Ken Loach Thinks Marvel Movies Are "Boring," Have "Nothing to Do With the Art of Cinema"

Award-winning British director Ken Loach is adding his voice to the growing number of established directors criticizing Marvel Studios films. Speaking to Sky News, Loach calls Marvel movies "boring." He then went further, going on to say, "They're made as commodities like hamburgers, and it's not about communicating, and it's not about sharing our imagination," he said. "It's about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they're a cynical exercise. They're a market exercise, and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said, 'When money is discussed, art is impossible.'"

Loach is known for his socialist ideals, which are reflected in his film and television work. His films include 1969's Kes, 2006's The Wind that Shakes the Barley, 2012's The Angels' Share, and 2016's I, Daniel Blake. His latest is Sorry We Missed You.

Directors piling on with criticisms of Marvel Studios began with Scorsese's comments about the studio's success during an interview. "I don't see them. I tried, you know? But that's not cinema," he said. "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 doubled down on those comments during an event tied to the release of his latest film, The Irishman. "The value of a film that's like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel type pictures where the theaters become amusement parks, that's a different experience," he said. "As I was saying earlier, it's not cinema, it's something else. Whether you go for that or not, it is something else and we shouldn't be invaded by it. And so that's a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that to allow theaters to show films that are narrative films."

The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola backed Scorsese, telling journalists in Lyon, France that "When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he's right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. I don't know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it's not cinema. He didn't say it's despicable, which I just say it is."


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