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Scorcese says Marvel films are essentially 'theme parks', 'not cinema'

strange headache

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I don't think anyone would lose any sleep over him saying he doesn't like the movies and finds them shallow. But instead he says they are not cinema, meaning, they are not movies. That's what the sentence means in reality, when referencing a dictionary.
Scorsese is an artist, of course he has a different view on the meaning of "cinema" than your average popcorn-movie viewer. He never said that Marvel movies aren't movies, he said that they are not cinematic art. What you're doing is like saying that a fast food burger is cooked, hence why it should be considered culinary art or a fine dining experience.

There are degrees of nuance to every art-form and that's what Scorsese is referring to.

And he then compares it to a theme park, which is also not a movie. The meaning is pretty clear to me.
He's not literally comparing these movies to theme parks, but they work in a similar fashion. Like a theme park, they are exciting set-pieces strung together by a utilitarian structure. The same terminology also applies to MMOs for example:

 
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Trojita

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Scorsese is an artists, of course he has a different view on the meaning of "cinema" than you average popcorn-movies viewer. He never said that Marvel movies aren't movies, he said that they are not cinematic art. What you're doing is like saying that a fast food burger is cooked, hence why it should be considered culinary art or a fine dining experience.

There are degrees of nuance to every art-form and that's what Scorsese is referring to.



He's not literally comparing these movies to theme parks, but they work in a similar fashion. Like a theme park, they are exciting set-pieces strung together by a utilitarian structure. The same terminology also applies to MMOs for example:

Saying something isn't "fine art" isn't the same thing as saying you couldn't watch a thing because it's not "cinema".
 

brap

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Scorcese is some old school italian filmmaker. He's not some film school nerd that's gonna call things 'arthouse' or 'art cinema'. It's like how old people call any video games a nintendo. You get what they're saying.

The only comic book movies worthy of being called cinematic and with actual substance are Nolan's Batman and the new Joker film.
Don't forget about Spiderbabe and Batbabe: The Dark Nightie
 

ROMhack

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He's right though.

The only comic book movies worthy of being called cinematic and with actual substance are Nolan's Batman and the new Joker film.
Kojima's movies too.

I'm actually not even joking here. Playing the double irony card in its fullest.
 
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Miku Miku

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Scorsese is an artist, of course he has a different view on the meaning of "cinema" than your average popcorn-movie viewer. He never said that Marvel movies aren't movies, he said that they are not cinematic art. What you're doing is like saying that a fast food burger is cooked, hence why it should be considered culinary art or a fine dining experience.

There are degrees of nuance to every art-form and that's what Scorsese is referring to.



He's not literally comparing these movies to theme parks, but they work in a similar fashion. Like a theme park, they are exciting set-pieces strung together by a utilitarian structure. The same terminology also applies to MMOs for example:


I just don't agree. Maybe that's what he meant, fine. But that's not how he said it, or how it was heard by a lot of people. Read the article I linked if you want. Cinema is 100% used interchangeably with the word movie, and it's used that way in the context of even defining what counts as a movie - a debate that is currently going on, led by people exactly like Scorsese (most publicly, by Spielberg). I think the statement has other underlying meaning that you're not addressing, in that people are literally trying to disqualify some things from counting as movies.
 
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strange headache

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Saying something isn't "fine art" isn't the same thing as saying you couldn't watch a thing because it's not "cinema".
Marvel movies are about spectacle. They try to appeal to the broadest of audiences in order to make money and sell merchandise first and foremost. This is not what "cinema" as an art-form is about.

But that's how he said it, or how it was heard by a lot of people. Read the article I linked if you want. Cinema is 100% used interchangeably with the word movie...
Sure, in the same sense that McDonald's is a "restaurant".
 
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Sub_Level

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Marvel makes Flicks
DC makes Films

Only exceptions are Logan and Justice League.
 
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Kadayi

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I don't disagree with his assessment, but at the same time within themselves, they can and are often times entertaining. Sometimes that is enough.
 
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ROMhack

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Wait, wait, wait......are you saying Kojima's movies are theme parks or cinematic works of art?
We're threatening going to veer into a serious discussion here but... both.

Kojima is a master of meshing the low-grade and high-grade. He's the videogame equivalent of Seijun Suzuki or Sam Fuller. His characters are stupidly wacky, his ideas horribly convoluted, settings are impossible but somehow it. just. works. Look at how masterful MGS2 was. Had an enemy called FATMAN yet ended with discussion about media filtration and personal responsibility.

Do Marvel movies do anything close? Nah not really.

That's why he's kino.
 
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ROMhack

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Ordered. I shall hang it next to my Rothko 🤔
To be fair, you could get that for free at the Tate. There's a whole room and it looks like something out of DOOM.

