Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Marty's Party

Everyone is talking about Martin Scorsese's comments on Marvel films.  He recently put his thoughts down in words in a New York Times editorial.  As far as he's concerned, the Marvel movies aren't cinema as he knows it.  They're expertly done on a technical level, but...

What's not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger.  Nothing is at risk.

I certainly understand what he's saying.  When he was growing up, films almost always tried to connect on a human level (not that they always succeeded).  Even "actions" films, such as North By Northwest, were based on a story that dealt with real human emotions.

But is he missing what the Marvel films have done?  Sure, they deal with characters who are superhuman, and perhaps hard to relate to regarding everyday life.  But don't they also have to establish an emotional connection for us to care?  I'm not saying that a film is good just because it's a blockbuster, but the Marvel films have done well--better than other action movies--because, at their best, they're more than just huge action sequences and special effects.

I'm sympathetic to much of what Scorsese (as well as his contemporary Francis Ford Coppola) is saying.  I'm also tired of so many superhero films.  But that's because the public demands them, so Hollywood supplies them.  No one is forced to attend. (Scorsese may take it more personally, since he's trying to get funding for his projects--though he does keep making movies, so apparently that's working out.)

I don't know what films people will be watching a hundred years from now.  There's a good chance they won't care much for the Marvel film universe.  But then, there's also a good chance they won't care much for Scorsese's oeuvre.  Most things fade, after all.  I agree that it's relatable, emotional contact of one sort or another that is likely to keep something alive.  But who knows where the future audience will find that?

2 Comments:

Blogger brian said...

Marvel took to heart the criticism that the films have no consequences and then (spoiler alert) they decided that Thanus would wipe out half of the universe. Howz that for consequences, you pasty faced critics?

6:03 AM, November 07, 2019  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

Marvel movies are also serials. Maybe he hasn't seen enough of them to realize that the characters return again and again, and interact across films with each other. If nothing else, its something new to movies, though we've seen it in tv series that sometimes interact with their spinoffs.

7:41 AM, November 07, 2019  

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