An interview with Scorsese
editor Thelma Schoonmaker
By Iain Blair
Thelma Schoonmaker and Martin Scorsese go together like Lennon and McCartney, or Ben and Jerry. It’s hard to imagine one without the other.
Simply put, Schoonmaker has been Martin Scorsese’s go-to editor and key collaborator over the course of 23 films and half a century, winning Oscars for Raging Bull, The Aviator and The Departed. Now 77, she also recently received a career achievement award at the American Cinema Editors’ 67th Eddie Awards.
She cut Scorsese’s first feature, Who’s that Knocking at My Door, and since Raging Bull has worked on all of his feature films, including such classics as The King of Comedy, After Hours, The Color of Money, The Last Temptation of Christ, New York Stories, GoodFellas (which earned her another Oscar nomination), Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Gangs of New York (another Oscar nomination), Shutter Island, Hugo (another Oscar nomination) and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Their most recent collaboration was Silence, Scorsese’s underrated and powerful epic, which is now available via Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand from Paramount Home Media Distribution.
A 28-year passion project that reinforces Scorsese’s place in the pantheon of great directors, Silence tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Adam Driver and Andrew Garfield) who travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) at a time when Christianity was outlawed. When they are captured and imprisoned, both men are plunged into an odyssey that will test their faith, challenge their sanity and, perhaps, risk their very lives.
I recently talked with Schoonmaker about cutting Silence, working with Scorsese, and their long and storied collaboration.
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