Are Marvel Movies Cinema?

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Martin Scorsese doesn't think so apparently.

There's been a whole Hollywood war about Marvel being cinema that was started by a comment by Scorsese.

Link to one of many articles here:
https://www.etonline.com/martin-scor...clusive-135090

I'm not sure who's side to take, honestly. I don't like Marvel movies and I find they obstruct young people from seeing other possibly high quality films. Teens today generally only care about action/superhero movies... which is fine, but just today some of my friends and I tried to watch Taxi Driver and they got bored out of it in the first thirty minutes and said it was pointless and with no plot... which is a bit frustrating.

On the other hand, I think Scorsese is opening a can of worms that will come back to bite him. As a filmmaker, he's getting into dicey territory, especially since his own popularity has been on the downfall since... well, since Marvel/Superhero movies.

Other thoughts?
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Film is film and if it's made its way to a theater, then it is cinema, like it or not. Whether it's good or bad cinema is in the eye of the beholder.
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Film is film and if it's made its way to a theater, then it is cinema, like it or not. Whether it's good or bad cinema is in the eye of the beholder.
Agreed, from a technical standpoint it's clearly cinema.



Yes...I mean really most films can be seen at home Marvel still makes films that you have to seen in the theater early on.



Scorsese bothers me less than Cameron or Spielberg because at the very least he's still making great films every year or so.


  1. You can't dismiss the films based on quality anymore, in the old days these big action set pieces could be passed off as popcorn fodder but Marvel has such high quality control you now have to find a different avenue.
  2. I don't know the difference between those Marvel films and say Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars, they are trying to tell the same type of grandeous storytelling.
  3. Scorsese's taste as a film guy is different than his results as a filmmaker. He for instance loves The Leopard and Rocca and his Brothers and I hate those films.



I wonder how many he's actually watched?
The cinema experience is different now, firstly it's expensive so you want there to be a big difference from your home setup. Superhero movies are the biggest jump for me, Star Wars too, I went to see Bohemian Rhapsody for the sound alone. For other movies I can wait 6 months and pay the same price to own it, Scorsese fits in that bracket for me



I don't think there fundamentally any different to action blockbusters we've seen dominate the market for the last 40 years.

If his point is that Hollywood has become too focused on such films as the expense of investing in younger more adventurous talent then yes I'd agree but making it specifically about Marvel I think dilutes that point.



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I don't think there fundamentally any different to action blockbusters we've seen dominate the market for the last 40 years.

If his point is that Hollywood has become too focused on such films as the expense of investing in younger more adventurous talent then yes I'd agree but making it specifically about Marvel I think dilutes that point.
I think that is what Scorsese wants to say, much like Spielberg did last year...I also believe it comes from an insecurity. These old men, who once dominated the box office no longer get the budgets or I assume, the wages they want and are no longer the centre piece of a yearly round of movies. Scorsese and Spielberg and angered by the success of Marvel because it dominates our screens and pop culture like Jaws, ET, Goodfellas and so on did 20+ years ago.

The worst part is, I personally have found Scorsese to be far more formulaic in the last 30 years than Marvel was in its initial stages. I know the Irishman has received a lot of positive reviews but will it be any different to Goodfellas, Casino, Wolf of Wallstreet and so on? I don't think so.

Oh, and if he doesn't like it, he doesn't have to watch it either.
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I also believe it comes from an insecurity. These old men, who once dominated the box office no longer get the budgets or I assume, the wages they want and are no longer the centre piece of a yearly round of movies. Scorsese and Spielberg and angered by the success of Marvel because it dominates our screens and pop culture like Jaws, ET, Goodfellas and so on did 20+ years ago.
I think that's further than you could have authority to go.

Did you lot read what he said? It's not a dig at Marvel films really, he's saying they're not works of art - or do you disagree?



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Scorsese's last 30 years have not been nearly as formulaic as the MCU. Easy enough to cite a whopping four crime epics (one of which most people haven't even had a chance to judge yet) spaced out across that period, but that doesn't account for the likes of Silence or Kundun or The Age of Innocence or Hugo or Shutter Island...the list goes on. Compared to the MCU's "initial stages" (which extends how far? The notably rough Phase One? The more well-rounded but sequel-heavy Phase Two?), the dude's certainly mixed it up a lot compared to a franchise where even the high points tend to be distinguished by how they're trying to mimic non-superhero genres (e.g. Winter Soldier being sold as a conspiracy thriller).

