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Martin Scorsese Wants to Save the Soul of Cinema

Martin Scorsese warns about the cultural and artistic impact of franchise films, urging for more diversity and depth in cinema
Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese, the legendary filmmaker, has been vocal about his concerns regarding the rise of franchise and superhero films. He argues that while these films may be entertaining, they are diluting the essence of cinema. Scorsese believes that the theatrical experience is a communal one, where audiences should be exposed to a variety of genres and storytelling techniques, not just blockbuster franchises. The director emphasizes that the magic of cinema lies in its ability to transport audiences to different worlds, evoke emotions, and provoke thought—all of which are often missing in franchise films.

The Cultural Cost of Franchise Films

Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese warns that the proliferation of franchise films is narrowing our cultural understanding. He fears that the younger generation is missing out on the richness of diverse storytelling. According to Scorsese, franchise films are more like “amusement parks” than true cinema. They may be thrilling, but they lack depth and the ability to provoke thought or evoke genuine emotion. The director is concerned that this trend is leading to a homogenization of culture, where unique voices and perspectives are being drowned out by the noise of big-budget blockbusters.

“The situation, sadly, is that we now have two separate fields: There’s worldwide audiovisual entertainment, and there’s cinema… If you’re going to tell me that it’s simply a matter of supply and demand and giving the people what they want, I’m going to disagree.”

-Martin Scorsese, in an interview with GQ-

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The director urges his fellow filmmakers to take risks and push the boundaries of the art form. For Martin Scorsese, cinema is about more than just content; it’s about artistic expression. He emphasizes that filmmakers should strive to create works that challenge the audience, make them think, and contribute to the broader cultural dialogue. Scorsese also points out that innovation in cinema has often come from independent films and smaller productions, which are increasingly being sidelined in favor of franchise films.

Martin Scorsese’s Plea for the Soul of Cinema

Martin Scorcese

Interestingly, Martin Scorsese acknowledges the role of streaming services like Netflix in providing a platform for diverse storytelling. However, he cautions that the convenience of streaming should not replace the communal experience of watching a film in a theater. He argues that some stories are best experienced on the big screen, where the nuances of cinematography, sound, and performance can be fully appreciated.

“The most ominous change has happened stealthily and under cover of night: the gradual but steady elimination of risk… We can’t depend on the movie business, such as it is, to take care of cinema…

Cinema is an art form that brings you the unexpected. In superhero movies, nothing is at risk… Cinema is an art form that has to be passed on from generation to generation.”

-Martin Scorsese, in an interview with GQ-

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Martin Scorsese’s critique serves as a wake-up call for both filmmakers and audiences. It’s a plea to not let the art of cinema be reduced to mere content, and to strive for a richer, more diverse cinematic landscape. The director’s words remind us that cinema is a powerful medium that has the potential to enrich our lives and broaden our understanding of the world.

Martin Scorcese

What do you think about Martin Scorsese’s views on franchise films? Do you agree that they are affecting the quality of cinema? Are streaming services a boon or a bane for the art of filmmaking? Share your thoughts with us on social media!

Source: GQ

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Kevin Fenix

Kevin Fenix

Professional Nerd | Amateur Human | News Editor The best way to describe Kevin Fenix is the kid you never tell what the buttons do in video games so you have a chance to win. Being 6’ 4” and Asian, he never really fit in, so he got comfortable standing out. Not only is it easy to find him in crowds, he dabbles in the culinary arts, does a little stand up and improv, and can honestly say Spider-Man is the Jesus-like influence of his life. Kevin Fenix loves dogs, movies, television, comics, comedy, and to shoot people… with video.