Martin Scorsese’s comments about the Marvel Cinematic Universe films have revivified the debate as to whether blockbuster films, specifically Marvel movies, are actually cinema. Many Marvel actors and filmmakers have slammed the legendary director.
Scorsese told Empire recently, “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.”
He added, “It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
James Gunn, known for directing Guardians of the Galaxy series, was the first to respond. On Twitter, he wrote while quoting, “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. That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contribution to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”
Joss Whedon, who helmed the first two Avengers movies, tweeted, “‘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”.
Samuel L Jackson was next to comment. “I didn’t pay much attention to it. I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either. We do..but not everybody…Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies,” Jackson told Variety.
Karen Gillan, Nebula of MCU, also gave her opinion while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, “I would absolutely say that Marvel movies are cinema. Cinema is storytelling with visuals.”
One thing is clear, this debate is not going to die down anytime soon.