Martin Scorsese is a director who's used to making headlines, and considering he may have just made one of the best movies in an already epic career, it's not surprising his name is on everybody's lips. However, the reason people were talking about Martin Scorsese last week had less to do with the success of The Irishman, and much more to do with the director's opinion of comic book films.
Last week the director claimed the genre films weren't "cinema" and that they weren't about "human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being." As expected, a lot of fans of those movies came to the defense of the genre, and that included the people who are in those movies.
Nick Fury himself, Samuel L. Jackson, who has been in more Marvel movies than anybody else, told Variety that, while he certainly is going to give Martin Scorsese his right to an opinion, that's because lots of people have differing opinions. Jackson clearly thinks that superhero movies count as cinema in an absolute sense, in the same way we can all agree Bugs Bunny is funny.
I mean, that's like saying Bugs Bunny ain't funny. Films are films. Everybody doesn't like his stuff either. We happen to, but everybody doesn't. 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, ain’t going to stop nobody from making movies.
Even somebody like Martin Scorsese, who is largely viewed to be one of the best film directors of all-time, is going to have people who don't love his films. There are going to be people who don't think Bugs Bunny is funny. There may be a general agreement that Bugs Bunny is funny and Martin Scorsese's movies are great, but there will always be those that disagree. The same is true of superhero movies as cinema in Jackson's opinion.
Guardians of the Galaxy actress Karen Gillan also responded to Scorsese's comments in terms of James Gunn's films. For her, the fact that the movies are certainly emotional experiences comes down to the way Gunn himself approaches them. According to Gillan.
There's so much heart and soul, and it's James' soul in there. He injects so much of his own personality, his sense of humor ... that's a very big representation of who he is as a person and therefore it's very cinematic. He's an artist.
Karen Gillan also pointed out to THR that superhero movies are cinema simply because they are "storytelling with visuals" and that's really all cinema is.
Clearly, this is a topic for which there is a lot of opinion on both sides. Those who make comic book movies are certainly taking issue with the statement made by Martin Scorsese, even if they're fans of the man himself. But there will always be differing opinions on the topic of art. If anything the fact that people can have such wildly divergent views on superhero movies, that people care about so much, is evidence that many people believe they are real cinema.