Live Poll: Are Marvel Movies Cinema?

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  • Updated 2 months ago
  • (Edited)

Recently, Martin Scorsese was the first of several respected directors in world Cinema that made controversial declarations about Superhero films. Other have defended this kind of movies.

With which declaration do you agree the most?

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls097728195/

https://www.imdb.com/poll/AwhTSuHanew/

There are many other declarations, but I just added the three that have produced more comments and three other that I found interesting to avoid repeating the same ideas.
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Pencho15

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Posted 9 months ago

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cinephile

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You made a big mistake!!!!!!!

Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola didn't talk about Superhero movies, he talked about Marvel movies and never mentioned superhero movies in general, this is why no DC directors like Todd Phillips, Zack Snyder, Christopher Nolan replied to their comments.

I suggest that you change superhero movies by Marvel movies!!!

They asked him: If he had seen Marvel movies.

Martin Scorsese responded: "I tried you know?"
      "But that’s not cinema. 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.”
( No use of Superhero in the question or in the answer.)

Martin Scorsese also Said: "What has to be protected is the singular experience of experiencing a picture, ideally with an audience. But there’s room for so many others now, and so many other ways. There’s going to be crossovers, completely. The value of a film that’s like a theme park film, for example, the Marvel-type pictures, where the theaters become amusement parks, that’s a different experience. I was saying earlier, it’s not cinema, it’s something else. Whether you go for that or not."
(No use of Superhero in the comments)

Francis Ford Coppola said: “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right, because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration,”
(No use of Superhero in the comment)

Francis Ford Coppola also said: “I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” continued Coppola. “Martin was kind when he said it’s ‘not cinema.’ He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”
(No use of Superhero in the comment)

Basically, they emphased on MARVEL MOVIES and they never talked about other superheroes movies


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cinephile

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James Gunn was unfair,  he used "Superhero Movie" to include DC in the debate, but as I said, Martin Scorses never talked about DC movies.
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Pencho15

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It was more a matter of interpretation than a mistake.

While the emphasis is on Marvel Movies because they are, with a big difference, the most famous and popular superhero films, I felt they were talking about the subgenre as a whole. Various sources where I look for the quotes talked about superhero in general. 

While the questions may be particullary about Marvel, I doubt Scorsese, Coppola or any other would say kinder words for DC Films. The focus on Marvel simply speaks of their success.

However, it is a fair correction based on the exact comments in the quotes, so I'll make the change.
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cinephile

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At least, he has kinder words for Joker!!!!
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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cinephile, the way he explains it here, with lots of reason, makes me think that his words were taken out of context in the mainstream news media. Nothing out of the ordinary, though: more often then not they just use a phrase or two. 
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Breumaster

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The old generation of directors reminds me on the actor generation when silent movies became talkies. But otherways - when I look at cinema when the lights are on, there are so many people with 50, 60, 70 years of age, ... Those comics are older than 70 years. When I was young, they even were depreciated as kids only stuff. But the stories I read (some, I'm no crack about the comics, either) in those comics have special qualities, society depreciated unfairly. Mostly it's a lack of fantasy of the reader for this kind of stories. And gosh! - I can't even imagine Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola reading a comic book. They are too reality bound for it, when I look at their (surely great) movies. It's clearly another generation and not their cup of meat. Today the audience allows itself to be open for this kind of stuff. And it's clearly more fun to watch the movies open minded. So I agree with James Gunn.

For me these movies are cinematic, they create more fun watching them on a big as can be screen with as many as possible people in the audience to get the atmosphere even more dynamic. And what many critics never get right about the MCU - since now it's a big connected story over more than 20 movies. Some critics only see the single movies and wonder what happens. Not the prob of so many fans that are pleased about it. Let's enjoy the next superhero movies. I do. (When it comes to DC, I try to) :D
(Edited)
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Gitte Løyche

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I tend to agree with Bob Iger
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Wow, they all have something good to say that I can agree with.  This is tough for me, because I don't want to say that all superhero movies are crap.  Some I have seen I wish would go away forever.  ;)  Others are actually pretty good, although I still wouldn't consider them 'art'.  But, that's not to say that one day there will be a Marvel movie that really brings the taste.  So I think for now the quote I relate to the most is Martin Scorsese's.  Although if I really wanted to lash out because I'd just seen Spider-Man: Homecoming or something I'd quote Francis Ford Coppola.
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albstein

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While I am certainly critical of Marvel, it is too easy too draw a line between "cinema" and "theme parks". Do the Russo Brothers try to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being? They would probably say yes and cite moments like (hope that's not a spoiler) "I am Iron Man". The question is to what extent they succeed.

