Martin Scorsese faced some backlash after he suggested Marvel movies were "not cinema." When issue was taken with his comments, The Godfather and Apocalypse Now director Francis Ford Coppola offered up even harsher thoughts and labeled the films as "despicable."
While presenting The Irishman at the Rome Film Fest on Monday, Scorsese clarified his thoughts a bit further and expressed his concern these movies will shape what younger audiences expect from cinema. "The key that I’m hoping for is for theaters to continue to support narrative cinema of this kind," explained Scorsese of The Irishman, as The Hollywood Reporter notes.
He name-dropped a number of other directors he wants to see succeed, including Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, and Noah Baumbach. "Right now the theaters seem to be mainly supporting the theme park, amusement park, comic book films, " Scorsese added. "They’re taking over the theaters. 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."
The director's latest comments on the state of big studio movies softens his previous statement, which came off to some as lamenting the genre's entire existence rather than its prevalence. Speaking about Jimmy Hoffa, the real-world subject of The Irishman, Scorsese said, "As well known as he was, time just wiped him away. 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."
During the presentation of the film at Rome Film Fest, Scorsese also responded to a question about why his films were so male-centric. "No. That's not even a valid point," he replied. "That's not valid. I can't... That goes back to 1970. That's a question that I've had for so many years." He mostly dismissed the criticism and pointed to a number of other films he's worked on throughout the years.
"If the story doesn’t call for it...it’s a waste of everybody’s time," he continued. "If the story calls for a female character lead, why not? ... Casino. Sharon Stone’s great in that. They don’t count that. Forget it. ‘It’s all these men.’"
When asked if he'd like to do a film in his future with women leads, he added, "I'd like to. ... But you know what, I'm 76 now. How am I going to have the time? I don't know what's going to happen. We don't know. I don't have time anymore."