When Martin Scorsese held a press conference at the BFI London Film Festival over the weekend after a screening of “The Irishman,” one of two things was clear. Either the filmmaker is not someone that scours the headlines of entertainment news, where over the last week he caused massive waves after saying that Marvel films are “not cinema,” or he just doesn’t give a shit. We’re going to assume that after his recent comments, it’s more of the latter than the former.
As mentioned, Scorsese spoke at a panel after an LFF screening of his three-and-a-half-hour crime epic, “The Irishman.” And as you might imagine, the conversation quickly turned to the future of cinema, particularly the future of the theatrical experience. And as he said last week, he believes that Marvel films are the cause of a lot of the current issues, as the blockbusters drive out the opportunity for “narrative films” to have a shot at big-screen exposure.
“The value of a film that is like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel pictures, where the theaters become amusement parks,” he explained. “That’s a different experience. It’s not cinema. It’s something else. Whether you go for it or not, it is something else. We shouldn’t be invaded by it.”
He continued, “And so, that’s a big issue. And we need the theater owners to step up for that. To allow theaters to show films that are narrative films. A narrative film can be one long take for three hours, you know? It doesn’t have to be a conventional beginning, middle, and end.”
Clearly, this isn’t going to go over well for the people that lashed out against Scorsese the last time he sullied the good Marvel Studios name with his opinion about Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers. Those folks will see what the filmmaker has just said as further proof that he’s just an old man that is out of touch with modern films and the current state of the industry. For others, this is another rallying cry for people hoping that Marvel (and Disney, for that matter) will loosen its grip on the box office and allow other films to get financing and a theatrical release.
Obviously, at this point, nothing is going to change, but Scorsese has given social media a few more days of debate. So, enjoy!
????️"Allow theatres to show films that are narrative films." pic.twitter.com/Zz19pk0dmZ
— BFI (@BFI) October 13, 2019