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Francis Ford Coppola is once again offering his thoughts on Marvel while also reflecting on the modern landscape of studio films.
Coppola garnered attention for his comments three years ago after coming to the defense of Martin Scorsese, who faced backlash at the time for describing Marvel films as “not cinema.” Coppola shared the same sentiment but also described the films as “despicable.” When speaking to GQ magazine for a profile published Thursday, the director continued to share his thoughts on Marvel, arguing that instead of Hollywood having studio films, “there are Marvel pictures” now and films that are repackaged to look different but are still the same “prototype movie.”
“There used to be studio films. Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is one prototype movie that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different,” he told the publication.
Coppola continued to explain his point by referencing Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Cary Fukunaga’s No Time to Die, films he considered to be “good films” with “talented filmmakers,” but ones that still felt similar.
He explained: “Even the talented people — you could take Dune, made by Denis Villeneuve, an extremely talented, gifted artist, and you could take No Time to Die, directed by … Cary Fukunaga — extremely gifted, talented, beautiful artists, and you could take both those movies, and you and I could go and pull the same sequence out of both of them and put them together. The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other.”
He continued, “They all have that stuff in it, and they almost have to have it, if they’re going to justify their budget. And that’s the good films and the talented filmmakers.”
Villeneuve’s Dune secured 10 Oscar nominations, including for best picture. Meanwhile, No Time to Die earned three Oscar noms, including one for best original song.
In his interview, Coppola also recognized Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story as a film he was eager to see in the theater and one he hoped would act as a reminder about the importance of box office releases.
“I want West Side Story to do incredible business, to remind people that the theater debut is much more important than the so-called streaming. Streaming is just home video,” he said.
Coppola also later noted that when it comes to films and filmmaking, he always advises his children that their films “be personal.”
“I always tell my kids, like Sofia— ‘Let your films be personal. Always make it as personal as you can because you are a miracle, that you’re even alive. Then your art will be a miracle because it reflects stuff from someone who there is no other one like that,'” he said. “Whereas if you’re part of a school, or ‘Yeah, I’m going to make a Marvel picture, and that’s the formula and I get it and I’ll do my best,’ sure it will still have your individuality, but as art, do that and do something else. But if you’re going to make art, let it be personal. Let it be very personal to you.”
This year, Coppola will mark the 50th anniversary of his film The Godfather and the director will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th annual ICG Publicists Awards ceremony next month. Coppola is also working on his longtime passion project Megalopolis.
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