The Sound of Silence

Director Martin Scorsese is famous for the use of music in his films. Tracks like The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” or Tony Bennett’s “Rags to Riches” have become as iconic as the characters that inhabit those films. But as Tony Zhou points out in this visual essay, Scorsese also has a history of using silence to convey dramatic weight (appropriate, since Scorsese’s next film is the religious drama Silence). Starting with Raging Bull and continuing today with The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese uses these soundtrack drops at key moments to explore internal characterization or tension.

While the video focuses mainly on Scorsese, it also spends some time with Steven Spielberg’s work on Saving Private Ryan, as well as the depreciation of silence in Hollywood blockbusters between Richard Donner’s 1978Superman: The Movie to Zack Snyder’s 2013 Man of Steel.

(Warning: some brief NSFW language)