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Martin Scorsese Says the Marvel Movies Aren’t “Cinema”? Oh, Cry Me a River.

Bruce Banner as Professor Hulk in Endgame

I don’t want to sit and be mad. I don’t want to have to constantly yell, and yet, here I am. Martin Scorsese, a director I love and admire, openly admitted to not seeing a movie and yet continued to then tear apart an entire cinematic universe because he didn’t like one movie. So, sorry if I’m bitter, but that seems like a ridiculous way of approaching a record-breaking movie.

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Talking with Empire, someone asked him about Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame, and what we learned is that we shouldn’t ask him about superhero movies because he doesn’t like them, obviously, and instead of just saying they are not his wheelhouse, he decided to compare them to “theme parks” and bash the overall storytelling instead of, you know, just saying they’re not his cup of tea:

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.

This is extremely damaging because superhero movies being being taken seriously within the context of being just that (and not needing to be these “dark” takes on heroes like the Nolan Batman movies or Joker) just started to happen, but then Martin Scorsese, who continues to tell stories of Italian men, is an expert on what cinema is and brings it back down to the “it’s just fun and not important” ranking of movies? No thank you.

Look, with all the problems that Avengers: Endgame had, it did something that no Scorsese film ever has. It brought together 21 storylines from the entire cinematic universe and gave them all a conclusion in a way that did not cheat any character or make it feel as if it was something they wouldn’t do in some universe. To me, that is a cinematic masterpiece in itself because the idea of even making three storylines work together is hard for trilogies, and yet the MCU did all that and so much more with their entire Infinity Saga.

So, it isn’t Scorsese’s idea of cinema. That’s it. He isn’t the definitive ranking of what is and isn’t film. And guess what? That’s fine if he doesn’t like Marvel movies.

What it all boils down to is that if you don’t like something, that’s fine. It’s not what you enjoy. But that doesn’t mean that you can say that something that changed the way movies are made and how universes are built is not “cinema” just because you watched one movie and didn’t enjoy it. He probably watched Thor: The Dark World and thinks he knows things now.

(via Indiewire, image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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