Edit: I say 'to be fair' too much.
 
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diffusionx

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So are we supposed to pretend now that MCU movies are anything more than mindless big budget trash? I can't do that. They're the junk food of movies, which is fine for what they are, but let's not pretend they're anything but.
 
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Freaking out? Is that what you call rational opinions these days? Because his opinion is as dumb as it can get. To say that Marvel movies don't convey emotion is pretty much jealousy or complete stupidity. You may dislike the movies but don't tell someone they should not get emotional when watching these movies.
Someone somewhere out there might find themselves emotionally moved whilst watching pornography...it doesn't make porn art. Marvel movies are just popcorn films. They're meant to be entertaining, not convey some kind of serious message or ask important questions about the nature of humanity. That doesn't mean someone somewhere out there doesn't get emotional at them, just that it isn't the authorial intent.

That is the distinction he's making...and he's 100% correct.
 

Kadayi

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So are we supposed to pretend now that MCU movies are anything more than mindless big budget trash? I can't do that.
I think we are supposed to be burning our Goodfellas DVDs or something?

For what's it's worth though, I thought that the Wolf of Wall Street felt like a Scorsese parody film.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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We're threatening going to veer into a serious discussion here but... both.

Kojima is a master of meshing the low-grade and high-grade. He's the game equivalent of Seijun Suzuki and Sam Fuller. His characters are stupidly wacky, his ideas horribly convoluted, settings are impossible but somehow it. just. works. Look at how masterful MGS2 was. Had an enemy called FATMAN yet ended with discussion about media filtration and personal responsibility.

Do Marvel movies do anything close? Nah.

That's why he's kino.
He's also a postmodernist when it comes to his artistry, but understands the value of modernity as well.
 
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Miku Miku

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Sure, in the same sense that McDonald's is a "restaurant".
I'm not disagreeing with you. That's literally all I'm saying. Maybe he meant it like you are explaining, which makes sense, but he said it the way I am explaining, which is why people get more upset.

If someone said McDonald's is not a restaurant, I'd have to disagree. It's a very bad restaurant. That's the difference.
 
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Clear

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There's really no criteria you can think of to exclude these from "cinema," without excluding thousands and thousands of other movies. Pretty much all comedies. All action movies. All martial arts movies. Probably a decent chunk of horror movies. All so you can sit on your high horse and act like the only thing cinema can be is oscar-bait.
No. This is absolutely wrong. Genre does not exclude, what stands against Marvel stuff is that it expends great artistry for pure commerce. Most exploitation pictures are exercises in compromise in terms of production, they don't have the budget to realize the scriptwriters every vision almost without restraint, they lack the profile to attract A-list talent in front and behind of the camera. Hence if they achieve beyond these limitations, its because they have something special somewhere that elevates them.

Marvel's stuff on the other hand, has no such claim. They have every material advantage possible and yet they still strive to be no more than simple time-wasters. Pick your favourite Marvel movie and no matter what flavour or spin is put in a specific instance, they are never close to best-in-class beyond their own niche.

For example, Winter Soldier is a good movie. but if you think its amongst the best political thrillers ever made you need to expand your viewing. If you think Thor: Ragnarok or Guardians Of the Galaxy are funny movies I agree with you, but if you say they're among cinema's great comedies... I'll disagree vehemently.

Take the spin off, and reduce them down to formula, and the result is the same. Best action ever? No. Best acting ever? Hell, no! Best writing, innovation, transformation of expectations within the form.... Get the fuck out of here.

Marvel movies are a package, a format. And just because the package is a shiny and appealing one its easy to ignore how none of them contain a single exceptional element.

Which is why, popular as they are, they simply aren't great movies.
 

strange headache

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Marvel movies are a package, a format. And just because the package is a shiny and appealing one its easy to ignore how none of them contain a single exceptional element.
I see it like this:

Average entertainment makes people discuss whether it is good or not.
Great entertainment makes people discuss what they have learned from it.

Discussions about Marvel movies are mostly about the former, where people are talking about which movies they liked best rather than what insights they might have taken away from them.
 

ROMhack

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I see it like this:

Average entertainment makes people discuss whether it is good or not.
Great entertainment makes people discuss what they have learned from it.

Discussions about Marvel movies are mostly about the former, where people are talking about which movies they liked best rather than what insights they might have taken away from them.
Oh that's a nice way of putting it. Usually the latter does tend to start with 'so did you like it?' but eventually the conversation gets better. I live for those moments :messenger_beaming:
 

Woo-Fu

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And I think the only reason the "jealousy" charge sounds more and more accurate to me, is that this kind of criticism only started once the MCU became as successful as it is now.
That isn't true at all. That sort of criticism follows Marvel to every medium. You might not hear about it until they're successful enough that people ask other people questions about it in interviews but the criticism is there.

