One of the dominant discussions about cinema near the tail end of 2019 was about “real cinema” and Martin Scorsese’s thoughts about it. Now, another auteur has jumped into the fray and called 2019 the year that there was a war for movies. Quentin Tarantino was interviewed by Deadline and said that all the sequels and franchise films like Star Wars were in direct opposition to films with more artistic leanings. He said, “When you say, despite the sequels and the Avengers: Endgame and all of that, I actually think a war for movies got played out this last year.” This all sounds pretty grave, but the director had more to say. It’s important to get the entire context of his comments, and you can read more of them below.
“As far as I can see, the commercial product that is owned by the conglomerates, the projects everybody knows about and has in their DNA, whether it be the Marvel Comics, the Star Wars, Godzilla and James Bond, those films never had a better year than last year. It would have been the year that their world domination would have been complete. But it kind of wasn’t."
He added, “Because of what you said, a lot of original movie comment came out and demanded to be seen, and demanded to be seen at the theaters. That ended up becoming a really, really strong year. I’m really proud to be nominated with the other films that just got nominated. I think when you sum up the year, it’s cinema that doesn’t fall into that blockbuster IP proof status, made its last stand this year.”
“If it hadn’t done it this year, it might have been the last stand for movies like that,” Tarantino continued. “This is a really groovy year. To combat something like Avengers: Endgame, which for the month before it came out and the month after, you couldn’t talk about anything else. They tried to do that with this last Star Wars and I don’t think it quite worked, but you couldn’t get on United Airlines without running into all the tie-ins, and even the safety commercial had a Star Wars scene.”
So, that’s all pretty strong feelings from a very accomplished filmmaker. Anyone who thought we might be leaving this debate back in 2019, unfortunately, it looks like the discourse is about to be strong in 2020 as well.
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