The Guardian, TVWeek

After Scorsese Ripped Marvel’s Superhero Movies, Another Legendary Director Fuels the Debate

Oct 21, 2019  •  Post A Comment

A second iconic movie director has joined the debate over Marvel’s superhero films after Martin Scorsese got the ball rolling when he said recently of the Marvel series, “That’s not cinema.”

Scorsese was also quoted saying earlier this month of the Marvel films: “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.”

Now Francis Ford Coppola has added his voice to the discussion, and not only is he backing Scorsese, but he’s also taking it a step further, calling the Marvel films “despicable.”

The U.K. publication The Guardian quotes the director of the “Godfather” films and “Apocalypse Now” telling journalists in Lyon, France, where Coppola accepted the Prix Lumiere for his contribution to cinema: “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.”

Coppola added: “I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again. Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

Scorsese’s initial comments were met with a chorus of backlash on social media — including protests from a number of directors, such as James Gunn, Joss Whedon, Kevin Smith and Taika Waititi.

For his part, Scorsese has doubled down on his original comments. The Guardian quotes the director of “GoodFellas,” “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull” saying during a lecture on David Lean Oct. 12: “Theatres have become amusement parks. 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.”


  1. Considering he made a Dracula movie, it’s ironic that Coppola would say what he did.

    If one has seen a Marvel movie and not seen “human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being”, or “learned something, gained something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, or some inspiration”… then I would surmise one is severely lacking not just sight, but the slightest wit of imagination as well.

    Given the inherently upbeat, never-say-die optimism of Marvel movies (and much imaginative genre cinema), I’d much rather see any of them than the type of “true-to-life” cinema of Scorsese and Coppola that promulgate deranged human trash and an overall nihilistic world view. Why exalt and wallow in the world of criminal psychopaths?

    Besides, Scorsese and Coppola might want to go back to the early days of “cinema” to see what it was that brought people into theaters.

    It was for amusement.

  2. I really feel bad that I have watched The Godfather and Raging Bull more than once. I had no clue that it was despicable to do that.

  3. I don’t know about high brow snobs like those two, but people I know go the theater for 2 main reasons: To be entertained & forget about their problems for awhile. Yes, sometimes it is good to seek enlightenment through art. It’s also good to seek out art for pure entertainment. I’ll call such movie popcorn for the brain. Enjoyable, but no great nutritional value. Life is hard enough, allow us a little fun.

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