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  • Writer's pictureMonty Wolfe

Silence is Golden

Kevin and I finally braved the Snowpocalypse last night to go see a movie...

Because I have an obsession with seeing pre-streaming films (particularly Golden-era films) on the big screen, I wanted to walk down to 5th Avenue Cinema and catch the last showing of Gentlemen Prefer Blonds on 35mm, but Kevin was desperate for something new, so we met up at Hollywood Theater after work - which wasn't an easy endeavor, since Tri-met service is ridiculously delayed and sporadic because of the weather. There, we watched Martin Scorsese's new (30 years in the making) passion project, Silence.

Silence is the story of two Jesuit priests, played sublimely by Andrew Garfield (famous for the middle-child Spiderman reboot)...

and grotesquely skinny (but totally hot) Adam Driver (you know him - from Star Wars)...

who travel to Christian-hostile Japan...

to find a missing priest (Liam Neeson) who is rumored to have renounced the faith. Narrated by Garfield's character (but not Garfield the cat - which would have been incredible), it is quickly apparent that this is a story about Garfield's faith (again, not the cat). The question posed by the film (and Garfield as the priest) is about the silence from God - Are prayers answered or is the silence we experience indicative of an absence of God?

The movie is good... Which almost seems like a blasphemous assessment for a Scorcese film. Like the acting of the lead actors, the film itself was also sublime - Painful, tortured, beautiful, sumptuous, and sublime. Scorsese's eyebrows could direct a film better than anything I could even conceive of - but the film is not for everyone. It's slow. It's quiet. It's enigmatic and a little obtuse. It's not so much a story as it is an emotional unraveling. I came away from it perplexed, bothered, but contemplative and exhilarated.

As we shuffled back onto the snowy sidewalks, we discovered that bus service back to our house was non-existent. After a slight argument on the street about calling a taxi, Kevin and I huffed and puffed and started heading to the Max stop. At that moment, I knew my faith was being tested. I prayed to God - but all I received for an answer was... Silence... and snow.

We huddled on the platform for only a moment when I saw a glorious light in the distance. The Max was on-time - perhaps my prayers were answered. The train pulled up and we had a delightful ride... for maybe 5 stops - until it pulled up to Moda Center where a BAZILLION sports fans from the Burbs crammed into the car. Kevin and I were standing, pushed against the window. It reminded me of the photo essay that circulates on Facebook from time to time that shows people in Japan packed onto a commuter train so tight that their faces contort up against the windows.

Again, I prayed... this time for a derailment... and again, my prayers were answered with only silence.

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