Martin Scorsese spent two decades trying to bring “Silence” to the big screen, and so when he assembled his first cut of the film it understandably came in long. One report early in 2016 suggested Scorsese’s initial cut clocked in at 195 minutes, a full half-hour longer than the final release version which comes in at 161 minutes.
Collider spoke with the film’s star Andrew Garfield this week about the movie, of which he’s seen both versions. Asked if there was a big difference in the two cuts or just an overall tightening, he says:
“Yeah, I think the last thing you said. I would’ve loved the longer cut just because I love the film so much and I wanted everything that he shot to be on screen. I feel the film is timeless in terms of its narrative, there’s something very mysterious about it.
So yeah, the final cut is just a tighter version of the first one I saw, with a lot of fat trimmed out. But fat that was hard to take away because it’s such a rich story and how do you get it down to even two and a half hours. You’re dealing with big questions, you’re dealing with the meaning of life really, the meaning of why we’re all here.
Scorsese famously is a director who doesn’t really do the ‘Director’s Cut’ style thing (ala Ridley Scott or Oliver Stone), but might he make an exception with this? Asked what would it take to convince Scorsese to show that longer cut on Blu-ray, Garfield says:
“I don’t know if it would take much convincing, I think that would be pretty amazing. I wonder whether he has an assembly of his original cut. I’m sure he would need to polish it, so maybe that’s just a bit more work than he’s able to do right now. But wouldn’t that be amazing. What do you have to do? I don’t know, maybe get a petition started, or maybe we could make a viral video for him. I don’t know. That would be amazing though, I’d love that too.”
“Silence,” which opened to strong reviews, is currently in cinemas.