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

Trup1aya

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,729
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.

How is that gatekeeping in the opposite direction?

Martin is objectively gatekeeping: using a non-standard, self-serving definition of "cinema" to disqualify the work of others.

It's certainly possible for people to give their opinion on a body of work without using made up qualifications to discredit the work.

Its one thing to say "the MCU movies I've seen didn't move me because they didn't convey human emotional and psychological experiences and that's what I want out of cinema" - and It would have been an valid opinion, even though many would disagree that all mcu films fit that description.

But to argue that MCU isn't cinema, based on parameters pulled out of his ass- that's nonsense.
 
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muteKi

Member
Oct 22, 2018
9,332
a sunken pirate ship
I mean I disagree that the MCU doesn't have anything to say in its movies, though I wouldn't always say the message is positive. That first Iron Man movie is pretty gung-ho about the American Military-Industrial Complex. I would argue the larger issue is that these films have third acts that rarely, if ever, tie into the themes of the films otherwise and are just a coming-to-blows, usually at a massive scale.

As far as these movies go, I genuinely think that they're better than a lot of the blockbuster releases that came before they existed, though they're still clearly of a specific (and usually fairly predictable) narrative formula.
 

Futureman

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,095
How is that gatekeeping in the opposite direction?

Martin is objectively gatekeeping: using a non-standard, self-serving definition of "cinema" to disqualify the work of others.

It's certainly possible for people to give their opinion on a body of work without using made up qualifications to discredit the work.

Its one thing to say "the MCU movies I've seen didn't move me because they didn't convey human emotional and psychological experiences and that's what I want out of cinema" - and It would have been an valid opinion, even though many would disagree that all mcu films fit that description.

But to argue that MCU isn't cinema, based on parameters pulled out of his ass- that's nonsense.
Scorsese seems to be saying that cinema is defined as "art film." And thus Marvel movies should not be called cinema because it's clearly not their main intention (their main intention is entertainment).

Would you call McDonalds "cuisine"?

I think it's really just a boring semantic argument and not some SCORSESE IS ON HIS ART PEDESTAL LOOKING DOWN ON THE PLEBES WHO DARETH CALL MARVEL MOVIES CINEMA!
 

bardo

Member
Jan 12, 2018
2,760
Film (yes that doesn't work now in the age of digital, but whatever) is the medium; cinema the experience. For the older generations, the huge screen and the communal aspects were more prevalent (you got to put your arms around your date without parental interference!). For younger folks, home screens and streaming/gatherings are the same thing.

I would argue that small screens detract from the spectacule. Is this the only view of cinema? No, not even close, though.
 

Edgar

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,125
At this point I kinda wish Martin had taken a huge shit in MCU, at least the reactions would be appropriate. What he said seemed just normal mellow comment
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,103
Film (yes that doesn't work now in the age of digital, but whatever) is the medium; cinema the experience. For the older generations, the huge screen and the communal aspects were more prevalent (you got to put your arms around your date without parental interference!). For younger folks, home screens and streaming/gatherings are the same thing.

I would argue that small screens detract from the spectacule. Is this the only view of cinema? No, not even close, though.
If you are using spectacle as your definition of ‘cinema’ then MCU fits that bill better than what Scorsese is referring to. He’s referring to the ‘art of cinema’ which is usually just short handed to ‘cinema’ as in the art of storytelling through the use of moving images.
 
Oct 28, 2017
458
Scorcese is not claiming hotdogs aren't food, he's just saying it isn't haute cuisine. I think fast food is fucking trash, but I can enjoy a good hamburger when I'm drunk and it's 3 in the morning. The sentiment is not mutually exclusive.
 

bardo

Member
Jan 12, 2018
2,760
If you are using spectacle as your definition of ‘cinema’ then MCU fits that bill better than what Scorsese is referring to. He’s referring to the ‘art of cinema’ which is usually just short handed to ‘cinema’ as in the art of storytelling through the use of moving images.
Okay, that's a fair point, but I mean the idealization of the human form on the large screen. Look to classical Hollywood and the way in which it framed/lit women.

EDIT: I don't think he's just referring to plotting. Though if he is making a demarcation between art and mass media, maybe so.
 

bardo

Member
Jan 12, 2018
2,760
Couldn’t catch a screening of Parasite here in Sydney. Didn’t really get a release here. Very much looking forward to it coming to streaming.
I haven't seen it either--waiting for my local indieplex, Enzian, to get it. Film Comment has a great feature on it, if you can get the magazine. If not, I can scan it and send it to you.
 

Trup1aya

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,729
Scorsese seems to be saying that cinema is defined as "art film." And thus Marvel movies should not be called cinema because it's clearly not their main intention (their main intention is entertainment).

Would you call McDonalds "cuisine"?

I think it's really just a boring semantic argument and not some SCORSESE IS ON HIS ART PEDESTAL LOOKING DOWN ON THE PLEBES WHO DARETH CALL MARVEL MOVIES CINEMA!
By creating his own definition of cinema he's effectively gatekeeping. There's really no way around it..