Anyway, I'm with Scorsese on this one. As much as I have enjoyed MCU/superhero movies, I can't overlook how much they represent the increasingly homogeneous state of modern moviegoing (to say nothing of the predatory business practices that prop them up) - at that point, a pithy statement like "don't watch if you don't like" becomes irrelevant.
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Francis Ford Coppola went further and said Marvel films are trash. I think they are mad because they are having difficulties finding funding for certain movies that are not appealing to the big studios. Scorsese had that problem in that movie about the portuguese priests. They don't get funded because the masses don't want to see those movies, and that should be okay, if you're an artist, I mean, I never heard Picasso complaining people didn't went to galleries to at least see his paintings. These American cinematographers we elevated too highly are just silly, complaining about this and that, about more narrative movies, and this, and that, most of the genuine artistic cinema had were Europeans, Asiatics, some South Americans, and they didn't had enormous budgets to make films, they either adapt or didn't make them; so what's the problem here? This type of directors are trying to make there movies more attractive to grab more and more people, and that costs money, money they don't have. Jarmusch, for example, the iconic symbol of the American indies have to kick some of his own cash to make films, and the latest ones are the hardest, he said, that's what you get when you want to make films like The Dead Don't Die. About the subject:

cinema
/ˈsɪnɪmə,ˈsɪnɪmɑː/
a theater where films are shown for public entertainment.
the production of films as an art or industry.



The basic point that Hollywood has become increasingly adverse to risk I can understand although I would say if your talking specifically about blockbuster franchises Marvel are not the worst offenders at all, there franchise has been built mostly on relatively unknown(to the wider public) characters and they have brought though several new directors and given them some freedom.

I look at Hollywood today though and the weakness for me isn't really in blockbusters, granted many poor ones are made but we've had fairly regular quality releases to balance that out. The weakness is much more in the ambitious mid budget area and honestly I think part of the problem their is that studios prefer to stick with guys like Scorsese, Spielberg and Ridley Scott using their past reps to sell their work when in reality their actually several decades past their best.

Added to that Hollywood is more in love than ever with the black slapping oscar bait drama, most of which get by on preaching to the choir whilst being very pedestrian.



If his point is that Hollywood has become too focused on such films as the expense of investing in younger more adventurous talent then yes I'd agree but making it specifically about Marvel I think dilutes that point.
Well he was asked specifically about Marvel you see



You don't use a dictionary to define terms in an argument, dictionaries record usage. Scorsese is clearly using it in the same sense as when writers talk about 'literature', no?

Francis Ford Coppola went further and said Marvel films are trash. I think they are mad because they are having difficulties finding funding for certain movies that are not appealing to the big studios. Scorsese had that problem in that movie about the portuguese priests. They don't get funded because the masses don't want to see those movies, and that should be okay, if you're an artist, I mean, I never heard Picasso complaining people didn't went to galleries to at least see his paintings.
You don't think it's possible they're just being honest?

& Picasso didn't need millions of dollars per painting. Still, my thinking is we've seen this sort of thing before. Welles, for example, who was so clearly a genius, and so clearly should have been left alone (no matter what crazy thing he did).

Welles used his own money as well, so did Coppola on Apocalypse Now. Anyway money is only counters in the game vis a vis Hollywood. Nobody would go into the movies if they were really interested in money. If you're interested in money you'd go into a business in which you make bigger sums easier. The trouble is the pictures those directors like to make are not the pictures Hollywood producers, and particularly modern Hollywood producers, want to make.



Welcome to the human race...
As if Coppola didn't send himself broke by using his own money to fund Apocalypse Now when it ran into production problems and had to direct lots of for-hire stuff over the years to pay off his debts.

Besides, why should it be okay that the budgets are going to vapid commercial ventures with negligible artistic value (to say nothing of their dalliances with military propaganda), especially when so many of them are so readily accepted and defended by audiences as the best the form has to offer? There were people who wanted Robert Downey Jr. to get an Oscar nod for Endgame, after all. We shouldn't have to settle because this is what the invisible hand of the marketplace or whatever demands the most.

