With Marvel films and other franchise pieces dominating the box office consistently over the past few years, there is some concern amongst filmmakers about the future of independent and artistic films which are not as profitable. With Avengers: Infinity War and other Marvel projects getting so much of the film spotlight this year and with Black Panther being nominated for an Oscar, renowned director Martin Scorsese has stated that he does not consider them to be cinema.
In an interview with Empire, Scorsese said “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.”
Marvel directors and Scorsese fans James Gunn and Joss Whedon both were impacted by Scorsese’s stance, especially considering he claims to never have seen the films before passing judgement. Whedon directed The Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron and responded on Twitter with the following statement:
“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
Gunn, director of Guardians of the Galaxy I and II, as well as the upcoming The Suicide Squad, made a similar statement on Twitter.
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
Superhero movies exist in a gray area between “high art” and “lowbrow” entertainment, especially as they have begun to sneak into film award nominations. The Joker has fired this debate back up, as people have claimed it may be up for awards this upcoming season.
Scorsese’s The Irishman is looking like another awards contender, which releases on Netflix on November 27.