Samuel L. Jackson Responds to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel Comments

InRainbows

Member
Oct 28, 2017
2,724
He's gatekeeping because in his opinion these movies aren't worthy of being called cinema by his own standards.
he has high standards

They sure as fuck are not on his level of cinema. Let him have an opinion. I mean even if its not needed and he made it out of jealousy of sales and popularity he has a decent point.
 

Futureman

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,121
Pretty nothing statement from Jackson here. Which I don't blame him for, Scorsese didn't say anything that wrong.
Yea SLJ basically saying "Everyone has opinions." Whoa!

The whole "gatekeeping" thing is pretty funny. If anything you could even argue in the opposite direction... the insane overreaction to his comments will pretty much make any future director/actor/whatever keep their opinions to themselves.
 

Z-Beat

Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,013
he has high standards

They sure as fuck are not on his level of cinema. Let him have an opinion. I mean even if its not needed and he made it out of jealousy of sales and popularity he has a decent point.
I also have high standards (relatively) but I can't ban The Devil Inside for not being cinema. It's cinema by definition whether I like it or not (and I don't)
 

Aaron

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,686
Nah it was just gatekeeping bullshit. I'm sure there are indie filmmakers that would call Scorsese a sellout for making big films with big stars that are about very popular and titillating subjects like the Mafia. Only productions that appeal to narrow audiences are "films." It's complete and utter nonsense. He doesn't like the movies and should have just left it at that.
Yeah if he’d just said “I don’t like Marvel movies,” it wouldn’t have gotten any attention. Raising the bar to “they don’t count as cinema” is a shitty thing to say about your colleagues. Yeah, at the end of the day they’re products bankrolled by a corporation, but that doesn’t preclude them from having artistic merit. Some Marvel movies are more effective than others, of course, but even that’s entirely subjective and there’s a reason why movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel resonated with people, even if they’re still tentpole blockbusters.

I’m a playwright and theatre director, I‘ve done serious scripts but I’ve also written plenty of goofy pop culture parodies. I love doing both and anyone who would turn their nose up at the latter as “not real art” or whatever gets a one-way ticket to my shit list. I don’t care who you are and I don’t care if anyone thinks the Zelda play I produced this summer was cheap nerd bait. It totally was, and I had a great time doing it, so fuck the haters. Scorsese is a great director and this won’t stop me from checking out his movies, but you can’t expect to say these popular films that everyone* loves aren’t “real cinema” and not expect folks to take umbrage with that. Much the same as when I’m told some of the plays I do aren’t “real theater.”
 

Slayven

I don’t know what you’re talking about
Moderator
Oct 25, 2017
38,066
Not only is it gatekeeping, it is limiting a medium for no damn reason. Might has well used "Kino"
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,190
People do realise the Scorsese was originally involved in the production of Joker and that film uses one of his films as a basis and this why he got rolled out and asked for his opinion on the topic.

And of course all those people are going to defend superhero movies they all make bank on them and it is their work.
 

Tabaxi

Member
Nov 18, 2018
1,290
Using "cinema" in that context was a poor choice of words, and I think undercut what Scorsese was trying to say.

But holy shit, the amount of vitriol and anger directed at Scorsese for basically going "eh, not for me, but I can see why people like it" is fucking embarrassing.
 

Charamiwa

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,663
The "not cinema" line was such a throwaway line and so far removed from his point that it's crazy to see people dissect it and try to put words in his mouth through it. He never said it shouldn't be called cinema, he never said they shouldn't exist.
 

AegonSnake

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,435
All of this is so ridiculous. The guy is like 80 years old. I tried to get my dad to watch Fast and Furious and Mission Impossible 2 when he was 50, and after they finished, he told me never to put him through that hell again. He loved Spy Games which came out around the same time. When you get to a certain age, you are not going to enjoy or want to watch movies made for kids.

