Because the discourse surrounding Joker hasn’t been exhausting enough, there’s now a pissing match going on between Marvel and Martin Scorsese after the auteur derided the franchise as “not cinema.” Naturally, the actors, writers, and directors who make the MCU were not entirely thrilled to get shit on by a filmmaker most of them looked up to, so it was only a matter of time until you had Samuel L. Jackson dropping bombs.
“I mean that’s like saying Bugs Bunny ain’t funny,” the veteran actor said. “Films are films. Everybody doesn’t like his stuff either.”
Jackson, who plays Nick Fury in the MCU, continued.
“There are a lot of Italian-Americans that don’t think he should be making films about them like that. Everybody’s got an opinion, so I mean it’s okay. Ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.”
Just when it seemed like the dust was settling, Robert Downey Jr. entered the mix.
“According to Scorsese, it’s not cinema. I gotta take a look at that,” Downey deadpanned in an appearance Monday on Howard Stern’s satellite radio show.
Once the Iron Man star had raised the issue, Stern was more than happy to follow up, asking Downey if he thought a movie like Iron Man qualified as “cinema.”
“I mean, it plays in theaters,” he demurred. “I appreciate his opinion. I think it’s like anything where we need all of the different perspectives so we can come to center and move on.”
To Downey’s credit, he was very cordial about the whole thing and mostly just considers Scorsese’s remarks to be kind of weird.
“It’d be like saying Howard Stern isn’t radio,” he said. “It makes no sense to say it.”
And then RDJ basically started agreeing with Scorsese. Wait, what?
“There is a lot to be said for how these genre movies — and I was happy to be part of the ‘problem,’ if there is one — but how they have denigrated the era, the art form of cinema,” he said. “When you come in like a stomping beast and you eliminate the competition in such a demonstrative way, it’s phenomenal.”
“You’re damn right we decimated the American theater-going experience,” is definitely a take. Yeesh.
If you’re a regular Pajiba reader then you know I cover the Marvel movies a lot, so if you’re wondering about my opinion, it’s pretty simple: Let people like what they like whether it’s old-as-balls Martin Scorsese or my lowly ass stanning Chappie forever. On the one hand, sure, I get the concern-trolling over the MCU taking up all of the oxygen in the room even if I think that view is blown out of proportion. (Although, apparently RDJ is dunking on that fact, so what do I know?) On the other hand, I’m not a big fan of elitism, where people huff their own farts and say shit like “That’s a movie, not a film.” You can f*ck right off with that.
On a similar note, what does annoy me about this situation is when you have places like The A.V. Club dismissing the Marvel movies as a “capitalist enterprise,” as if Scorsese is out here making movies for major Hollywood studios and Netflix out of the kindness of everyone’s heart. Who knew The Departed is a Marxist endeavor and not a commercial product available on Blu-Ray, iTunes, or Amazon Video? Get outta here.
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