Francis Ford Coppola was in a bit of hot water last month. The iconic director found himself in the cinematic doghouse as he, along with Martin Scorsese and a few other notable names, moved to discredit the seemingly never-ending supply of Marvel films.
Scorsese said that the films were “not cinema”, and it was a sentiment that Coppola continued when asked about the comments at the Lumiere Festival. At the festival, he was quoted as saying the Marvel films, and superhero films, in general, were “despicable”. Now, though, Coppola has moved to distance himself from those comments saying that a bad translation had been the reason for the disdain.
In an interview with Deadline, Coppola said that while he was responding to a question on whether he agreed with Scorsese’s comments, he was mistranslated. Coppola said that the “despicable” remark was not aimed directly at Marvel films but at the industry’s general push into making commercial films over art.
In the interview, Deadline also printed his full comments at the aforementioned film festival. “Well you know because of the lack of risk in the production. Marty Scorsese says that the Marvel picture is not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. Arguably, I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again, which is the Marvel movies. A thing that has no risk to it. I’ve said before, making a film without risk is like making a baby without sex. Part of it is risk, and that’s what make it so interesting, that’s why we learn so much when it’s made.”
He continued, “Also, there is a philosophy that a person of riches can be just or unjust. It’s very important when you talk about it. To gain riches unjustly, just uses up, it doesn’t contribute. Wealth is only what is just, what brings more to the society. Cinema is the same way. Real cinema brings something, a wonderful gift to society. It doesn’t just take money and make people rich. That’s despicable. So Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema, he didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just said it is.”
Coppola was then again asked to add some more comments to the idea of superhor films, “Personally I don’t like the idea of franchises, the notion that you can keep repeating what is essentially the same movie for financial gain — in other words what is a formulaic approach.”
“I feel that approach is taken to reduce the economic risk of movies and I feel the ‘risk factor’ is an element that makes movies sometimes be great,” Coppola added. “Also the formulaic film draws most available resources to them, leaving little for more daring productions, reducing diversity.”