Martin Scorsese says Marvel films are ''not cinema''

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skywalker95

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This has been the big talk of the week.

Martin Scorsese, one of cinema’s most venerated current directors, has decried superhero movies – the dominant force in today’s industry. The director of films such as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull and Goodfellas told Empire magazine that his attempts to get up to speed with contemporary superhero films had failed.

“I tried, you know?” the director said when asked if he had seen Marvel’s movies. “But that’s not cinema.”

He continued: “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.”

Earlier this year, Avengers: Endgame became the highest grossing film in history after topping $2.8bn at the global box office (fifth highest after adjusting for inflation). Eight other titles from the same studio feature in the Top 30 (when factored without inflation).

Marvel head Kevin Feige last year defended his films against the kind of criticism levelled by Scorsese, saying that the series’s lack of major awards was no indication of a lack of quality or ambition.

“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX or flying people or spaceships or billion dollar grosses,” Feige said. “I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way. [Alfred] Hitchcock never won best director, so it’s very nice, but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/oct/04/martin-scorsese-says-marvel-movies-are-not-cinema

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Zezima

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I mean, he's right.

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MatvelBo77

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Yeah they are Anime 😁

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KingOfWakanda

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The man is entitled to his opinion. And as a top 5 director of all time, I respect it, even if I don't agree with it. "Cinema" covers a lot of territory, not everything has to be high art to be considered cinema.

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Ready_4_Madness

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I disagree but no big deal

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Nucleon

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He's right - but then, no serial film ever were, from James Bond all the way to Aliens' franchise. Serial movies are a bastard cinema/TV offspring.

But they're still enjoyable nonetheless.

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WhyZoSerious

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The mafia movies dominated the 80s even harder than superhero movies now, but nobody was crying or accusing them as not being cinema. This is pity. Catch up or don't cry and remain some dignity. The superheroes movies will die and in 20 years will be a classic. This type of comments is immature and childish especially for such a director.

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Rockette

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Who. Cares.

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mrmonster

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#9 mrmonster  Online

He's not wrong. Marvel movies are fun, but they're popcorn flicks, not real movies.

I enjoy milkshakes, but I would never compare a milkshake to a fine salmon dinner. Same applies to movies.

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rdskns4eva

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Scorsese, get off your high horse. Did the definition of cinema change? Marvel movies are cinema. DC movies are cinema. Guess what the Ford Pinto and the Bugatti have in common. They're both cars.

Guess what Thor the Dark World and Raging Bull have in common? They're both Cinema.

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ITouchedTheBoat

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art usually changes over time and it's hard for masters of the craft to keep up to date sometimes. However, trying to disrespect the quality of somebody else's work despite it's obvious and substantial success doesn't make it any less good than it is...it only makes you look like a hating ass bitch

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FinalKingThanos

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Meh load of nonsense the guys a legendary director etc but hes talking rubbish.

Westerns, monsters, scifi etc all dominated different decades it's just superheros that currently do.

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Richubs

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#13 Richubs  Online

I know he's legendary but IW, WS, Iron Man 1, Avengers 1 and others would certainly be considered good cinema. Tarantino likes them and so do other good filmmakers

However that's his opinion and I'm fine with it. If he doesn't enjoy them then he doesn't.

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LowMageKage

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He has a right to his opinion, but they are cinema.

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DeathandGrim

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Same oldguard opinion that a difference in execution means invalidation.

Fans of Hip Hop, like myself, hear this BS weekly and disregard accordingly.

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floydfromhell97

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I respect his opinion

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RukelnikovFTW

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I mostly agree in the same sense that a lot of today's "music" its just sound.

Some of these movies are indeed cinema and not just pop flicks though

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Rockette

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#18  Edited By Rockette

@rockette said:

Who. Cares.

Thought this needed to be further down the list. B)

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incursion2

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nn5

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Same can be said of most mainstream movies tbh, and I can't remember any recent blockbusters that are as good as IW/Endgame acting-wise (and overall).

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PurpleDeaDragon

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#21  Edited By PurpleDeaDragon

Well, let us see how Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downie Jr replied to that...

Loading Video...
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Emperorb777

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He's right

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eslay03

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I get what he’s saying, but he’s wrong in the way he’s saying it.

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KillBilly

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#24  Edited By KillBilly

I think what he's trying to say is that, while these films have moments that depict fundamentally human actions we can relate to ( a good example being the scene where Ant-Man immediately rushes to the monuments to check for his daughter's name once he'd learned about the snap ), they aren't MADE for that reason which sets them apart from films that have intentions outside of solely turning a profit.

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Magian

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#25  Edited By Magian

While I don't think he is entirely wrong about what he says, that can be said about pretty much any blockbuster movie these days, not just the MCU. But they are not really made to be these deep, thought-provoking movies in the first place.

And honestly, it comes off a bit like "Please watch my movies, not theirs" to me whenever a director says something like this.

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Mrnoital

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yeah, Disney has made the movies to be theme park like in their entertainment value while not really trying to go any deeper in the human experience

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morpheus_

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#27 morpheus_  Moderator

He's right, but his argument is poor.