When Ken Loach says that,
They are an exercise on the market and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema.
he ignores the fact that a good number of artistically valuable movies were intended as nothing but money makers.

I don't agree with James Gunn and Bob Igler either, because they seem to misunderstand Scorsese's point, who was neither talking about all superhero movies, and who explicitly didn't go against the actors and crew members involved.

As of now, I'd probably vote for Benedict Cumberbatch's supremely diplomatic answer, although it is a less interesting contribution to the debate.
(Edited)
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mihailomsm

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I feel Cumberbatch's response is the most interesting, because it showed some bravery on his part. Here he is, talking about not wanting to see a movie-monopoly, while starring in films made by Disney - a company which is well on its way to becoming a monopoly.
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MST3K (and Narnia) is Awesome

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Yes, I respect him for being so honest yet bold.
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albstein

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Or one could say he obscures the fact that Disney is becoming a monopoly. Like a politician who calls for peace publicly but lets his country sell weapons to dubious other countries.
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cinephile

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My top replies:

Good Comments:
1-Martin Scorsese: he started the debate (I respected him for that) I also agree with his opinion.
2-Benedict Cumberbatch: I like some of his roles and he is very honest ( I respect him for that).
3-Bob Iger: His argument is new, and it makes sense.
4-Ken Loach: I love the comparison he made with hamburger.

Bad Comments:

1-Francis Ford Coppola: I agree with him, but his comment is not very useful to the debate and he brought no new arguments.
2-James Gunn: I disagree with his comment, and I hate how he compares superhero movies to wester or gangster movies.


My comment: 

The problem with some Marvel Movies is their lack of artistic sense, and when we watch a Marvel movie, we don't go there because it is directed by the Russo Brothers or James Gunn, we don't go there because Scarlet Johansson is playing in it. We watch the movie only because it is part of the MCU. For example, the Russo brothers probably have 300 pages of guidelines for each movie.


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cinephile

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I think like many others that Disney is becoming a monopoly.
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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cinephile, in my personal humble case it's hard to not repsect each of the opinions: it should be noted that circumstances in which comments were given were likely different. Some of them were likely as brief as passing sentence in the interview, while some were well thought-out social media posts. 

As for comparison to westerns: it was first coined by Steven Spielberg in my recent memory, so Gunn is far from being new there. And I can kind of get that comparison because westerns slowly transformed from the niche to dominant genre and then back: something I'm pretty sure might happen with most of the superhero movies with time. 

The problem is that both western and superhero genres are purely thematic and could be mixed with any other genre, so while themes and execution might shift, settings and trappings of both will have a degree of popularity. 
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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I agree mostly with Ken Loach that, sadly, they are mostly commodities. In general, I think that they have more to do with the market than with art but I think that there can certainly be exceptions. I don't think that there have been many exceptions, though: even when they're done well, the motivation for them seems more to do with the box office than with art.

There's no rule, though, that all movies have to be high art. I tend to like it a lot more when they are but I think there's room for pure entertainment. My biggest problem with them is that they saturate the market and too often push out or down smarter and more culturally important films. 

'Great idea for a poll!
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joe siegel

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I agree with Ken Loach and Rub: D, and probably also with Jon Favreau https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theg...
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Pencho15

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I didn't add Favreau since I found his comments similar to Iger, who also mentions the right to criticize. But it can be added if you think it adds to the debate.
(Edited)
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joe siegel

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No, it really doesn't contribute anything to the debate, I feel that Favreau opinion has some joking tone.
(Edited)
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joe siegel

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After analyzing it a bit I think that James Gunn and Benedict Cumberbatch also have very successful points, I do not think that all this genre is as rotten as Scorsese and Coppola affirm, good movies have been made that could represent the genre, however those that I consider as the best superhero movies are out of MCU, so when this poll is specifically directed towards Marvel movies, my opinion changes dramatically, MCU is not minimally interested in creating an artistic-level cinema.
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Peter, Champion

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Suggested correction:

Others have defended
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Pencho15

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Thanks, corrected.
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Pencho15

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Wow, it is rare when my suggestion have so much answers, I am very happy with the debate we are having.

For Me, It is a hard answer for Me because I love comic books, but I hardly consider any of the movies to be Art, they are entertainment, and a very welcome one, and a few manage to be something else. Their real value will be evident or not after some years.
I think I would vote for James Gunn opinion, but Loach and Cumberbacht have good points.
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Breumaster

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@all: It's ok of anybody to tell the free speech. I did. ;)
(Edited)
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Stephen Atwood

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Either Benedict or Gunn's sentiment.
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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As I said before, I really like this poll suggestion. I just noticed a typo in the intro. The correction is below in bold. :)

Others have defended these kind of movies.

