Over the past few weeks, film twitter has been ablaze with debate and controversy following Martin Scorsese’s comments that he did not believe that Marvel films were ‘cinema’ during an interview with Empire Magazine, and he has continued to back up these claims. On top of this, directors like Francis Ford Coppola have backed him up by calling the films “despicable” and in response to this, the fans have been in uproar and even filmmakers like James Gunn have hit back in defence of the films. However, I think this is a ridiculous debate to be having and I think it is creating a huge controversy out of nothing.
I need to state that I am both a big fan of the MCU and most comic book films in general, and I am also someone who studied film at University, so I hope I can try and offer a close to balanced opinion. However, I do not actually feel that it is something that really needs too much explaining because at the end of the day, these great filmmakers have every right to express their views on how they think cinema is progressing, because they made huge contributions to it along the way. The world of film would be a very different place without Scorsese and Coppola and it should be acknowledged instead of ignored, and we should also acknowledge the impact Kevin Feige and co have had on the film industry.
However, I do believe that they are misguided in what they are saying about these films not being cinema and that this is simply a progression of cinema that is very exciting, but I do also feel it is key that not all films are just big blockbusters and we allow risks to be taken and different stories to be told. This is not a direct attack on Marvel specifically like it is being implied, it is more old school filmmakers expressing concern for how blockbusters are taking over the industry and lower and middle budget films are suffering.
I hope Hollywood stays a place where The Irishman can co-exist with Avengers: Endgame and that Joker can co-exist with Hustlers. It is important that we have all types of films still playing at the cinema, and it is also important we allow everyone to express their own opinion on how the industry is progressing.