His criticism can be applied to some of his own films (Mean Streets, Cape Fear, Casino, Color of Money) and he just invalidated the entirety of James Cameron's career. I also feel there is a distinct element of pretentiousness in purporting some films are "cinema" while others are not: if you somehow held a screening of some of Marty's film to Kurosawa, Tarkovsky or Fellini and told them that the creator of those films speaks authoritatively about the purity of filmmaking, they probably would had laughed their asses off.

In essence, he's being unnecessarily elitist and it's very easy to turn the argument around by being even more selectively elitist than he is.

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Quinlan58

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The "that's not cinema" line is unwarranted (Scorsese has no right to dictate what cinema is or isn't), but the rest of his criticism is fine.

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Kevd4wg

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I get what he's saying, but saying "The films put entertainment before art" just seems kinda stupid. That's literally every blockbuster

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Michaelbn

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He's not wrong. Marvel movies are fun, but they're popcorn flicks, not real movies.

I enjoy milkshakes, but I would never compare a milkshake to a fine salmon dinner. Same applies to movies.

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MAZAHS117

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#31  Edited By MAZAHS117

Eh, a$$holes..everybody’s gottem right? 🤷‍♂️

EDIT: Opinions...I meant opinions

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Pipxeroth

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Cringe

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buttersdaman000

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He's 100% wrong and it's kind of a pretentious take, IMO. However, I completely empathize with him and I see where he's coming from. I blame the current MCU culture, with people honestly arguing that these movies deserve awards, and just assuming everybody likes them. This is one of the greatest directors of all time, and for some reason, the interviewer decides to bring up MCU movies. Why? Imagine being Gordon Ramsay, taking interviews for a new menu you just created, and the interviewer decides to ask you about the new McDonalds burger. Gordon might get a little snippy and say that crap isn't "food", even though it clearly is "food".

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Devilmenworks

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The mafia movies dominated the 80s even harder than superhero movies now, but nobody was crying or accusing them as not being cinema. This is pity. Catch up or don't cry and remain some dignity. The superheroes movies will die and in 20 years will be a classic. This type of comments is immature and childish especially for such a director.

@magian said:

While I don't think he is entirely wrong about what he says, that can be said about pretty much any blockbuster movie these days, not just the MCU. But they are not really made to be these deep, thought-provoking movies in the first place.

And honestly, it comes off a bit like "Please watch my movies, not theirs" to me whenever a director says something like this.

art usually changes over time and it's hard for masters of the craft to keep up to date sometimes. However, trying to disrespect the quality of somebody else's work despite it's obvious and substantial success doesn't make it any less good than it is...it only makes you look like a hating ass bitch

Scorsese, get off your high horse. Did the definition of cinema change? Marvel movies are cinema. DC movies are cinema. Guess what the Ford Pinto and the Bugatti have in common. They're both cars.

Guess what Thor the Dark World and Raging Bull have in common? They're both Cinema.

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The_Man_With_Questions

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As a DC stan, he's right.

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mrmonster

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#36 mrmonster  Online

Lol at "But, the definition of cinema..." He's not literally saying that they're not movies, that would be absurd; he's saying that they're not truly great movies.

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Black_Arrow

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@buttersdaman000: He is saying cinema though. I searched a bit and cinema seems to be used when movies are described as art. It would be more like Gordon Ramsay saying that MCdonalds isn't gourmet food.

So I think that he is quite correct on his statement. Marvel movies aren't that artistic.

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Arthur_Morgan

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he is right.

marvel movies are the mcdonalds of movies.

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buttersdaman000

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@buttersdaman000: He is saying cinema though. I searched a bit and cinema seems to be used when movies are described as art. It would be more like Gordon Ramsay saying that MCdonalds isn't gourmet food.

So I think that he is quite correct on his statement. Marvel movies aren't that artistic.

I never thought the MCU movies were artistic myself. It's weird because the MCU is an ambitious effort as whole, but the individual movies are completely devoid of ambition. I never felt like anybody tried to make something special, or unique, or from the heart. Like, the Russos directed the biggest movies of all time, yet I don't feel like those movies are theirs. I just feel like the movies are part of the MCU. That's part of the reason why i'm not really a fan anymore. So, I can see where Scorsese is coming from in that regard.

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RukelnikovFTW

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@black_arrow said:

@buttersdaman000: He is saying cinema though. I searched a bit and cinema seems to be used when movies are described as art. It would be more like Gordon Ramsay saying that MCdonalds isn't gourmet food.

So I think that he is quite correct on his statement. Marvel movies aren't that artistic.

I never thought the MCU movies were artistic myself. It's weird because the MCU is an ambitious effort as whole, but the individual movies are completely devoid of ambition. I never felt like anybody tried to make something special, or unique, or from the heart. Like, the Russos directed the biggest movies of all time, yet I don't feel like those movies are theirs. I just feel like the movies are part of the MCU. That's part of the reason why i'm not really a fan anymore. So, I can see where Scorsese is coming from in that regard.

