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(Credit: Peabody Awards)

Martin Scorsese on Marvel: 'This isn't what young people should believe is cinema'

Martin Scorsese is not backing down in his criticism of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has doubled down in his “not cinema” comments.

The acclaimed director, currently on a promotional tour of his new crime drama epic The Irishman, managed to ruffle more than a few feathers when he was drawn into a conversation about the rising amount of superhero films that currently dominate box office. “I tried, you know?” he said in an interview with Esquire Magazine when asked if he has been watching the films. “But that’s not cinema.”

He added: “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.” 

Scorsese went on to urge cinemas to stand up against the “invasion” of Marvel, comments that have subsequently been backed by Francis Ford Coppola who descried the franchise as “despicable” in a string defence of his colleague.

Now, while speaking at the Rome Film Festival where The Irishman was top of the bill, Scorsese has now urged young people to look beyond Marvel in the pursuit of cinematic achievements: “Right now, the theatres seem to be mainly supporting the theme park, amusement park, comic book films. They’re taking over the theatres,” he told press in Rome, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “I think they can have those films; it’s fine. It’s just that that shouldn’t become what our young people believe is cinema. It just shouldn’t.”

While on the subject of youth, Scorsese admitted that the development of technology has changed the way young film fans absorb their information: “This is the world we live in. Our children are, I don’t know what they’re doing with those devices. They perceive reality differently. They perceive even the concept of what history is supposed to be [differently]… How are they going to know about WWII? How are they going to know about Vietnam? What do they think of Afghanistan? What do they think of all of this? They’re perceiving it in bits and pieces. There seems to be no continuity of history.”

[MORE] – James Gunn hits back at Coppola and Scorsese: ‘You’re geniuses but you don’t understand Marvel’