Martin Scorsese dismisses superhero films as ‘not cinema’

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2019 file photo, Martin Scorsese attends the premiere for
FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2019 file photo, Martin Scorsese attends the premiere for "Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band" on day one of the Toronto International Film Festival at the Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. Scorsese’s crime epic “The Irishman” is set to make its premiere at the New York Film Festival. The director’s 209-minute opus, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, is among the most anticipated films of the year. It will play first for members of the press Friday, Sept. 27, and then have its red-carpet premiere in the evening.(Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)

Martin Scorsese has dismissed superhero films and said they are “not cinema”.

The director, one of the most venerated figures in film, compared the genre currently dominating the market to “theme parks”.

Asked if he had seen any of Marvel’s multi-billion dollar-grossing superhero films, Scorsese, 76, told Empire magazine: “I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema.

Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese has dismissed superhero films as ‘not cinema’ (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

“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.”

Earlier this year, Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame became the highest grossing film ever, raking in 2.79 billion US dollars (£2.3 billion) at the global box office.

It was the studio’s latest film in its Marvel Cinematic Universe, which also includes characters such as Iron Man, Spider-Man and Captain America.

The Irishman director Scorsese’s comments sparked a backlash on Twitter.

James Gunn, the director of Marvel’s Guardians Of The Galaxy, tweeted: “I was outraged when people picketed The Last Temptation of Christ without having seen the film.

“I’m saddened that he’s now judging my films in the same way.

“That said, I will always love Scorsese, be grateful for his contributions to cinema, and can’t wait to see The Irishman.”

C Robert Cargill wrote the screenplay for Doctor Strange and described Scorsese as a “genius”, but added: “Anyone who thinks Marvel is only trying to make theme park rides is being unjust and cynical.”

Scorsese’s films include Raging Bull, Goodfellas and The Departed, which won him the Academy Award for best director in 2006.

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