Martin Scorsese Pens Beautiful Op-Ed Defending Cinema Amid Marvel Backlash

Film icon Martin Scorsese is refusing to back down from his defense of cinema amid swarms of Marvel fanboys denouncing him as some kind of snobby elitist for daring to liken the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to vapid theme park rides designed solely to line Disney’s pockets.
In a beautifully written op-ed for The New York Times, the “Goodfellas” director explains that while he admires the talented individuals who help craft the Marvel movies, he ultimately laments how the MCU (and other franchise films) have jettisoned what he calls “revelation.”
“For me, for the filmmakers I came to love and respect, for my friends who started making movies around the same time that I did, cinema was about revelation — aesthetic, emotional and spiritual revelation,” writes Scorsese. “It was about characters — the complexity of people and their contradictory and sometimes paradoxical natures, the way they can hurt one another and love one another and suddenly come face to face with themselves.”
“It was about confronting the unexpected on the screen and in the life it dramatized and interpreted, and enlarging the sense of what was possible in the art form,” he continued. “And that was the key for us: it was an art form.”
Playing devil’s advocate, Scorsese admits that his dismissal of Marvel movies as cinema could stem from the lack of an acquired taste, but on that front, he points to a director who would’ve been classified as a franchise filmmaker during his youth: Alfred Hitchcock, who, in some ways, shares similarities with director Christopher Nolan.

“I suppose you could say that Hitchcock was his own franchise,” argues Scorsese. “Or that he was our franchise. Every new Hitchcock picture was an event. To be in a packed house in one of the old theaters watching ‘Rear Window’ was an extraordinary experience: It was an event created by the chemistry between the audience and the picture itself, and it was electrifying.”
Though he notes that “Hitchcock films were also like theme parks,” in some ways, Hitchcock’s contributions to cinema have lived decades beyond their sell-date, are studied regularly for their artistic merits, and frequently revisited time and time again, arguing how their interior life accentuated the spectacle, imparting an emotional depth unseen in today’s franchise fare.
Fixating his attention back on Marvel, Scorsese applauds the cinematic elements in the MCU while emphasizing how their sameness drains the stories of all tension, stakes, or “emotional danger.”
“What’s not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger,” he argues. “Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes. They are sequels in name but they are remakes in spirit, and everything in them is officially sanctioned because it can’t really be any other way.”
All of that aside, Scorsese’s real concern (and this may be why he criticized the MCU in the first place) is how the entire film industry has shifted toward an assembly-line method of filmmaking, or, as one YouTuber aptly described, “the homogenization of blockbusters.” This, according to Scorsese, has created an atmosphere in which few executives (if any) take risks, leaving genuinely eager filmmakers with unique visions (perhaps even a potential Hitchcock) out in the cold. Add China into the mix and one can only conclude that the game is rigged.
“That’s the nature of modern film franchisesmarket-researchedaudience-tested, vetted, modified, revetted and remodified until they’re ready for consumption,” says Scorsese.
“In the past 20 years, as we all know, the movie business has changed on all fronts. But the most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk,” he writes. “Many films today are perfect products manufactured for immediate consumption. Many of them are well made by teams of talented individuals. All the same, they lack something essential to cinema: the unifying vision of an individual artist. Because, of course, the individual artist is the riskiest factor of all.”
Martin Scorsese Pens Beautiful Op-Ed Defending Cinema Amid Marvel Backlash Martin Scorsese Pens Beautiful Op-Ed Defending Cinema Amid Marvel Backlash Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 05:53 Rating: 5

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