Earlier this month Martin Scorsese — who directed Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Raging Bull and other classic Hollywood films from the 1970s — offered his opinion that Marvel Studios superhero films are “not cinema.” Now, a second legendary American film director of the 1970s has taken Scorsese’s criticism a step further, according to a Saturday report by the French Press Agency.
Francis Ford Coppola told reporters in Lyon, France — where Coppola received an award for his lifetime contributions to the art of film — that Scorsese did not go far enough in his denunciation of Marvel movies. Coppola ripped the Marvel Studios products as “despicable.”
Coppola made his mark on the American cinema of the 1970s with three films now on the American Film Institute list of the “100 Greatest American Films of All Time” — The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now.
Scorsese also directed three films on the AFI “100 Greatest” list, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and his 1991 gangster film, Goodfellas.
Meanwhile, there are currently no Marvel films on the AFI top 100.
“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right,” Coppola said at the Lumière Festival in Lyon. Coppola went on to explain his view that movie goers should “learn something” from “cinema,” gaining “some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration.”
But Coppola, 80, then turned to his opinion of Marvel Comics-based movies — an opinion which is apparently extremely low.
“I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” the director — who also made the acclaimed 1974 political thriller The Conversation, as well as 1983’s youth drama The Outsiders — told reporters at the festival at which he received a lifetime achievement award.
“Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”
This weekend, Scorsese refused to walk back his criticism of the string of box-office blockbusters turned out by Marvel Studios. He had appeared at a promotional event for his latest epic gangster film, The Irishman, in London, England, according to a report by CNet.
“Theaters have become amusement parks,” the Departed director said. “It’s not cinema, it’s something else.” The 76-year-old Scorsese, whose new film was financed by the streaming service Netflix, then said that he hoped movie theater owners would “step up” by exhibiting more films like The Irishman and fewer Marvel superhero blockbusters.
The Irishman was also at the center of another recent controversy when one of the film’s stars, Robert De Niro — appearing in his eighth Scorsese-directed film — showed up for a live CNN interview to answer critics regarding his outspoken criticism of Donald Trump. De Niro simply said, “F*** ’em!” on the live broadcast, as The Inquisitr reported.
The Irishman is scheduled to stream on Netflix starting November 27, less than four weeks after the film’s theatrical release on November 1.