While I agree that's true for the majority, Ragnarok definitely has an identity, and Gunn definitely thinks of GotG as his. Aside from those, I'd argue IW did attemp something special, and largely achieved it, EG crumbled it though...

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buttersdaman000

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@buttersdaman000 said:
@black_arrow said:

@buttersdaman000: He is saying cinema though. I searched a bit and cinema seems to be used when movies are described as art. It would be more like Gordon Ramsay saying that MCdonalds isn't gourmet food.

So I think that he is quite correct on his statement. Marvel movies aren't that artistic.

I never thought the MCU movies were artistic myself. It's weird because the MCU is an ambitious effort as whole, but the individual movies are completely devoid of ambition. I never felt like anybody tried to make something special, or unique, or from the heart. Like, the Russos directed the biggest movies of all time, yet I don't feel like those movies are theirs. I just feel like the movies are part of the MCU. That's part of the reason why i'm not really a fan anymore. So, I can see where Scorsese is coming from in that regard.

While I agree that's true for the majority, Ragnarok definitely has an identity, and Gunn definitely thinks of GotG as his. Aside from those, I'd argue IW did attemp something special, and largely achieved it, EG crumbled it though...

Eh, I don't really agree. I think "identity" in film means more than a soundtrack of songs the Director likes. GoTG is a stand out, and easily one of the most entertaining films in the MCU, but it's still very much just another cog in the MCU movie release. As for Ragnorok, I just don't get the hype. The only thing that stands out about that movie to me is how they made Thor a frat boy for whatever reason. I also don't know what IW attempted....

I just feel like every subsequent MCU movie has been a derivative of Iron Man. They all borrow and build from it style with changes and edits here and there.

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Heatforce

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People are giving him a hard time and in all honesty should just ignore his comment. Dude is a senior citizen and is making movies so let him do his thing. If the worst thing he says is against cbm's then I think he will be fine and so will we.

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RukelnikovFTW

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@rukelnikovftw said:
@buttersdaman000 said:
@black_arrow said:

@buttersdaman000: He is saying cinema though. I searched a bit and cinema seems to be used when movies are described as art. It would be more like Gordon Ramsay saying that MCdonalds isn't gourmet food.

So I think that he is quite correct on his statement. Marvel movies aren't that artistic.

I never thought the MCU movies were artistic myself. It's weird because the MCU is an ambitious effort as whole, but the individual movies are completely devoid of ambition. I never felt like anybody tried to make something special, or unique, or from the heart. Like, the Russos directed the biggest movies of all time, yet I don't feel like those movies are theirs. I just feel like the movies are part of the MCU. That's part of the reason why i'm not really a fan anymore. So, I can see where Scorsese is coming from in that regard.

While I agree that's true for the majority, Ragnarok definitely has an identity, and Gunn definitely thinks of GotG as his. Aside from those, I'd argue IW did attemp something special, and largely achieved it, EG crumbled it though...

Eh, I don't really agree. I think "identity" in film means more than a soundtrack of songs the Director likes. GoTG is a stand out, and easily one of the most entertaining films in the MCU, but it's still very much just another cog in the MCU movie release. As for Ragnorok, I just don't get the hype. The only thing that stands out about that movie to me is how they made Thor a frat boy for whatever reason. I also don't know what IW attempted....

I just feel like every subsequent MCU movie has been a derivative of Iron Man. They all borrow and build from it style with changes and edits here and there.

And for the most part you are right. The movies I mentioned are ones I don't think follow that formula.

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jashro44

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I don't think Scorsese is trying to say they are bad by an objective criteria. I think he's just saying his opinion about marvel movies. When I first heard what he said I thought he was just being pretentious and looking down on comic books, but reading the context I don't think he meant the movies are bad, I think he just meant that they mostly are about action and good guys stopping bad guys. He says they are well made, he just feels like they don't have a deep meaning behind them which is mostly true.

At least that is how I am interpreting what he is saying. I don't think I disagree with the point. I do disagree with the phrasing but I can't fault him for it if he was asked the question just on the spot. I suck at phrasing and thinking of stuff on the spot as well.

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Mutant1230

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This took a surprisingly long time to get a thread on Comic Vine, I think Scorsese has a point but I don't agree that all Marvel movies are just popcorn flicks. A few of them I'd argue are genuinely good movies.

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CCThor

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He just being arrogant.

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BullPR

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No denial that 99.99% of the CBM are "fast-food" movies. You can truly enjoy them while knowing that you are not eating at a three Michelin stars restaurant.

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GetsugatenshoHA

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@morpheus_: I disagree about Cameron being insulted I feel like Avatar is more cinema than any Marvel movie has ever been. That’s why it won an Oscar.

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GetsugatenshoHA

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@ccthor: not arrogant, he’s just a legend and a purist. He just doesn’t see it as cinema

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Benjamin_Poindexter

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If they're shown in a theater, they're cinema. He's just a bitter elitist.