Martin Scorsese probably didn’t expect to ignite a firestorm when he made some comments to Empire about Marvel Movies. He told the magazine that he didn’t consider the studio’s output to be cinema, but in a rather strange twist, his latest project could suffer for it. In Variety, a report has surfaced that The Irishman could suffer the wrath of voters as he drove a wedge between different generations of filmgoers. As detailed by the report, the demographics of Oscar voters are changing, younger and more inclined to give large tentpole films increased consideration. One audience member in the piece said, “I have been to a lot of Academy screenings this year, and I have never seen anything as crowded as ‘Endgame’.” So, the filmmaker could be up against that, and his ties to Netflix could also complicate matters. Some people still cherish that filmgoing experience and also slightly muddling his argument about the types of offerings that constitute cinema, No one could have seen all this bluster coming when he made those initial comments.
“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese initially explained to Empire. “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.”
“But right now the theaters seem to be mainly supporting the theme park, amusement park, comic book films. They’re taking over the theaters,” Scorsese elaborated. “I think they can have those films; it’s fine. It’s just that that shouldn’t become what our young people believe is cinema. It just shouldn’t.”
Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger stepped up to defend the Disney-owned brand from the criticism as well. He told BBC’s The Media Show about his thoughts on the Marvel movies as cinema debate. He began, Marvel is “making movies. They’re movies. That’s what Martin Scorsese makes. And they’re good movies.”
“Good directors, and good writers, and good actors, and good cinematographers, and good costume designers, and good sound engineers, and good editors, I could go on and on,” Iger continued. “These are talented, talented people that are putting their hard work and talent into making films that entertain people in theaters around the world. Everybody goes, the lights go down, people buy popcorn, they have a good two-hour experience, they come out feeling happy or better about themselves.”
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