I am not going to blame Marvel for wanting to adapt these comic books true to the comics. They have done a fantastic job telling a story that took 20 movies to tell. They ended it brilliantly. But after watching the Joker its obvious how different End Game feels compared to a real movie. And thats not an insult to End Game or Batman Vs Superman or X-Men, it's simply not what they set out to do. Logan is another similar movie. It felt raw and powerful.

James Gunn is held to this insanely high standard on this board, but i thought Guardians was the most shallow Marvel movie by far. The characters are all one dimensional. they have personality but no substance. the writer goes out of its way to make jokes instead of explore the characters. Rocket Raccoon has a fantastic little monologue in the first movie that ultimately goes nowhere. and thats the problem with their movies, they do have good ideas, but they just dont do anything with them. Black Panther tries to tackle some very sensitive themes but it discards them midway through the story and turns into a fantasy action flick. The Winter Soldier has a great scene where Cap tells Fury that spying on americans isnt patriotic its fear. perfect timing to tackle that subject since it was during the whole Snowden leak but they do nothing with it. it goes from Cap discussing this moral grey area to a simple story about hydra taking over shield and just like that any moral ambiguity gets thrown out the window. Civil war goes from opposing ideas to your bff killed my mom. its all so fucking basic. no different than you and mom have the same name! lets team up and take down that alien monster.

And tbh, i am fine with all of that. i loved all the stupid jokes in Guardians. I loved the airport fight in civil war. i loved thanos being the protagnist in infinity war and loved the portal scene in end game. i ate that shit up. but im in my 30s and this is the first time im watching these superheros i grew up with. when my teenage son comes to me and tells me to watch Avengers 7 in 20 years, i will tell him what my dad told me... 'im too old for this shit... have you seen the dark knight?'
 

canseesea

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,552
Not only is it gatekeeping, it is limiting a medium for no damn reason. Might has well used "Kino"
You can't do that, you're gatekeeping the people who want to gatekeep. Now what about all those pretentious assholes who want to use kino to talk about how their entertainment is so much better than yours? They're just going to feel silly so you should apologize.
 

Kreed

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,782
Sweet. I love to pick on Marvel films (even though I enjoy them), and I love Scorsese, but I really dislike comments like his. That gets into Ebert “video games are not art” territory.

SLJ stayin the realest
Exactly. You can say you don't like a film/you don't consider the films entertaining without trying to redefine what a film is or isn't.
 

Kalentan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,882
Yeah if he’d just said “I don’t like Marvel movies,” it wouldn’t have gotten any attention. Raising the bar to “they don’t count as cinema” is a shitty thing to say about your colleagues. Yeah, at the end of the day they’re products bankrolled by a corporation, but that doesn’t preclude them from having artistic merit. Some Marvel movies are more effective than others, of course, but even that’s entirely subjective and there’s a reason why movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel resonated with people, even if they’re still tentpole blockbusters.

I’m a playwright and theatre director, I‘ve done serious scripts but I’ve also written plenty of goofy pop culture parodies. I love doing both and anyone who would turn their nose up at the latter as “not real art” or whatever gets a one-way ticket to my shit list. I don’t care who you are and I don’t care if anyone thinks the Zelda play I produced this summer was cheap nerd bait. It totally was, and I had a great time doing it, so fuck the haters. Scorsese is a great director and this won’t stop me from checking out his movies, but you can’t expect to say these popular films that everyone* loves aren’t “real cinema” and not expect folks to take umbrage with that. Much the same as when I’m told some of the plays I do aren’t “real theater.”
Basically this.
 

Window

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,648
why not both? not saying going scorched earth is the way to go, but we can laud him for his work in film preservation, but also call bullshit on his gatekeeping in a manner more dignified than name calling.
Sure, it’s fine to disagree with him but the name calling and attempts at discrediting his work in the last thread was really poor behaviour.
 

Alice

Member
Nov 2, 2017
4,991
I wouldn't consider The Departed Cinema either, especially when compared to Internal Affairs.

Honestly, everyone's entitled to their opinion, it's one thing to say that film X is something someone doesn't care for, but discounting their status and acting like they're lesser because it's not their cup of tea is just bull.

