Oscar-winning filmmaker Martin Scorsese has given us iconic movies like Goodfellas, Taxi Driver and The Departed in his career spanning over 50 years. He is one of the most respected and celebrated directors of our time. And apparently he believes that the popular Marvel movies are more hype than substance.
When Empire magazine asked him if he’d seen any Marvel movies, he said, “I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.”
The Guardian quoted him explaining his views,
“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.”
His comments caused quite a stir on the internet. Several people associated with the franchise responded. USA Today quoted Guardian of the Galaxy director James Gunn saying that he “will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”
Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way. https://t.co/hzHp8x4Aj8
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2019
Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon also shared his two cents on the matter with this tweet.
“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
I first think of @JamesGunn, how his heart & guts are packed into GOTG. I revere Marty, & I do see his point, but…
Well there’s a reason why “I’m always angry”. https://t.co/Wh3ptU2KBp
— Joss Whedon (@joss) October 4, 2019
Subsequently, people put forth counter-arguments with examples of real emotions and human experiences portrayed in Marvel films.
What about that scene in Endgame, where Captain America is ready to face the whole Thanos Army, just because he is that kinda guy, and then suddenly the entire Marvel Universe shows up? I get goosebumps just thinking about that scene!
— Uncle Bernhard (@BernhardVienna) October 4, 2019
Yah… Whatever, Marty.
— Raconteur-Guide (@cabral_psyd) October 4, 2019
— #ReleaseTheSnyderCut (@b0rg_online) October 4, 2019
Spider-verse is simultaneously formally innovative while hitting the human emotions and character stories dead-center, which are both things that Scorsese is super into.
— Zack Stentz (@MuseZack) October 4, 2019
Agreed. But can we ask him if he's seen the Winter Soldier? Cause I feel like that's a Marvel movie that stands the test of time (tight storytelling, good pacing, Robert Redford…).
— Tatiana Rodríguez (@TatianaR312) October 5, 2019
I guess I just think his take is fundamentally flawed. One of the reasons I love comic book films are the explorations of humanity and vulnerability in characters that are superhuman or from other worlds. It's ok if the MCU is not for him, but his statement is pretty snobby.
— Elizabeth May (@_ElizabethMay) October 4, 2019
Years back at a NYU screening for Hugo some punk classmate “asked” Marty if 3D was a gimmick. I was so inspired by Marty’s answer. He said no, it’s a tool and in the right hands it can add so much to the cinematic experience. I loved how open he was to the new. Perhaps no longer?
— Rebecca June Lane (@rebeccajunelane) October 4, 2019
Needless to say, some MCU fans trolled Scorsese while others conceded that it was a fair point.
Martin Scorsese said that many people had been suspected for a very long time 👏
— Solus Ipse (@NickTScully) October 5, 2019
Martin Scorsese dose have a point Marvel films can be pretty mediocre pic.twitter.com/i7Qx1rOLok
— Satou Kazuma (@Trashkazuma) October 4, 2019
— Chris Hicks (@Chris_Hicks1138) October 5, 2019
Martin Scorsese is one of the all time greats. He also sounds exactly like every pretentious film school snob I knew at Emerson who rolled their eyes whenever I said the things I’d love to work on were projects like the MCU or Harry Potter franchises. I’ll take the theme parks.
— Aaron (@aaron_rivin) October 5, 2019
When I heard Martin Scorsese say the MCU is not cinema: pic.twitter.com/0HlMIRc2Pb
— Cinememes (@Cinememes_) October 5, 2019
I think what Scorsese is describing is the difference between "serious" films and "fun" escapism. Nothing more.
And don't even try to talk shit about the man's films in this thread. Good lord you look silly when you do that.
— Scott WeinBorg (@scottEweinberg) October 4, 2019
If you love a film- if it moves you, thrills you & entertains you – then that’s awesome. Art is subjective. Never feel bad for loving something someone else does not – even if that someone else is the great Martin Scorsese https://t.co/VLaSAFnhur
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) October 4, 2019
What’s your take on the matter- did Scorsese hit the nail right on the head or he is being overly critical?