James Gunn, More Directors Take Issue With Scorsese Calling Marvel Movies "Not Cinema"
Martin Scorsese's comments to Empire magazine that he regards Marvel movies as "not cinema" generated a swift Twitter backlash, with Marvel directors James Gunn and Joss Whedon among those taking issue with Scorsese's remarks.
After admitting he hasn't seen Marvel films but tried, the Oscar-winning director compared them to "theme parks" and criticized the movies for not reflecting people's emotional and psychological experiences, "as well made as they are."
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"I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema," Scorsese told Empire. "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."
Guardians of the Galaxy helmer Gunn was quick to express his disappointment in the comments from one of his "5 favorite living filmmakers."
Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way. https://t.co/hzHp8x4Aj8— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2019
He went on to clarify that he was upset with anyone "judging things without actually seeing them."
And I’m not saying religious zealotry is the same as not liking my movies, or in the same category. What I’m saying is I’m not fond of people judging things without actually seeing them, whether it’s a movie about Jesus or a genre.— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) October 4, 2019
Whedon, who directed the first two Avengers films for Marvel, defended Gunn, saying that Gunn's "heart and guts are packed into GOTG."
“It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”— Joss Whedon (@joss) October 4, 2019
I first think of @JamesGunn, how his heart & guts are packed into GOTG. I revere Marty, & I do see his point, but...
Well there’s a reason why “I’m always angry”. https://t.co/Wh3ptU2KBp
Meanwhile, others, like Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse helmer Peter Ramsey and Insidious and Saw writer Leigh Whannell, struck a more conciliatory tone, indicating that both Scorsese's films and Marvel movies can be appreciated.
Martin Scorsese is a god. Marvel movies are fun and good. Chill.— Peter Ramsey (@pramsey342) October 4, 2019
I worship Martin Scorsese. Also, some of the Marvel films fill me with the same action movie bliss I got watching 'RoboCop' as a kid. Also, I wrote a film about an evil ventriloquist puppet who ripped out people's tongues so I have no business commenting on anyone else's films.— Leigh Whannell (@LWhannell) October 5, 2019
Scorsese's comments come after the world premiere of his latest film, The Irishman, to rave reviews and immediate awards chatter. The organized-crime drama, starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino, is set to hit theaters Nov. 1 and arrive on Netflix on Nov. 27.
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