I've seen thousands of films, and pretty much every single entry in Scorcese's all time favourite film list, I still wouldn't dare to say Film X doesn't deserve to be counted as Cinema.
 

kitress

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
330
Gatekeeping my ass, who the hell is he keeping away from the biggest media franchise in the world? He's small fry in comparison. Try not to be so sensitive when artists in the field have different opinions about multi-billion dollar movies.
Gatekeeping in a sense he stops MCU fans from having a religious erection whenever we're touched by MCU's grand artistic ambition. Very sad.
 

Peru

Member
Oct 26, 2017
2,411
It's gatekeeping not because he's stopping people from seeing the movie but he's gatekeeping by trying to separate movies like MCU films from the rest of movies in a bid to make them seem lesser. He believes them being considered, "cinema" tarnishes the name of cinema.

So. Gatekeeping.
That's a definition of gatekeeping that could be applied to any negative criticism of a phenomenon, especially when he is criticizing the most popular, marketed, pushed product of cinema in the last decade. Any critic who feels poorly about a movie is 'trying to separate them from the rest of movies', and it's a natural tool for film criticism. Without it we're all singing kumbaya in passive praise to whatever's popular. Kicking upwards is needed, regardless of what we think of the quality of individual MCU movies. I like several of them, and I've never loved Scorcese's filmography, but I know he cares deeply about movies, and I welcome any dissenting views on these monolithic productions from other people in the business, because at least it means there's still a variety of perspectives in there.
 

shaneo632

Member
Oct 29, 2017
12,106
Essex, UK
These comments are all the same - "I love Marty as an artist, I don't agree with him, I'm not giving you the outraged soundbyte you want for clicks."
 

Charamiwa

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,663
Yeah if he’d just said “I don’t like Marvel movies,” it wouldn’t have gotten any attention. Raising the bar to “they don’t count as cinema” is a shitty thing to say about your colleagues. Yeah, at the end of the day they’re products bankrolled by a corporation, but that doesn’t preclude them from having artistic merit. Some Marvel movies are more effective than others, of course, but even that’s entirely subjective and there’s a reason why movies like Black Panther and Captain Marvel resonated with people, even if they’re still tentpole blockbusters.

I’m a playwright and theatre director, I‘ve done serious scripts but I’ve also written plenty of goofy pop culture parodies. I love doing both and anyone who would turn their nose up at the latter as “not real art” or whatever gets a one-way ticket to my shit list. I don’t care who you are and I don’t care if anyone thinks the Zelda play I produced this summer was cheap nerd bait. It totally was, and I had a great time doing it, so fuck the haters. Scorsese is a great director and this won’t stop me from checking out his movies, but you can’t expect to say these popular films that everyone* loves aren’t “real cinema” and not expect folks to take umbrage with that. Much the same as when I’m told some of the plays I do aren’t “real theater.”
You guys make it sound like he went on a podium and announced in front of the whole world that Marvel movies weren't considered cinema. No, it was a casual interview when someone specifically asked him what he thought of it. He wasn't trying to convince anybody. The problem is that you read his statement and think he's talking directly to you or something.
 

MajesticSoup

Member
Feb 22, 2019
885
They could have been jerks and said 'Scorcese is cinema, but he caters to a niche crowd. Talk to me when you have the highest grossing movie in theatre'
But they arent jerks.

"..and you know what, rap music isnt real music either. They should call it rap talking!"
 

Toriko

Member
Dec 29, 2017
3,250
Heavens forbid Scorsese does not like the riveting masterpiece that is ant man. The horror.
 

wenis

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,448
Sure, it’s fine to disagree with him but the name calling and attempts at discrediting his work in the last thread was really poor behaviour.
Yea, it’s gotten out of hand, but that comes with the territory of using commercial products of any variety as a substitute for a piece of your personality.
 
