Martin Scorsese slams Marvel movies again: ‘We need cinemas to step up’

Martin Scorsese is doubling down on his comments that Marvel films are “not cinema,” calling on theaters to show more of what he called “narrative films.”

“It’s not cinema, it’s something else,” the Oscar-winner said while promoting his new film The Irishman on Sunday at the BFI London Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”

On Saturday, during BAFTA’s annual David Lean lecture, the director made similar comments. “Theaters have become amusement parks. That is all fine and good but don’t invade everything else in that sense,” he said. “That is fine and good for those who enjoy that type of film and, by the way, knowing what goes into them now, I admire what they do. It’s not my kind of thing, it simply is not. It’s creating another kind of audience that thinks cinema is that.”

Scorsese, who struggled to find funding for The Irishman before signing a deal with Netflix, first spoke out against the big-budget blockbusters earlier this month in an interview with Empire. “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” he told the outlet. “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.”

His comments have not gone unnoticed by Marvel filmmakers. Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn tweeted that it was hypocritical of Scorsese to judge a movie without watching it, as “people picketed [the Scorcese-directed] The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film.”

Others, like Joss Whedon and Samuel L. Jackson, have also reacted to the Taxi Driver director’s critiques, with Jackson noting “everybody doesn’t like his stuff either.”

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