Why does Martin Scorsese say that Marvel movies are not cinema?


With more than 50 years of experience, Scorsese is one of the most important filmmakers of his time. A few years ago, during the promotion of the film The Irish, the director made a statement that has gone around the world. What was Martin Scorsese referring to when he said that Marvel movies are not cinema?

In a conversation with Empire, Scorsese talked a bit about some of today’s wealthiest movie producers. When it was the turn of the MCU, the director gave his opinion on the matter.

«I have not seen them. I’ve tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the best I can think of them, considering how well done they are and how well the actors do under the circumstances, is that they’re a theme park. It is not the cinema of human beings trying to transmit psychological and emotional experiences to other human beings».

It is worth mentioning that this director is not the only one who has criticized Marvel tapes. Previously, Marc Maron, actor from joker he had already stated that the MCU were children’s movies. In the same way, Jennifer Lopez commented during the Toronto International Film Festival that it was difficult to make films outside of big production companies like Marvel, and that it did not focus on human stories or life problems.

Why does Martin Scorsese say that Marvel movies are not cinema?

scorsese marvel

In contrast, the head of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, has already defended the MCU films on several occasions. In June 2018, the CEO explained that the lack of awards was not a benchmark of the quality of the films. “Maybe it’s easy to ignore the special effects or the people flying or the billion-dollar profits. I think it’s easy to say that you’ve already been rewarded in a certain way. (Alfred) Hitchcock never won best director, so he’s fine, but he’s not everything. I prefer to be in a place full of involved fans.

To be clear, Scorsese wasn’t necessarily saying Marvel movies were “bad” or not worth watching. What he commented is that they are very different experiences from films that deal with real people in a real world. In those, the conflicts tend to be internal: they are explorations of the human condition and the relationships between people.

Superhero movies, for their part, mostly deal with outside problems, with beings from other planets and other realities (other than our own) who want to take over or annihilate the world. The only motivation in these is to “save the world”, not to find a connection with another person. On the narrative side, superhero movies are built with a structure that favors spectacle and “plot points” over the organic development of the story. The purpose of superhero movies is to thrill, not explore. In this sense, for Scorsese the Marvel movies are closer to the experience of a roller coaster.

The entry Why does Martin Scorsese say that Marvel movies are not cinema? was first published in Cine PREMIERE.


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