Martin Scorsese, recently in London to promote his upcoming film “The Irishman,” is not backing down from his prior statement that Marvel Cinematic Universe movies are the equivalent of the cotton-candy offerings of a theme park.
During a press conference this weekend at the BFI London Film Festival, the Academy Award-winning director said, “Theaters have become amusement parks,” according to CNET. “That is all fine and good but don’t invade everything else in that sense. … 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 did not relent in his screed against superhero tentpoles. “It’s not cinema, it’s something else,” he said. “We shouldn’t be invaded by it. We need cinemas to step up and show films that are narrative films.”
Scorsese’s remarks follow a recent and controversial statement the “Goodfellas” and “Taxi Driver” filmmaker made regarding what he perceives to be the fatuousness of the MCU. “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.”
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Scorsese is riding high on wall-to-wall praise for “The Irishman,” which opened the 2019 New York Film Festival. The gangster epic, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Joe Pesci, debuted to instant Oscar fervor and is sure to land Netflix a surfeit of Academy Award nominations. Also at the London Film Festival, Scorsese defended Netflix for throwing an impressive wad of cash at his vision of a post-WWII crime world.
“Having the backing of a company that says that you will have no interference, you can make the picture as you want – the trade-off being: it streams, with theatrical distribution prior to that. I figure, that’s a chance we take, on this particular project,” he said.
“The Irishman” arrives in theaters on November 1 before it begins streaming on Netflix November 27, right in time for Thanksgiving, when family members can collectively luxuriate in the film’s nearly four-hour runtime.