The definition of cuisine is simply "a method of cooking" so if someone said McDonald's isn't cuisine, it wouldn't make sense. just like the definition of cinema has nothing to do with the parameters Scorsese came up with.
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,103
Okay, that's a fair point, but I mean the idealization of the human form on the large screen. Look to classical Hollywood and the way in which it framed/lit women.

EDIT: I don't think he's just referring to plotting. Though if he is making a demarcation between art and mass media, maybe so.
Not just plot but what is being told in each frame, what sub-narratives are there, what is happening between the lines (to borrow from literature) and how everything captured coalesces as a whole.
 
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bardo

Member
Jan 12, 2018
2,760
Not just plot but what is being told in each frame, what sub-narratives are there, what is happening between the lines (to borrow from literature) and how everything captured coalesces as a whole.
This "borrow from literature" phrase is the issue, I think. Cinema is not literature and literature is not cinema. Yes, there are some common elements (lit elements palimset onto film quite well, but the opposite is true). The pictorial/script system is not a one-to-one equivalence.

EDIT: Clarified a comment
 
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GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,103
This "borrow from literature" phrase is the issue, I think. Cinema is not literature and literature is not cinema. Yes, there are some common elements (lit elements palimset onto film quite well, but the opposite is true). The visual/script system is not a one-to-one equivalence.
That’s not what I was referring to, the term comes from literature - to grasp the deeper meaning not at surface level - not that it copies from literature.
 

El Jefe

Member
Aug 15, 2019
342
California
The Irishman OT is going to be an embarrassing shitshow on this forum, isn’t it?
”It’s too long, slow and boring. Way too serious, nobody quips at all. There’s also zero popular songs from the 70s-80s.

Film is garbage, Scorsese has nothing on the Russos. Hopefully De Niro takes a role in a real movie, like supervillain number eight in Thor 27: The Dark World 8: Ragnarok 3: This one Thor is wearing a hat”.
 

BadAss2961

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,987
+1 in my book for Scorsese. I mean, Marvel movies are movies, but they're empty. Always made from the ground up to make money first and foremost, which goes for most of Disney's output at this point. It shouldn't be a surprise that some have little respect for that.

The theme park thing applies to a common criticism of Marvel movies -- that they're disposable. One big event after another where all the interest is in the hype, and the films themselves are quickly forgotten.
 

KyrieEleison

Banned
Dec 31, 2017
507
+1 in my book for Scorsese. I mean, Marvel movies are movies, but they're empty. Always made from the ground up to make money first and foremost, which goes for most of Disney's output at this point. It shouldn't be a surprise that some have little respect for that.

The theme park thing applies to a common criticism of Marvel movies -- that they're disposable. One big event after another where all the interest is in the hype, and the films themselves are quickly forgotten.
That was last week’s topic.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,130
Scorsese said nothing wrong fam.
Fandoms are embarrassing af.
Except he's completely wrong. And it has nothing to do with fandom. I haven't even watched most of the MCU myself and definitely don't associate with the fandom much.

It's fine to not like the MCU. There's nothing wrong with that. But saying it's not "cinema" is just gatekeeping nonsense in the same way that lots of stupid delineations between low art/high art are. Like, his stuff is cinema, certainly. But so is the MCU. They both are, and there's no need to put one higher or lower than the other. They're both art, both doing their own things for their own respective audiences, and that's fine: neither need to be higher or lower simply for targeting different audiences or being about different kinds of subject matter. They're both art, both cinema all the same.

Or on a completely different subject, for a different example, I follow A LOT of different artists on Twitter. These include a lot of say Japanese Pokémon and Kirby fanart. In addition to that though, I follow a number of paleoartists on Twitter who are from time to time commissioned to do scientifically-accurate artwork to the best of our current understanding to promote studies on the discovery of new species of creatures/fossils/etc. Then just within that latter category of paleoartists, including doing serious stuff like that sometimes, a lot of them also engage in speculative fiction, drawing fictional creatures just for fun.

Every single one of those subject matters are art all the same. Regardless of the subject matter, the amount of effort and passion and detail put into that stuff is exactly the same. The subject matter and "seriousness" or lack-there-of doesn't change anything, and so it's all art all the same and delineations between high art and low art and whatever just make absolutely no sense and serve no purpose to me. Especially since so many times, one of the consequences of that high art/low art/this-is-this/that-is-that nonsense is that it just makes artists so ashamed of the amount of work they put into stuff that they themselves are passionate about because it's something that society doesn't deem as high art or worth that effort and thus they feel super pressured into doing what that something is instead of what they personally are passionate about, and it just makes them miserable over stuff nobody should care about to begin with instead of being supportive to artists regardless of what they're working on, time, and time, again.

So, no, what he was saying was complete nonsense. Like, it's fine not to LIKE the MCU. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Everyone has their own tastes, nothing can be for everyone, and that much is fine, of course.

