The citically acclaimed director argues that Marvel films can’t be considered cinema to the distain of fans.
Martin Scorsese, director of films like”Raging Bull,” “Casino,” “Wolf of Wall Street,” “Goodfellas” and the upcoming adaptation of “Killers of the Flower Moon,” recently made the comment that “Marvel films are not cinema.”
In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, Scorsese said, “I don’t see them. I tried, you know?” I’m sorry Martin, but we don’t know.
He continued with, ”Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
There are so many things wrong with that statement. First of all, his jab about the actors is incredibly offensive to the writers and directors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There are multiple directors and writers who have worked with the MCU who have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Secondly, that statement is also highly offensive to the actors themselves. Actors can and will go above and beyond in every performance. One of the most important points is that every single Marvel film contains at least one Academy Award nominee.
“Black Panther” received seven Oscar nominations in the 2019 Academy Award season. Of those seven, “Black Panther” took home three wins. One of those seven nominations was for Best Picture.
Possibly his most irksome comment is his words on how Marvel films do not contain emotional and psychological experiences. Any Marvel fan would argue with that statement. In the past two years, Marvel films have continued to become more and more emotionally charged.
Take, for example, the events that occured in “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Avengers: Endgame.” These two films have contained multiple permanent character deaths that have sent ripples throughout the entire MCU. Fans cannot even hear the number “3,000” without feeling an emotional resonance within them.
In “Iron Man 3,” psychological experiences are aptly depicted as the film shows Tony Stark suffering from PTSD after the events of the first “Avengers” film.
All of this is very ironic when you hear that Scorsese almost took a job as a producer for “Joker.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, “a Warners source says Scorsese was enlisted simply because the movie needed a producer based in New York, where ‘Joker’ was filmed.”
Marvel actors and directors have been quick to comment on Scorsese’s words. Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, said, “That’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either.”
James Gunn, director of “The Guardians of the Galaxy” films expressed his disappointment on Twitter: “Martin Scorsese is one of my five favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.”
Joss Whedon, director of the first two “Avengers” films, also took to Twitter to express his anger. He tweeted, “I first think of @JamesGunn, how his heart & guts are packed into GOTG. I revere Marty, & I do see his point, but … Well there’s a reason why ‘I’m always angry.”
Martin Scorsese’s comments have sent ripples through online communities. On Twitter, there have been calls to boycott Scorsese’s newest Netflix film. Scorsese’s next film will coincidentally be shot here in Oklahoma.
I think in this instance, Scorsese should have just kept his opinion to himself.