Scorsese on superhero films: 'That's not cinema' (13 replies and 1 comment)
Asked recently by Empire magazine if he had seen any of Marvel movies, Martin Scorsese replied: I tried, you know? But that's not cinema. 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."
I agree with that, I think most superhero and action movies are the fast food of cinema. Of course, not everyone is wired to enjoy slow burning dramas, and I'd much rather go see a superhero movie with friends and family rather than say, Schindler's list.
They are just fodder for the game industry - the more recent ones make no attempt to even look real. They want them to look like they are on a Gameboy because that's where they'll end up.
There is of course nothing wrong with that, but it really is time that they were taken off the movie industry circuits and had their own market place. As Scorsese says, it just is not cinema.
Martin Scorsese is absolutely right, they are basically live-action video games; and therefore lose cinematic substance. They all follow the same formula, a hero fights a bad guy, and they always win in the end.
Having said that, I feel Martin’s films have become very commonplace, it’s as if he reached his potential and there has been little growth ever since he made GoodFellas. For instance, Wolf of Wall Street was basically the same film as Goodfellas, the use of music the fast cutting, the narration. Very few directors become better as they age, and I wouldn’t argue that Martin has gotten better, he’s just repeating himself whenever he works with Leonardo or Robert DeNiro (the biggest cunt alive). When he made HUGO, I thought he did something special, a biopic about a great forgotten director. He should get out of the crime genre, I hate his modern crime dramas, especially The Departed.
It's his opinion and we should respect that. He doesn't like super hero movies, got it. I don't neither but my kids do. I've probably seen all the last 5 years super-hero movies on the big screen and all the last 10/15 years at home. Some are better than others. I really enjoyed the Spider-man cartoon one from last year, for example. Same for kids movies, seen them all.
To say those are "no cinema" is quite arrogant from his part, who defines what cinema is? He? You? I know we are heading to a world with movies running at 60fps, jump cuts all over the place, 100% CGI and youtube imposing its style to Hollywood productions. Thats what the public will demand at some point. Thats what my kids are use to watch everyday. In this world there will be place for well crafted stories as it is now or it was 50 years ago, there will be place for great DPs to shine also. Cinema is an art form evolving all the time, gaming and internet will have a great deal to say with what cinema is in the near future, if it's not already saying it, and there is nothing wrong with that.
It’s not an arrogant statement at all; I’ll tell you who defines what cinema is, and that is the pioneers of movie making. Just watch Carl Theodore Dreyer’s ‘Joan of Arc’, and you will see that there is a standard to which very few people can achieve. Especially today’s generation, who are hopeless and will never again replicate a the emotional intelligence of the past greats.
i like John Wick films, but I would never consider it real cinema, it’s an indulgence, a pastry- so to speak. But just because I like the movies, I wouldn’t rank them with the greats at all. It’s fantasy, and it doesn’t go beyond that.
i know if I watch ‘Umberto D’, I’ll feel completely depressed, and that is because the true masters of cinema know the human spirit, in its worst, and how even a small glimmer of hope can make all the negativity go away. It runs deeper than you think. And certainly not a single sell out who makes Spider Man movies can come close to that level of cinema like De Sica.
I think what makes modern filmmakers the worst (millennials) is their complete ignorance of what is happening around them. Just take a look at California, there’s hundreds and thousands of people that are homeless, living in tents, streets littered with drug needles, human waste and rats. And the only thing Dems can do is think about how they want to forcibly remove Trump from office, instead of helping the people who elected them. I haven’t seen a film that exposes elites for the scum that they are. I remember last time I went to the cinema, I saw a movie trailer where 2 black people kill a police officer, and then a Harriet Tubman biopic. I’m his who black power stuff has gone too far, nobody cares about people’s skin color, there are strong people like Kanye West, who doesn’t let the color of his skin determine who he should be. He’s a republican, and I think there should be more filmmakers like him, people who are not sheep.
I’m aware of what cinema is and which are the movies that defined it. That’s not the point.
Outside the world of masters and geniuses there are also people doing movies to entertain other people. Telling stories that won’t transcend to the eternity. Those are also called cinema, even if Scorsese doesn’t like it.
Cinema is a broad tent. Personally, I never much liked Busby Berkeley dance films but you might call them the 'action movies' of their day. 'Umberto D'? Well, don't start me off! There few films that match the humanism of De Sica today, but there are those few and we should be thankful for that. Sadly they are seldom celebrated in the 'mainstream' as many of the Italian realist films were. Whether a gangster movie or a superhero film, we do tend to 'celebrate' the violent side of humanity rather than those small gestures of kindness that make us feel we have a place in the world.
I agree, any motion picture is considered cinema by its very literal definition. However, Scorsese was right, when he referred to super hero movies as “theme parks”. The amount of noise and explosions are defining, and every Marvel film is completely predictable. They all follow the same storytelling structure. And the directors who make them are hacks who rely on tons of CGI to create discardable content.
Not to mention, every Marvel movie is remade and rebooted every few years, especially in the X-Men universe. I don’t understand how Joss Whedon and the Guardians of the Galaxy “directors” were offended by Scorsese’s comments.
You're talking about someone who has dedicated his entire life to motion pictures, and in preserving the past by saving countless old film prints of great forgotten filmmakers. The Film Foundation has kept the last alive for those who are interested in revisiting it. People like Joss Whedon are delusional, if they think they are making movies that actually matter, because they don’t.
I don't know what this kind of film snobbery really achieves. It's subjective, there's no rules that coldly dictate what is and isn't cinema.