Francis Ford Coppola Raises Martin Scorsese, Calls Marvel Films ‘Despicable’

Coppola Scorsese Marvel

“Godfather” director Francis Ford Coppola says Martin Scorsese was being generous when he said Marvel movies are “not cinema” —and said that they are, in fact, “despicable.”

“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 told journalists in the French city of Lyon, after receiving the Prix Lumiere for his contributions to cinema, according to Agence France Presse.

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

Also read: Watch Martin Scorsese’s Full Comments on ‘Theme Park’ Marvel Movies

Scorsese, a previous recipient of the Prix Lumiere, has said while promoting his new film “The Irishman” that Marvel movies are “not cinema.”

“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,” he told Empire.

Scorese elaborated at the BFI London Film Festival that he wanted to protect the “communal experience” of watching films in theaters, and that smaller films will be crowded out of theaters if big-budget Marvel-style films occupy every screen. He weighed “the value of a film that’s like a theme-park film for example, the Marvel-type pictures where the theaters become amusement parks.”

“It’s not cinema, it’s something else,” Scorsese said. “Whether you go for that or not. But it is something else, and we shouldn’t be invaded by it. And so that’s a big issue, that’s a big issue, and we need the theater owners to step up for that, you see, to allow theaters to show pictures that are narrative films.”

When Scorsese first called Marvel films “not cinema,” several Marvel creatives disagreed, while expressing respect for the “Goodfellas” director.

“I appreciate [Scorsese’s] opinion because I think it’s like anything, we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on,” Robert Downey Jr. told Howard Stern. But he added that Scorsese’s statement was “like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio. It makes no sense to say it.”

“Martin Scorsese is one of my 5 favorite living filmmakers. I was outraged when people picketed ‘The Last Temptation of Christ’ without having seen the film. I’m saddened that he’s now judging mine in the same way,” tweeted “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn. “That said, he’s added as much to cinema as anyone and I’ll always love him, and I can’t wait to see The Irishman.”

The new Warner Bros. hit Joker, meanwhile, based on the DC Comics villain, draws heavily from the Scorsese films Taxi Driver and King of Comedy.

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