'Of course Marvel is cinema!' Why the Scorsese backlash is justified

the Guardian | 10/17/2019 | Ben Child


Who decides what qualifies as “real cinema”? Martin Scorsese, possessor of perhaps the most potent reputation (as cineaste and film-maker) in Hollywood, has apparently decided that it is him. After describing the Marvel movies as “theme parks” and “not cinema” in an interview with Empire published earlier this month, the celebrated director of Taxi Driver and Goodfellas doubled down this week at the London film festival, where he is promoting his highly anticipated feature The Irishman.

“What has to be protected is the singular experience of experiencing a picture, ideally with an audience,” Scorsese opined. “But there’s room for so many others now, and so many other ways. There’s going to be crossovers, completely. The value of a film that’s like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel-type pictures, where the theatres become amusement parks, that’s a different experience. I was saying earlier, it’s not cinema, it’s something else.”

Scorsese - Comments - Backlash - Reverence - Oscar-winner

To say that Scorsese’s comments have inspired a furious backlash would be to ignore the reverence in which the Oscar-winner is held by many of those who find his recent comments unpalatable. So let us say merely that there plenty of film-makers out there, most of whom have worked on superhero movies at one time or another, that disagree with him fiercely.

Kevin Smith reminded Scorsese that his own 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ resembles a superhero flick for those who are not religiously minded. Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, currently picking up Oscar buzz for his Nazi satire Jojo Rabbit, said simply: “Of course it’s cinema! It’s at the movies,” while Guardians of the Galaxy’s James Gunn tweeted: “Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favourite living film-makers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging...
(Excerpt) Read more at: the Guardian
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