Director Martin Scorsese’s comments about Marvel films not being cinema seems to have started a trend. After acclaimed filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola agreed with the pedigreed director, it looks like Chinese creator John Woo is jumping on the hate bandwagon. Speaking to Deadline in a recent interview, Woo echoed Scorsese’s sentiments and stated that he’s worried younger generations will lose an understanding of what films are.
“I’m concerned about when these movies get more and more popular, I’m afraid it will make young audiences get lost when it comes to knowledge about film,” Woo told the publication at the Hawaii International Film Festival. He explained how Stan Lee had approached him to director a potential superhero film, but that Woo declined not believing he was up to the task.
Not wishing to completely shit on Marvel, Woo did emphasize that the films entertain audiences and make money. He seems to understand the business decisions that have led to an abundance of comic book films, even if he doesn’t think they are “cinema.” I’m not sure how something like Face/Off stands above what Marvel churns out, but at least Woo can direct an action sequence (something Marvel’s directors are incapable of).
While I’m not really a fan of Marvel -and have even become sick of the constant releases from the studio-, I’m really over this debate about cinematic merit. If Marvel films can inspire younger generations to get into film making, they are just as important as movies from Scorsese, Coppola, and Woo. Maybe they have mass market appeal, but that doesn’t diminish their claim to being “cinema.”