Apr 14, 2018
2,823
All this clickbait and fanboy driven soundbyte journalism is more of an affront to artists and their work than anything Marty said
 

Servbot24

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
19,701
The problem as usual is people (Scorsese in this case) thinking that "art" or "cinema" are automatically good. They're not good, they're just things. Art and cinema can both be shit, or bland, or great. Marvel is mediocre cinema that performs very well as a thrill ride. Should be simple as that.
 

Trafalgar Law

Member
Nov 6, 2017
2,947
The problem as usual is people (Scorsese in this case) thinking that "art" or "cinema" are automatically good. They're not good, they're just things. Art and cinema can both be shit, or bland, or great. Marvel is mediocre cinema that performs very well as a thrill ride. Should be simple as that.
Yup lmao
Marvel is like really good fast food of cinema
 

DerpHause

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,850
"Superhero movies aren't cinema" feels like the equivalent of "'Walking simulators' aren't real games" to me.

And while neither statement literally bars someone from doing something it still feels like a form of conceptual gatekeeping. It's a negative assessment of their worth either way even if made in glib passing.
 

Addi

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,108
How else am I supposed to define myself as a person though? Introspective thought?

Nah man, I got Mickey Mouse to give me self fulfillment.
What an arrogant elitist thing to say. Go back to your boring, slow movies nobody else watches (they are probably in black and white, lol! And they won't fill a 16:9 screen with their weird aspect ratios. Waste of space!). Marvel has the highest grossing movie of all time and higher rotten tomato scores than a lot of of the so-called cinema movies. I feel sad for you if you didn't have goosebumps when Cap said "Avengers assemble", that's transcending!
 

Lifejumper

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,058
What an arrogant elitist thing to say. Go back to your boring, slow movies nobody else watches (they are probably in black and white, lol! And they won't fill a 16:9 screen with their weird aspect ratios. Waste of space!). Marvel has the highest grossing movie of all time and higher rotten tomato scores than a lot of of the so-called cinema movies. I feel sad for you if you didn't have goosebumps when Cap said "Avengers assemble", that's transcending!
Feige is that you?
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,190
I loved it when Alan Moore said this way back when:

I hate superheroes. I think they’re abominations. They don’t mean what they used to mean. They were originally in the hands of writers who would actively expand the imagination of their nine- to 13-year-old audience. That was completely what they were meant to do and they were doing it excellently. These days, superhero comics think the audience is certainly not nine to 13, it’s nothing to do with them. It’s an audience largely of 30-, 40-, 50-, 60-year old men, usually men. Someone came up with the term graphic novel. These readers latched on to it; they were simply interested in a way that could validate their continued love of Green Lantern or Spider-Man without appearing in some way emotionally subnormal. This is a significant rump of the superhero-addicted, mainstream-addicted audience. I don’t think the superhero stands for anything good. I think it’s a rather alarming sign if we’ve got audiences of adults going to see the Avengers movie and delighting in concepts and characters meant to entertain the 12-year-old boys of the 1950s
 

BlackGoku03

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,872
I'm not a MCU defender by any means... I normally snark at bad takes people make at Marvel.

But MCU movies are still cinema. They're just not high art... or very good in a lot of cases. But at the same time, I understand where he's coming from.

It's just like Hip Hop; there's the bounce your ass trash for the clubs and parties, and then there's cerebral, artful, hip hop. One makes more money than the other, and most people will opt for the former.
 

JetSetSoul

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,024
This comment has really opened up a lot more energy for discussion than it deserved.

Marvel aren't trying to be cinema. They're jokey hero movies, come on.
 

Lifejumper

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,058
I'm not a MCU defender by any means... I normally snark at bad takes people make at Marvel.

But MCU movies are still cinema. They're just not high art... or very good in a lot of cases. But at the same time, I understand where he's coming from.

It's just like Hip Hop; there's the bounce your ass trash for the clubs and parties, and then there's cerebral, artful, hip hop. One makes more money than the other, and most people will opt for the former.
The MCU the mumble rap of cinema?