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Peter, Champion

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If you use 'these', then I think "these kinds" would be more correct.
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Pencho15

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I wasn't online yesterday.
It is corrected now.
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Peter, Champion

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Pencho15

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Thanks.
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Peter, Champion

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Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/op...
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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Peter, I can totally agree with these movies mostly taking fewer risks these days. MCU is so mapped out you can practically see what's brewing for next movies in such a detail, especially with other movies being tie-ins that hardly anything can surprise you. That said, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) genuinely surprised me with some of the commentary and scenes, so it's not like they're not taking any risks: they just take much fewer. 

And I love his point about Alfred Hitchcock being his own franchise. As much as I love and like certain franchises, it's hardly comparable with how satisfying it is to know that certain directors have something to offer in each of their movies, regardless of whether it's relatively small or huge, often even regardless of genre. That personal flavor is not entirely missing (in fact MCU often picks up some of the most distinctive directors and it shows), but I can't help but be more interested in some intriguing no budget film debut more than some of the biggest movies right now, even though I am a big sucker for superhero genre. 

I'm kinda partial on his pessimism, though: independent filmmaking is not exactly in full decline and I mean, superhero franchise or not, but a $55M R-rated movie with arthouse sensibilities just somehow earned almost a billion and earlier another unusual take on the same theme that causes so much fatigue earned it's budget more than 10 times at the box office as well. Both Glass and Joker make me hopeful, because despite brutal and rather pressing environment they were still successes and I have a strong feeling that both will also hold up much well than some of the MCU movies. They already hold up better in my case: I never went to see any of the MCU movies twice because so far there wasn't one that ever resonated with me enough to make such an impact. And yet I saw both aforementioned movies twice this year, despite busy schedule. Hopefully, there is always room for smaller movies and passion projects. 
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Congratulations penchofifteenpolls on your 126th live poll! As of 2-Mar-2020 3:35 AM Pacific your polls have 207,705 or more votes, for an average of 1,648 votes per poll.

Are Marvel Movies Cinema?
8283rd Live Poll: https://www.imdb.com/poll/AwhTSuHanew/

This is the 957th People poll. Such polls have a total of 1,757,568 votes for an average of 1,837 votes per poll.
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Ardan Tüzünsoy

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I definitely agree with Scorsese, although Ken Loach expressed it best.

Some of the defensive replies to Scorsese by movie makers appear, forgive me, like butthurt tantrums. So it's not enough that you make a movie that earns a billion dollars and is guaranteed at least three sequels that will also earn probably a billion dollars each... but you must also call it art? Are these guys so out of touch that they can't accept criticism from some of the highest names of cinema?

This took me back to decades ago (mostly pre-internet) when people were discussing whether bands like Napalm Death counted as music (Napalm Death was famously dubbed "the end of music" by a music magazine). For those who are unfamiliar: grindcore bands play ultra-fast and noisy songs, sometimes having close to a hundred songs on a 40-minute album. Now the fans of these bands were obviously annoyed at the "this is not music" point of view, and went on tirades about how art cannot be confined to limits, and how bla bla bla and also bla bla bla.

I remember thinking: Yes, they play guitars and drums and record it. Yes, I also listen to some of these bands. And yes, technically it counts as music. BUT Brahms is also music. Ennio Morricone is also music. Are these guys just trying to put a decent label to what they're doing, or are they actually trying to get under the same umbrella term as them? As if to say "Mozart and I are in the same business" ?

Now Marvel movies are entertaining. Also, they are recorded by cameras and displayed in theaters, so technically they are movies. But are they cinema? Can you say the titles Green Lantern and I, Daniel Blake in the same sentence? They both played in cinemas and were made by human beings, but other than that, they have absolutely n-o-t-h-i-n-g in common. One presents us with a story, about people, feelings, hopes, fears, what makes us human, for better or for worse. The other presents us a series of computer effects.

So why this bitterness, why this desire to be considered artsy? Why not just be content by being called entertainment? It's not a slur. It's not demeaning. It's an accurate description.
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Oswald

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Are Lifetime Movies Cinema?

Is Mills and Boon Literature?

Are the works of Jane Austen Literature? Were they the Mills and Boon & Lifetime movies of the Victorian era?

If you hadn't guessed yet, I voted for Iger.

Nice poll! :)
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Bruno Rossi

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I'm sorry, but are you questioning Scorsese's authority?
Whatever he say about cinema is law.
Listen to the man and shut up.
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Gitte Løyche

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Do you also have a "Scorsese shrine"?
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Oswald

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Gitte

I think (hope?) Bruno was being facetious.