U.S. Markets closed

All The Directors And Actors Who Agree With Scorsese About Marvel

Nick Pope
Photo credit: Dan MacMedan - Getty Images

From Esquire

However you feel about Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel films, or highfalutin debates about the true definition of ‘cinema’ in general, you have to admit that watching comic book fans collectively lose their minds has been one of the highlights of 2019.

‘Marvel isn’t cinema, huh? Then explain this!’ they furiously tweet, under collages of sad raccoons, giant space hammers and Jeremy Renner. It's impactful stuff. And while most Marvel Cinematic Universe stars have remained emotionally detached or guarded in their responses, the Disney-employed directors are another matter.

But Marty isn't the only Hollywood titan to come out swinging for the MCU over the past decade. Here, we've collected some of the directors and actors who have been most vocal in their criticism:

Photo credit: Getty Images

Martin Scorsese

The Irishman director has refused to backtrack from comments he made in his Empire interview earlier this month, in which he stated that:

“I don’t see them. 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.”

Amidst raging debate on social media, he doubled-down at the London Film Festival on the press tour for The Irishman:

“What has to be protected is the singular experience of experiencing a picture, ideally with an audience,” Scorsese said. “But there’s room for so many others now, and so many other ways. There’s going to be crossovers, completely. The value of a film that’s like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel-type pictures, where the theatres become amusement parks, that’s a different experience. I was saying earlier, it’s not cinema, it’s something else.”

Most recently, at the Rome Film Festival, he reiterated his take that comic book films are the cinematic equivalent of 'theme parks'.

"Right now the theatres seem to be mainly supporting the theme park, amusement park, comic book films. They’re taking over the theatres. I think they can have those films; it’s fine. It’s just that that shouldn’t become what our young people believe is cinema. It just shouldn’t."

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images

Francis Ford Coppola

The legendary auteur behind The Godfather trilogy and Apocalypse Now came out in support of his long-time friend, and went a few steps further in his condemnation of the MCU.

“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,” he told France 24 after being awarded with the Prix Lumiére this week.

Coppola continued: “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.”

Photo credit: Neilson Barnard - Getty Images

Ken Loach

While publicising his new film, Sorry We Missed You, the British director told Sky News: "They're made as commodities like hamburgers, and it's not about communicating and it's not about sharing our imagination.

"It's about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they're a cynical exercise.

"They're market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said 'when money is discussed – art is impossible'."

Photo credit: Jeff Spicer - Getty Images

Lucrecia Martel

Argentinian arthouse director Martel was approached to direct Scarlett Johansson's standalone Black Widow film in 2018, but the collaboration fell apart when Marvel insisted that they would 'take care' of the action sequences themselves.

“The first thing I asked them was maybe if they could change the special effects because there’s so many laser lights… I find them horrible. Also the soundtrack of Marvel films is quite horrendous. Maybe we disagree on this, but it’s really hard to watch a Marvel film. It’s painful to the ears to watch Marvel films,” she told the Guardian.

Photo credit: Nicolas Guerin - Getty Images

David Cronenberg

Back in 2012, the Canadian director took aim at Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, the critical acclaim it received, and superhero films in general.

"A superhero movie, by definition, you know, it's comic book. It's for kids. It's adolescent in its core," he told NextMovie. "That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying The Dark Knight Rises is, you know, supreme cinema art, I don't think they know what the f**k they're talking about.

"I think it's still Batman running around in a stupid cape... Christopher Nolan's best movie is Memento, and that is an interesting movie. I don't think his Batman movies are half as interesting, though they're 20 million times the expense.

"What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he's shooting IMAX and in 3D. That's really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in American Cinematography Magazine, and technically, that's all very interesting. The movies, to me, they're mostly boring."

Photo credit: Jason Merritt - Getty Images

Jennifer Aniston

Perhaps the most surprising voice to lend her support to Martin Scorsese and great cinema, the former Friends star told Variety that Marvel's domination of the box office was one of the reasons why she has opted for TV in recent times.

"It wasn't until the last couple of years when these streaming services were just sort of exploding with this amount of quality that I actually started to think, 'Wow, that's better than what I just did'," Aniston said.

"And then you're seeing what's available out there and it's just diminishing and diminishing in terms of, it's big Marvel movies or things that I'm not just asked to do or really that interested in living in a green screen."

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more delivered straight to your inbox


You Might Also Like