As for other countries, I would think it's because most of them can't really compete with Hollywood in terms of scale in the first place so they don't try. It's not like they don't make their own junk food cinema anyway - the difference being that they don't have the power to force it onto the rest of the world like Hollywood does, which is why most of the work that garners international acclaim has to be the best of the best to even get noticed on an international level. Besides, it's not like Scorsese doesn't champion world cinema incessantly to the point where that's one of his key arguments against this kind of blockbuster domination of cinemas and the cultural mainstream.



You don't use a dictionary to define terms in an argument, dictionaries record usage. Scorsese is clearly using it in the same sense as when writers talk about 'literature', no?
No, a term is a term. He said they weren't cinema, so, I searched the meaning of the word cinema. If he had said instead: Marvel movies aren't artistic, I would ask him what is art in his opinion, and why he thinks everyone should enjoy and recognize art.

You don't think it's possible they're just being honest?
No. I think he thinks his being honest though. I never trust someone in the spotlight that openly, publicly goes against something popular in the same business as him, something that is the exact opposite. I think his mad for reasons he doesn't want to face. Marvel movies are trash artistically, and f*ck art, you don't have to enjoy art, you don't even have to recognize art. I don't like people that like to show erudition about something.

& Picasso didn't need millions of dollars per painting. Still, my thinking is we've seen this sort of thing before. Welles, for example, who was so clearly a genius, and so clearly should have been left alone (no matter what crazy thing he did).

Welles used his own money as well, so did Coppola on Apocalypse Now. Anyway money is only counters in the game vis a vis Hollywood. Nobody would go into the movies if they were really interested in money. If you're interested in money you'd go into a business in which you make bigger sums easier. The trouble is the pictures those directors like to make are not the pictures Hollywood producers, and particularly modern Hollywood producers, want to make.
(concerning the bold) And? The Hollywood producers don't want to make those kind of films because they can't understand those kind of films, like most people can't and that's why art is subjective and ignored (and that's the problem here). Those who don't understand art, are not able to create art, and they will hate it, Charles Buskowski said that. And what? I think you unconsciously reached the point I was trying to get at with your last text.



I agree with most/all of the replies here, don't get me wrong, and I agree with both Scorsese and Coppola on there affirmations, but I also understand, that, that's just like my opinion. I'm just trying to examine why they said what they said, and that's the real problem here. People are focusing on Marvel, f*ck Marvel, the problem is that Marvel is highly profitable while directors like Scorsese and others don't get funding to make films. And what? Should these directors climb down there high horse and do what these newcomers in some cases independent directors are doing nowadays, and very successfully in my opinion? Are they already doing that? I don't know. What do you think?



No, a term is a term. He said they weren't cinema, so, I searched the meaning of the word cinema. If he had said instead: Marvel movies aren't artistic, I would ask him what is art in his opinion, and why he thinks everyone should enjoy and recognize art.
Every word has connotations.

No. I think he thinks his being honest though. I never trust someone in the spotlight that openly, publicly goes against something popular in the same business as him, something that is the exact opposite. I think his mad for reasons he doesn't want to face. Marvel movies are trash artistically, and f*ck art, you don't have to enjoy art, you don't even have to recognize art.I don't like people that like to show erudition about something.
Seen anybody about it yet? Who's your therapist?
Joking, but I've learnt to dislike this argument when offered. Anyway Scorsese didn't say he was against people enjoying those films, he said they were like theme parks, I think.

(concerning the bold) And? The Hollywood producers don't want to make those kind of films because they can't understand those kind of films, like most people can't and that's why art is subjective. Those who don't understand art, are not able to create art, and they will hate it, Charles Buskowski said that. And what? I think you unconsciously reached the point I was trying to get at with your last text.
Well that's the trouble, isn't it? I've got nothing against Hollywood really, they rightly regard the artist as the enemy to their profession. But it is the problem for very individual filmmakers. The system is at great pains to denigrate such a person. And it happens everywhere, in varying degrees.

Should these directors climb down there high horse and do what these newcomers in some cases independent directors are doing nowadays, and very successfully in my opinion? Are they already doing that? I don't know. What do you think?
you don't have the answers sway