Just ask yourself how many of these Marvel movies will be consider classic cinema 20+ years from now. None of them. Logan, maybe?

Scorsese has a point, but the point isn't meaningful to most people. Most people aren't searching for cinema, they're searching for entertainment.
 

MiyazakiHatesKojima

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I see it like this:

Average entertainment makes people discuss whether it is good or not.
Great entertainment makes people discuss what they have learned from it.

Discussions about Marvel movies are mostly about the former, were people are talking about which movies they liked best rather than what insights they might have taken away from them.
Spoken like a true Top 20 GAF member
 

Mihos

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I love theme parks and am willing to spend money on them.

I catch the rest on Netflix when I feel like being 'educated'

I am cancelling Netflix
 

EviLore

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I see it like this:

Average entertainment makes people discuss whether it is good or not.
Great entertainment makes people discuss what they have learned from it.

Discussions about Marvel movies are mostly about the former, where people are talking about which movies they liked best rather than what insights they might have taken away from them.
Well said. The closest the MCU came to provoking interesting discussion was with Thanos’s motives in Infinity War, but he deteriorated back into a one-note caricature by the next film.
 

Mahadev

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I agree with Scorsese, most capeshit are products, not movies. Even the most bland action popcorn flicks never stooped that low imo, yes a lot of them were crap but they weren't basically mass produced lowest common denominator trash using the same recipe and the same generic and inoffensive scripts for mass consumption. And while I don't have a problem with people watching these products I do have a problem with the morons that obsess over them to the point they often try to find meaning in them, honestly if twitter politics didn't convince you it's platform full of idiots the obsession over Marvel crap should have.
 

Mahadev

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I mean, in some cases he’s right. I would offer Winter Soldier, Ragnarok, and Iron-Man 1 as examples where he’s wrong

Imo Winter Soldier is one of the most overrated movies of the decade, the entire plot of the movie happened in that exposition scene in the computer room (that's all I remember from that scene tbh) and other than that it's was just mindless action. The absolutely ridiculous reviews sponsored by Disney comparing it to great cold war spy thrillers actually annoyed me, the movie only had the aesthetics of a spy movie with none of the substance... as per usual with Marvel movies. Ragnarok was the same, good direction and cinematography but other than that yet another forgettable film with so much CGI action that at some point it just gets boring.
 
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I just want to know when Ree is going to cancel Martin Scorsese.

He's right btw. I love a good popcorn action movie as much as anyone but I also respect movies made for the purpose of being a work of art and I love both.

There's some relationship with making video games too here. Not a lot of video games are made with the purpose of being art. The Last Guardian springs to mind as a rare extreme of that this gen.
 
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#Phonepunk#

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I think it does speak to the declining quality of their output if we can describe them as soulless, early Disney productions do not feel soulless.
telling that they were also based on genuine folktales. Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Pinocchio, all these early animated films, even on up to Aladdin and Little Mermaid, were based on classic fairytales. the old stories tended to be better constructed due to standing the test of time. they had archetypal characters, classic ethical questions, moral dilemmas, story structure. Batman, Iron Man, etc. are heroes marketed as if they are on the same level as the classic folk legends and myths, but in truth they have a fraction of the depth. they are mostly about someone in a costume dominating the rest.

when you stack up classic legends hundreds of years old against a story some guy wrote in the 70s, well, it isn't going to have the same level of meaning behind it. people tend to flatten out all fiction these days, it is part of the trend of ahistorical thinking, that everything is the same, it is all subjective, there is no real objective quality. but if that were true there wouldn't be capital-A Art at all. a character with hundreds or thousands of years behind them is usually far more interesting than one that is a derivative of that. not saying comics as a medium is incapable of great storytelling, but that when you stack up 50 or so years vs. hundreds of years, there is little to pick from.

even the best of the Marvel films are still mostly monuments to mindless violence & ego. Iron Man 1 celebrating a weapons dealer who becomes a weapon himself, the glorifying of US military might, is that really cinema or just pop trash? Ragnarock, while a fun movie, it isn't saying anything at all, just a lot of punching, and silly but pointless banter, and is a bit too garish and over eager to seem zany. they all feel a little desperate to please to me. true cinema needs to be transportative, these films always feel like they are selling you on the next movie down the line.
 
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oagboghi2

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Ah you're one of those guys. Hillarious how you picked one of the worst movies in the entire universe just to make a stupid point. Heres the thing, some people enjoyed Captain Marvel. Who are you to say they are wrong or lying if they got emotional? Gtfo.
He isn't saying you can't enjoy your popcorn schlock. Stop acting so sensitive.