Martin Scorsese Explains Why He Keeps Dragging Marvel Movies

November 5, 2019 / Posted by:

Guess what? He still doesn’t like them! Martin Scorsese hates them so much, he wrote a lengthy op-ed for The New York Times about it. Marty is like The Hulk; except in this case, he’s smashing the keys on his keyboard while screaming, “Aaahhhhhh this is not film!” Whether or not he was sitting at his computer shirtless in a pair of ripped-up jean shorts is still to be determined.

Earlier last month, Martin Scorsese made a whole lot of enemies when he said that Marvel movies are not “cinema,” and that he thinks they’re more like a well-executed theme park. A week after, he kept on by saying that theaters have become amusement parks who cater to people who enjoy “that kind of thing.” Francis Ford Coppola chimed in, saying he too believed Marvel movies were audience-pacifying trash (bold words from the man responsible for Jack). A few superhero movie directors spoke out, arguing that there was room for all kinds of movies in the cinema.

Francis also accused Marty of being too kind when he described Marvel movies as being like a theme park. That right there is kind of the CliffsNotes of the situation: Martin Scorsese thinks Marvel movies are basically a trip to Disney World without the $7 churros or picture with Mickey. He obviously doesn’t want the situation to be so black and white, which is why he further explained his feelings in an op-ed published yesterday titled: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain (via Vulture):

“Many franchise films are made by people of considerable talent and artistry. You can see it on the screen. The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament. I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time, I might have been excited by these pictures and maybe even wanted to make one myself. But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies – of what they were and what they could be – that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri.”

He goes on to say that the directors he admired, and his friends that were making movies, felt that cinema was a “aesthetic, emotional and spiritual revelation” and confronting the unexpected. Martin Scorsese also says that his day also had their own theme park pictures, and points the finger at Alfred Hitchcock.

“And in a way, certain Hitchcock films were also like theme parks. I’m thinking of Strangers on a Train, in which the climax takes place on a merry-go-round at a real amusement park, and Psycho, which I saw at a midnight show on its opening day, an experience I will never forget. People went to be surprised and thrilled, and they weren’t disappointed.”

But he argues that sixty and seventy years later, people keep coming back to those films because of the story, and not for the “thrills and shocks.” He says that nothing is at risk in a Marvel movie, because there’s a “sameness” to them. Okay, but what about someone like Wes Anderson? When I see the name Wes Anderson attached to a film, I know I’m getting a monotone pastel-colored three-piece thrift store suit fever dream set to an acoustic guitar cover of some Joy Division song. Marty acknowledges this, but he also says that every time Wes Anderson or Paul Thomas Anderson or Spike Lee release a film, he’s bound to see something new and provide him with a unique cinematic experience. He’s not that wrong. I feel like I’ve seen Robert Downey Jr. stare intensely at a CGI monster at least 4 times, whereas I’ve only see Daniel Day Lewis get horny for poisoned eggs once.

Martin basically blames the Marvel Cinematic Universe of Predictability on the movies being market researched and audience-tested to death before the studio releases it to theaters. And he could just shut up and let people have their bland superhero movies, but he’s speaking out, because their domination is changing the landscape of theaters.

“In many places around this country and around the world, franchise films are now your primary choice if you want to see something on the big screen. It’s a perilous time in film exhibition, and there are fewer independent theaters than ever. The equation has flipped and streaming has become the primary delivery system. Still, I don’t know a single filmmaker who doesn’t want to design films for the big screen, to be projected before audiences in theaters.

And if you’re going to tell me that it’s simply a matter of supply and demand and giving the people what they want, I’m going to disagree. It’s a chicken-and-egg issue. If people are given only one kind of thing and endlessly sold only one kind of thing, of course they’re going to want more of that one kind of thing.”

Martin Scorsese acknowledges that his film The Irishman debuted on Netflix, but only because he’s recognized that you can’t ignore the world of streaming. He wraps it all up by saying that the risk and tension is slowing vanishing in popular cinema, because studios just want big returns at the box office. What? Disney being greedy for dollars? Well I never!

Of course Marvel movies could take more risks in the sake of art. Why couldn’t everyone remain (SPOILER ALERT) 100% dead at the end of Avengers: Endgame? But Marty has to put his money where his mouth is. He’s all about taking risks, and yet it was too big of a risk to put Leonardo DiCaprio on screen with a woman only 9 years younger than him? I admit that’s a pretty big risk to take, but just think of the tension that would build watching Leo pretend to be turned on by someone so close to 30.


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