But this "this is cinema, this isn't"; "this is high art, this is low art"; "this is this, this is that" garbage is just that, garbage, and I hate it in every context I see it in because without fail it's just putting other people's work down for no good reason and there's no purpose in thinking that way. Again, it's fine not to like certain art or certain forms of entertainment. Absolutely nothing wrong from that. But going that extra step from just saying "I personally don't like this" to "I don't like this, and not only do I like this, it's inherently lesser than this other form of art, I not only don't like it but think it shouldn't count or be regarded as art period" is completely unnecessary, serves absolutely no purpose, and I will never accept that line of argument or thinking from anyone, ever, because there's just no purpose in taking that extra step other than being a complete douche and putting people down over completely petty nonsense for no reason.
 

GC-

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,103
Except he's completely wrong. And it has nothing to do with fandom. I haven't even watched most of the MCU myself and definitely don't associate with the fandom much.

It's fine to not like the MCU. There's nothing wrong with that. But saying it's not "cinema" is just gatekeeping nonsense in the same way that lots of stupid delineations between low art/high art are. Like, his stuff is cinema, certainly. But so is the MCU. They both are, and there's no need to put one higher or lower than the other. They're both art, both doing their own things for their own respective audiences, and that's fine: neither need to be higher or lower simply for targeting different audiences or being about different kinds of subject matter. They're both art, both cinema all the same.

Or on a completely different subject, for a different example, I follow A LOT of different artists on Twitter. These include a lot of say Japanese Pokémon and Kirby fanart. In addition to that though, I follow a number of paleoartists on Twitter who are from time to time commissioned to do scientifically-accurate artwork to the best of our current understanding to promote studies on the discovery of new species of creatures/fossils/etc. Then just within that latter category of paleoartists, including doing serious stuff like that sometimes, a lot of them also engage in speculative fiction, drawing fictional creatures just for fun.

Every single one of those subject matters are art all the same. Regardless of the subject matter, the amount of effort and passion and detail put into that stuff is exactly the same. The subject matter and "seriousness" or lack-there-of doesn't change anything, and so it's all art all the same and delineations between high art and low art and whatever just make absolutely no sense and serve no purpose to me. Especially since so many times, one of the consequences of that high art/low art/this-is-this/that-is-that nonsense is that it just makes artists so ashamed of the amount of work they put into stuff that they themselves are passionate about because it's something that society doesn't deem as high art or worth that effort and thus they feel super pressured into doing what that something is instead of what they personally are passionate about, and it just makes them miserable over stuff nobody should care about to begin with instead of being supportive to artists regardless of what they're working on, time, and time, again.

So, no, what he was saying was complete nonsense. Like, it's fine not to LIKE the MCU. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. Everyone has their own tastes, nothing can be for everyone, and that much is fine, of course.

But this "this is cinema, this isn't"; "this is high art, this is low art"; "this is this, this is that" garbage is just that, garbage, and I hate it in every context I see it in because without fail it's just putting other people's work down for no good reason and there's no purpose in thinking that way. Again, it's fine not to like certain art or certain forms of entertainment. Absolutely nothing wrong from that. But going that extra step from just saying "I personally don't like this" to "I don't like this, and not only do I like this, it's inherently lesser than this other form of art, I not only don't like it but think it shouldn't count or be regarded as art period" is completely unnecessary, serves absolutely no purpose, and I will never accept that line of argument or thinking from anyone, ever, because there's just no purpose in taking that extra step other than being a complete douche and putting people down over completely petty nonsense for no reason.
I agree with your larger point but I still don’t think he said anything wrong. It may be objectively wrong but it is his subjective opinion. When you look at his work and the work of others he promotes you can clearly see why he would make such a comment, he sees it as products to thrill rather than convey something deeper.
 

foggy

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,396
Scorcese has a more rigid idea of cinema, it's ok, SLJ doesn't even sound that bothered. Some things are made to sell toys and others aren't, it's cool.
 

inguef

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
11,925
The Irishman won't be in cinemas so it isn't cinema. Hey, this is easy!

Do you think that’s really what he means — they aren’t movies?
He is saying that some movies aren't worthy to be called 'Cinema', even though Scorsese's movies often have (meaningless) violence/action, stereotypes, and not necessarily a deeper meaning or message.

It's fine, since it's an opinion and they asked him what he thought - but people are allowed to have an opinion/ be vocal about Scorsese's statement.

Cinema is a powerful medium because there are so many ways creators can express yourself - gatekeeping based on how this is expressed - or wether the protagonists wear a cape/tights - is very close minded.
 
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srsly?

Member
Feb 24, 2018
2,777
It's obvious from threads like this that the term "gatekeeping" has lost all meaning. Angry nerds gonna angry, though, I guess.
 

Trup1aya

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,729
I agree with your larger point but I still don’t think he said anything wrong. It may be objectively wrong but it is his subjective opinion. When you look at his work and the work of others he promotes you can clearly see why he would make such a comment, he sees it as products to thrill rather than convey something deeper.
He can suggest that he prefers depth over thrill without suggesting that movies produced primarily to thrill aren't cinema
 

inguef

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
11,925
'Cinephile' - cringe term when it pops up in threads like this

"The games you play aren't real games!' waa
 

NHarmonic.

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
5,303
When people act snobbish, regarding any medium, they always end up sounding like shit. Scorsese does in this case.

Fuck that attitude, seriously.