film should be true to is film (by which I mean, the spirit of cinema). Which is why some adaptations that significantly change the plot of a given book are still good films when judged by cinematic criteria. If you want a movie that captures the pleasure of the prose as you call it, just paste the text onto the reel and watch it scroll.

    That being said, I can't speak for this film as I haven't seen it, but from what other people tell me it's not that good. And these are people who haven't read the novel, so they have nothing to compare it to, they just thought it was a weak film.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Actually, I don't think my post said that the film must be true to the prose. I agree completely that the film (any film) is an independent artistic work and, as such, should be judged by the criteria of film-making. My point was precisely the same as yours: that the poster ought not to judge the book by the film. I have seen films that were almost completely literal--as well as "loose"--adaptations produce both excellent and poor films. All I was trying to convey was that the media are different and that (among other things) no filmmaker can possibly capture the pleasure of the prose. A filmmaker may create different, indeed multiple, other pleasures, but not the pleasure of the prose. And in this instance, one of the rewards of the book, in my judgment, is the pleasure of the prose.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Ah, I'm sorry to have misunderstood you,

    It's true that some films fail entirely to capture the spirit of the source material, and fail massively as films also. It seems Silence might belong to this latter category, though I can't claim that with any degree of certainty (not having seen it and all).

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    I haven't read the novel yet, but I've watched the movie and I must say I enjoyed it immensely.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Liam--no, my fault. I wasn't very clear about what I had to say. Amazing how what's so clear in my head never quite makes it down into the written word in a way that it's so abundantly, convincingly clear as it was in my head.
    As to the film: part of my problem was that I simply didn't buy Andrew Garfield in his role as Sebastian. At all. It didn't help that I thought the movie failed to communicate the intense devotion that came across so clearly in the book. And the ending was simply invented. I didn't think it true to the book or its spirit in any way whatsoever. So, beautiful as the film was visually, wonderful as bits and pieces of it may have been, it ultimately failed for me both as a film or as a representation of a book I consider deeply moving.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    A lot of reviews said that Adam Driver should have swapped and gotten The main role. I agree with that.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Yeah, I know that its a terrible idea to judge a book by watching the movie, but I really hated the movie.. I just meant that if the novel is even remotely like the film...I'll pass on this one.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by hoodoo View Post
    Yeah, I know that its a terrible idea to judge a book by watching the movie, but I really hated the movie.. I just meant that if the novel is even remotely like the film...I'll pass on this one.
    Please don't! I haven't watched the movie, but the novel is amazing.

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    Default Re: Shūsaku Endō: Silence

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel del Real View Post
    Please don't! I haven't watched the movie, but the novel is amazing.
    Ah...a gentleman with exquisite sensibilities and superb taste!

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