Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.

Martin Scorsese Vs. Marvel- Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.

There is a controversy between old and new film gods about Marvel.

The James Gunns and Joss Whedons of this planet, against the Scorseses, Coppolas and Ken Loaches of this world. Some old wise man said that controversy is only worth if it becomes the path to enlightenment. While the pro-Marvel people say that their films are simply popular commercial films, the equivalent to gangster movies in other times, or westerns, the anti-Marvel brigade says that Marvel films have no soul.

Everything sparked from an interview that Martin Scorsese gave to Empire Magazine. Then some Marvel directors felt hurt, and some living pharaohs of cinema gave support to Scorsese. The battle continued.

Now, Martin Scorsese publishes an article in The New York Times, stating calmly his views.

You have the whole article here.

If you trust us enough, we will summarise the text in five key paragraphs for you. But if you really have an interest, please read the whole thing above.

Let’s pass the word onto Martin Scorsese:

And that was the key for us: it was an art form. There was some debate about that at the time, so we stood up for cinema as an equal to literature or music or dance. And we came to understand that the art could be found in many different places and in just as many forms — in “The Steel Helmet” by Sam Fuller and “Persona” by Ingmar Bergman, in “It’s Always Fair Weather” by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly and “Scorpio Rising” by Kenneth Anger, in “Vivre Sa Vie” by Jean-Luc Godard and “The Killers” by Don Siegel.

Or in the films of Alfred Hitchcock — I suppose you could say that Hitchcock was his own franchise. Or that he was our franchise. Every new Hitchcock picture was an event. To be in a packed house in one of the old theaters watching “Rear Window” was an extraordinary experience: It was an event created by the chemistry between the audience and the picture itself, and it was electrifying.

(…) Another way of putting it would be that they are everything that the films of Paul Thomas Anderson or Claire Denis or Spike Lee or Ari Aster or Kathryn Bigelow or Wes Anderson are not. When I watch a movie by any of those filmmakers, I know I’m going to see something absolutely new and be taken to unexpected and maybe even unnameable areas of experience. My sense of what is possible in telling stories with moving images and sounds is going to be expanded.

(…) In the past 20 years, as we all know, the movie business has changed on all fronts. But the most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk. Many films today are perfect products manufactured for immediate consumption. Many of them are well made by teams of talented individuals. All the same, they lack something essential to cinema: the unifying vision of an individual artist. Because, of course, the individual artist is the riskiest factor of all.

(…)For anyone who dreams of making movies or who is just starting out, the situation at this moment is brutal and inhospitable to art. And the act of simply writing those words fills me with terrible sadness.

MARTIN SCORSESE

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