Hey there and Happy Sunday! Today I am stepping out of my comfort zone of talking about writing and my work in progress to talk about a big debate going on about whether or not Marvel films are really considered true cinema. I have written some screenplays in the past and have always had a great love for movies. Over the years we have seen some great films come along from all genres. But recently famous directors Frances Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese have been taking a stance on whether or not Marvel films should really be considered “Real Cinema.” And angering a lot of moviegoers and the actors who star in these films. I have my own opinions on this ongoing debate.
First of all, let me ask you this…would you compare the music of Claude Debussy with the music of Prince? Or compare the dancing of Michael Jackson to the dancing of Rudolph Nureyev? Of course, you wouldn’t. Why? Because there is no comparison. You cannot put Avengers: Endgame in the same class with a film like Taxi Driver or The Godfather. They are just too different. The movie Joker is really shaking things up because the makers of this film have really delved deep into what made this man become The Joker in the first place and the results were heartbreaking and shocking to the point of telling one hell of a grim story. The acting is top-notch and Oscar-worthy. That’s not supposed to happen in a movie about a DC villain, is it? But it did. And that is leading people to wonder if maybe these types of films should truly be considered “real modern cinema”.
We had a similar situation happen back in 1972 when the film The Exorcist was released. Now typically the Oscars do not give much credit to horror films. But this one made everyone sit up and take notice because everything in it from the acting, to the directing, the music, the cinematography, and the controversial subject matter of a little girl becoming possessed by a demon became extremely popular and scared the crap out of most audiences. The film went on to be nominated for Oscars in major categories and to this day it is still voted as being the scariest film ever made. Pardon me if I don’t post any images from that film. It scares the crap out of me too.
Do I think Marvel films should be considered true cinema? Yes, but they could never hold up against heavyweights such as Rocky, The Godfather, Schindler’s List, Rain Man, Forest Gump, or Kramer vs. Kramer to name a few. Everyone has their own opinion about what films are considered great. I believe there is a place for everything and an audience for all types of films. The fact that Marvel films are kicking ass at the box office only means that people really love superheroes. They grew up reading the comics. They want to escape. Whether the acting is Oscar-worthy or not. It really depends on what people are in the mood for. But it doesn’t mean that just because I love Iron Man that I don’t love a film like West Side Story. I happen to love both. And of course, I hold West Side Story in higher regard for its amazing story and music. It’s a classic.
Marvel and DC are going to continue making their films and they should, as long as people want to see them. And if the acting and the story are top-notch than I say yes! Give it an Oscar and any other award it deserves. Why not? Because it’s still cinema and obviously popular among the masses. Give the people what they want. There’s an audience for all. Let them choose what they want to see and if the serious dramatic films have to take a backseat to action and special effects once in a while, don’t protest. Instead examine what it is about these types of films that are making people want to spend their hard-earned money to go see them. And use that information to make better serious films. Give more dramatic films more advertising and marketing instead of keeping them quiet. Put them in all theatres instead of just select theatres. Because one big reason why the public doesn’t go see these movies is that they never really knew about them, to begin with.
Have a great week…