Martin Scorsese, American film director, screenwriter, producer, actor, and film historian, is arguably one of the best directors of his time. His lifelong dream was to make a movie about his faith, about Christ. He was inspired from a very young age by the church
, art, and movies. The Last Temptation of Christ was a movie in which he was preparing for mentally for most of his life. I will discuss how certain artists and their works influenced scenes and casting in Last Temptation.
Scorsese’s religious background gave him the inspiration and desire that he poured into making The Last Temptation of Christ, based on the book by Nikos Kazantzakis. Scorsese discusses how he was inspired from a very young age by the church. In an interview with Jim Leach, of The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Scorsese says, “I guess the first art that I was exposed to was religious art, plaster saints in the church, and then literally the great masters, pictures being discussed in class,” and “A lot of this found its way into The Last Temptation of Christ. There’s a crucifixion scene which was copied directly from this painting by Antonello de Messina” (Leach, Web). Scorsese was inspired by art from the moment he was introduced to it in the third grade according to the interview. And a lot of what he saw made its way into his many films.
The casting of Jesus for this film was based upon what people typically see in religious art pieces. Scorsese wanted to keep with the tradition of what was portrayed in religious art because he felt that this Jesus would be more relatable to the viewers. In the book, Martin Scorsese: A Journey by Mary Kelly, Scors...
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...lm, The Last Temptation of Christ, from artists such as Caravaggio, Bosch, and Messina. He was inspired by the use of light, the traditional religious icons and more contemporary versions of Mary Magdalene. Visual art and his religious background and its history were key elements in the making of this film. Without Scorsese and his muses, this film would likely not have been the same.
Ebert, Roger. Scorsese by Ebert. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008. Print.
Kelly, Mary Pat. "Passion." Martin Scorsese: A Journey. New York: Thunder's Mouth, 1991. 201-44. Print.
The Last Temptation of Christ. Dir. Martin Scorsese. Perf. Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel. Universal, 1988. DVD. Criterion Collection
Leach, Jim. "The Art of Martin Scorsese." National Endowment for the Humanities. The National Endowment for the Humanities, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013.
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