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Early November is frequently a window in which we see a new Marvel movie come out, but with Phase 3 having come to an end, we're taking a longer than usual break in the process. Of course, that doesn't mean that we aren't still talking about Marvel movies. One way or another the franchise seems to become part of the discourse, and thanks to recent comments by Martin Scorsese, it looks like we're going to be talking about Marvel for another few weeks at least.
Specifically, we're talking about the value of Marvel Studios, and by extension the superhero genre in general, in the larger sphere of what constitutes "cinema." Director Martin Scorsese recently said that Marvel's films don't qualify as cinema, and that has led fans, creators, and Disney's own CEO to defend the franchise in the media.
I don’t think he’s ever seen a Marvel film. Anyone who has seen a Marvel movie could not in all truth make that statement. I’d like to have a glass of wine with him. I like Martin Scorsese – he’s a talented man.
In Martin Scorsese's initial comments, he admitted to never having finished watching a Marvel movie, though he had claimed to have tried. Exactly how much the accomplished director has seen isn't clear, but Bob Iger certainly seems confident that if Scorsese had actually seen any of the movies that he was criticizing, he would have a different opinion.
Whether or not Marvel movies are, well, movies, I suppose depends on how you define the word, and everybody's definition is going to be a little bit different. Of course, in this case Iger thinks the only reason Scorsese views the films as he does, is because he doesn't actually know them.
Bob Iger then goes on to reiterate comments that Marvel Studios, and the people that make up those productions, put the same hard work into making those films as Scorsese and his crews do.
Marvel is making movies – that’s what Martin Scorsese makes. And they are good movies, good directors and good writers and good actors, good cinematographers, and good costume designers, and good sound engineers, and good editors. … These are talented, talented people putting their hard work and talent into making films that entertain people in theaters around the world. …They have a good two-hour experience. They come out feeling happy or better about themselves.
Rather than argue that Marvel movies aren't an entertainment venture, Iger argues that they are, and that there's nothing inherently wrong with that. Of course, even Marvel movies are not strictly that, so there's more going on, even if one wants to argue that somebody like Martin Scorsese does it better.