Last week storied and honored director Martin Scorsese made some divisive remarks regarding the entertainment juggernaut known as comic book movies. Though the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made billions and given legitimacy to adapting comic heroes, the ‘Goodfellas’ craftsman does not praise them.
“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.”
For the average moviegoer, Scorsese’s opinion may appear harsh. The theatre shouldn’t only be a place for the highbrow. Much artistry and talent go into moviemaking, even if character development takes a noticeable backseat sometimes. Costume design, set decor, and makeup are all part of the experience. Some areas may fail, but that does not make an entire reel of film trivial. Movies like those found in the MCU have their place. I’d be hardpressed to quantify any real data showing their existence hinders “real” cinema.
Undeterred by outspoken fans of the genre, Scorsese again reinforced his view during a press conference for ‘The Irishman.’ This time his opinion went a step further. Comic book movies weren’t just “theme park” entertainment, but an invasion into the art form.
“It’s not cinema, it’s something else. We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”
I’ve spoken to actors and filmmakers before about the difference between cinema and movies. Marvel is brought up as an example of a lesser art form. That may be due to how prevalent Disney’s property is in the social consciousness right now. If we turned back the clock, would ’90s science fiction or horror be seen as the same boogeyman?
What are your thoughts on Scorcese’s opinions?