Martin Scorsese Pens NY Times Op-Ed Defending Criticisms of Marvel Movies and Franchise Films

  
Via:  john-russell  •  one week ago  •  9 comments

Martin Scorsese Pens NY Times Op-Ed Defending Criticisms of Marvel Movies and Franchise Films

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Martin Scorsese Pens NY Times Op-Ed Defending Criticisms of Marvel Movies and Franchise Films



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Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto / Getty Images for RFF

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There’s been just way too much news in the past month, but one of the biggest pop culture stories has been iconic director  Martin Scorsese’s  criticisms of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the backlash he’s gotten as a result, the overall discourse about the state of cinema and the dominance of the superhero genre, et cetera.

To recap, these were Scorsese’s  initial comments  to  Empire Magazine  in early October in talking about the Marvel movie franchise:


“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. 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.”

Scorsese’s comments set off a whirlwind of debate —  Guardians of the Galaxy  director  James Gunn   expressed disappointment at his take , while  Godfather  director  Francis Ford Coppola   defended Scorsese’s take .

Scorsese, of course, is back in the spotlight with his acclaimed new film  The Irishman . But yesterday he penned an op-ed for  The New York Times  to elaborate on his criticisms of both the Marvel movies and the state of the industry.

“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,” he writes.

Scorsese talks about his growing appreciation for the art that goes into filmmaking and “enlarging the sense of what was possible”:


Many of the elements that define cinema as I know it are there in Marvel pictures. What’s not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes.
They are sequels in name but they are remakes in spirit, and everything in them is officially sanctioned because it can’t really be any other way. That’s the nature of modern film franchises: market-researched, audience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption.

Scorsese’s issue with franchise films — not limited to the MCU — is: “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.”

You can read the full op-ed  here .


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JohnRussell
1  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

Havent read the full op-ed yet, but I have to agree with Scorcese. I dont watch superhero movies, generally, although I liked Black Panther and liked Wonder Woman up until the silly last 15 minutes. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @1    one week ago

I'm in full agreement with you.  When a MARVEL movie comes on when I'm watching movies, I change the channels to find something else, and will watch it only if there is nothing better on.   My wife's niece got a couple of free tickets for a movie at the new cineplex across the road and said she wanted me to come with her.  I would have loved to go to a movie in a real theatre because I've only been in a movie theatre once all the time I've been here.  A student took me to see the final Hobbit movie in 4D, which was quite an interesting experience.  I asked her what the movie was, and she told me it was a MARVEL movie, so I refused.  

Actually, I did enjoy the Christopher Reeves / Margot Kidder Superman movie.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
1.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1    one week ago

Superhero movies have pushed westerns, detective movies, gangster movies, and to some extent action movies like Die Hard, off of the big screen. 

Most  "prestige"  film projects about adult topics are now done for television.  Scorsese is probably a little disappointed in all this as he proceeds through old age. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
2  Tacos!    one week ago
But that’s not cinema. 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.”

You don't have to like the movies. That's fine. Not every person is going to enjoy every kind of movie. But what Scorsese is engaging in is unnecessary snobbery.

It's also ignorant. By his own admission, he hasn't watched much of these movies.

And on that note, Goodfellas is very much overrated. My opinion. And I actually did watch it.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
2.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Tacos! @2    one week ago
Goodfellas is very much overrated. My opinion.

Oh wow. I have Goodfellas in the top 5 movies of all time. Ahead of the Godfather.  Not only a very interesting story,  the artistry of the film making is totally superb. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
2.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1    one week ago

And that's fine. We can disagree on that. I prefer The Godfather movies. What I'm not going to do is say that Goodfellas is not cinema.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3  seeder  JohnRussell    one week ago

When I saw Mission Impossible : Fallout last year, I was thinking to my self, this is like a super hero movie without the costumes and superpowers.  Tom Cruise character is almost perfect, is utterly indefatigable, never gets tired, and can more or less singlehandedly get it all done. It's pretty amazing. 

But even so, I think he's still more relatable than Batman or Iron Man. 

I like gangster movies and am looking forward to Scorsese's  The Irishman. 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @3    one week ago

Yeah, MIssion Impossible was okay, as were the Sean Connery James Bond movies.  Having now seen this seed (although I can't open the link, which I therefore suspect it's for  the New York Times - banned here) I began to wonder about the effect that the superhero movies is having on the youth who watch them, and whether or not it's a good thing - what personality traits can develop from them.  It could make an interesting study.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
3.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @3.1    one week ago

They make a lot of money. Fans of the superhero genre are very loyal and will evidently see them all. 

 
 
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