Martin Scorsese has never been shy about expressing his negative opinion on comic book movies (more specifically, how the likes of Marvel Studios' output dominates the marketplace), and the legendary director of Goodfellas, The Irishman and Taxi Driver has now taken another dig at the "omnipresence" of CBM and franchise culture.
In a new GQ profile, Scorsese was asked about his previous comments on the subject, and made it clear that he believes comic book films (and huge studio blockbusters in general) may ultimately contribute to smaller, independent and art house movies being erased from the cinematic landscape completely.
“The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture,” he said. “Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are.”
“They already think that,” he continued. “Which means that we have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves. And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean? And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up. Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”
While it's easy enough to understand where Scorsese is coming from (to some extent, at least), the irony of asking cinemagoers to "fight back" against comic book movie culture by showing support for the director of the one of the most iconic superhero movie trilogies of all time has not been lost on many, including fellow director Scott Derrickson.
Of course, Nolan has also helmed plenty of non-comic book-based/genre fare, but surely the massive success of his recent film, Oppenheimer, only proves that audiences will still show up for non-traditional "blockbusters" in a (supposedly) comic book movie dominated marketplace.
Scorsese went on to speak about the streaming-era definition of content, as opposed to "actual cinema."
“I do think that the manufactured content isn’t really cinema,” he said, adding, “It’s almost like AI making a film. And that doesn’t mean that you don’t have incredible directors and special effects people doing beautiful artwork. But what does it mean? What do these films, what will it give you? Aside from a kind of consummation of something and then eliminating it from your mind, your whole body, you know? So what is it giving you?”
What do you make of Scorsese's comments? Be sure to share your thoughts in the usual place.