Episode 454 - Are Marvel movies "Despicable"?

Nov 24, 2019

This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.

Topics and Show Notes

We've linked to the video where you can hear the full quote from Scorsese in its proper context. It was an industry focused discussion about his latest project “The Irishman” and the challenges involved in getting it produced and promoted. He was asked about the future of movie-making and the platforms for movies and narrative cinematic storytelling. In the conversation, as an aside he mentioned what he thought of as “cinema”: something that is a defined, encapsulated, curated narrative experience is what he seemed to mean, as opposed to a long form TV series where the audience chooses how many episodes they watch at a time (his example), so the experience of the overall story isn't as fully guided by the creator. It was in exactly THIS context that he mentioned Marvel films, thinking of them more as an experience, like a “theme park”- NOT that they are facile and lessor things than a traditional movie, more that it's not really a contained story that's offered but more of an immersive world that you visit. I don't entirely agree but I can see his viewpoint and it's valid.

We are all emotionally connected and invested in the Marvel films so we mistakenly took his remarks too personally and out of context, turning it into a very stupid old vs young argument that it never was. It seems it was in the spirit of this that Francis Ford Coppola waded in and offered his rhetorical firebrand defence to his good friend, using a value judgement and actually calling Marvel films “despicable”. This was again blown up into something huge and headline grabbing. It really was a stupid thing to say, but in the context of defending a friend that was wrongly attacked it becomes more forgiveable, especially since its obviously just rhetoric and not a considered, thought out, personal viewpoint. We can't forget that both men know cinema inside and out and helped create the modern blockbuster film industry of which Marvel is a part. They started out with Lucas and Spielberg. They don't deserve to be ignored, the targets of childish Ad hominems, or casually dismissed because they're not big fans of the same things we are.

We on the Quackcast are huge fans of the Marvel films and all forms of storytelling.


This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Inner Enemy: Time races ever onward. As the piano keys play note after note, step by inevitable step we move closer and closer to uncovering the mystery at the heart of this world… it teases at the edges like the disturbing, haunting background melodies in this track.

Topics and shownotes


Links
Martin Scorsese quote - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZcEZsFXkk
Francis Ford Coppola quote - https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/francis-ford-coppola-marvel-1202183238/

Featured comic:
Feint - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/nov/19/featured-comic-feint/

Featured music:
Inner Enemy - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Inner_Enemy/, by Sabin, rated T.

Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/

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