Why does Martin Scorsese hate Marvel movies?
- Post By Zander Levingston
- on Jul 28 2023
- 0 Comments
Understanding Martin Scorsese's Viewpoint
Now, in case you've been living under some proverbial rock without WiFi, Martin Scorsese, the famous film director, has created quite a stir with his somewhat contentious thoughts about Marvel movies. Scorsese, renowned for his works like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and The Wolf of Wall Street, expressed his sentiment that Marvel Cinematic Universe films aren't 'real cinema'. It's essential to parse Scorsese's viewpoint, considering his stature in the world of filmmaking. Some might consider his viewpoint as art elitism, while, in all fairness, it could just be his personal opinion. Hence, Scorsese's viewpoint acts as a fascinating and significant doorway to examine the changing definitions and expectations of cinema.
Contrasting Cinematic Philosophies
In understanding Scorsese’s aversion towards Marvel movies, we need to explore the stark contrast in cinematic philosophies between his kind of cinema, and blockbusters like Marvel. Scorsese, steeped in his love for raw storytelling and complex character development, seeks to explore and expose the human condition, often focusing on morally ambiguous protagonists complete with intricate character arcs. His movies nudge us, the audience, into a period of contemplation, sometimes leaving us with more questions than we initially came in with. On the other hand, Marvel films are engineered to be a roller coaster ride with adrenaline-pumping action scenes sandwiched between witty banter, all set in an immersive and expansive universe. There is minimal thematic ambiguity and the narratives are often linear.
The Debate: Cinema or Theme Park Ride?
In his opinion piece in The New York Times, Martin Scorsese compared Marvel films to theme parks. Interesting comparison, isn't it? His argument was that while they are enjoyable, they don't probe into the emotional, psychological depths of the human experience, unlike films that he considers to be 'real cinema'. The comparison presents another interesting question. Has the film industry essentially orchestrated film differentiation into 'high' and 'low' art, placing more arthouse-like films at a so-called higher intellectual plane than popular blockbusters? Or perhaps, the better question would be, should such differentiation even exist?
Film Evolution and Market Dynamics
Scorsese’s dislike for Marvel also reflects the changing face of the industry under the influence of market dynamics. The modern movie scene, peppered with high-intensity superhero films and franchised blockbusters, stands quite a distance apart from the film landscape of Scorsese's heyday. Today's films often possess sequels or are a part of extended universes. For instance, let's take the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its intricate plot lines weaving in and out of time and space. This form of storytelling undoubtedly caters to an evolving audience taste, driven by phenomena like binge-watching series and fan cultures. It's no wonder then that Scorsese, who cut his teeth during the New Hollywood era, might feel that his ideals of cinema are under threat.
Martin Scorsese, Marvel and the Netflix Quandary
Interestingly, Scorsese's last major movie, The Irishman, was released on Netflix. Now, this elicited quite a debate about whether streaming platforms dilute the cinematic experience, just as Scorsese suggests Marvel movies do. This is not just limited to a critical analysis of film quality. The economics also plays a role. The films that tout the biggest budgets and fetch the highest box office numbers are mostly of the Marvel variety. They continue to rule the roost at the multiplexes, unsurprisingly raking in the dollars, while art-house films find themselves relegated to the confines of smaller theaters or streaming platforms like Netflix. It's noteworthy that Scorsese himself had to turn to Netflix for the release of The Irishman, given the hefty production budget that Hollywood studios hesitated to finance.
Concluding Thoughts - Respect for Diversity in Film Making
While Scorsese may have his reasons to dislike the Marvel brand of Cinema, it's also important to note that cinema, as an art form, is a broad church, capable of housing a diversity of expressions. Think about it for a second - without these different subtleties; we would most likely be watching the same, formulaic movie, over and over. So whether it's a Marvel movie that simply seeks to entertain, or a Scorsese film that places a mirror to society, one thing's for sure, they both have their place, and there's no reason why we can't enjoy both flavors. As they say, variety is the spice of life!