Francis Ford Coppola Calls Marvel ‘Despicable’ While Martin Scorsese’s Critique
Francis Ford Coppola has jumped into the fray over Martin Scorsese’s criticism of Marvel movies. He calling his fellow director “right” and calling the wildly successful film franchise “despicable.”
“When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema. He’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema. We expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration“. The 80-year-old director of the Godfather series and Apocalypse Now said Friday.
“I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same film over and over again,” Coppola told reporters in Lyon, France, according to the Agence France-Presse news agency and France 24.
There’s a lot to unpack here.
First, let’s just address the fact that Francis Ford Coppola is a filmmaking legend. As the director of masterpieces like The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation. He’s proven that he’s a master storyteller. Furthermore, not only has he earned the right to criticize film, but this is his opinion. Nothing Coppola says should change the way someone feel about Marvel movies.
Secondly, it should be pointed out that although Francis Ford Coppola is one of the best filmmakers of the 20th century. He’s yet to direct anything in the 21st century that is remotely relevant or remarkable. His last good film was arguably The Rainmaker in 1997 or Bram Stoker’s Dracula before that in 1992 (though I’ll admit that I have a childhood nostalgic soft spot for the critically panned Jack in 1996). That doesn’t take away from his importance in the grand scheme of cinema. But it’s clear that he’s not exactly at the height of the filmmaking prowess that he used to be.
Along with that, the guy turned 70 years old this year, and when people reach that age. They’re not too keen on other people playing in their yard. And when you consider the fact that Coppola probably doesn’t have the easiest time rounding up money for his movies while Marvel Studios is able to churn out three movies a year, that probably doesn’t rub him the right way.
The Lastest news: It seems like Francis Ford Coppola is pretty grumpy about Pixar Animation movies too. In a now-deleted post to Twitter, director Lee Unkrich reacted to Coppola’s words thusly:
“No one should be deeming one genre or medium more or less worthy of being called “cinema.”
I’ve met Coppola twice, and both times he acted kind of dismissively towards the films we’d made at Pixar. Really bummed me out, so I can imagine how all the Marvel filmmakers feel.”
It seems rather rude to be dismissive of other filmmakers, especially when they’ve proven to make quality movies. However, none of this makes him right or wrong. Again, this is merely his opinion. I’ll concede that there is some credence to him criticizing the fact that all Marvel Studios movies feel the same, largely thanks to the unified style that Kevin Feige has pushed for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But at the same time, to say that these movies don’t provide enlightenment, knowledge or inspiration to people is simply false.
Not everyone is moved by the kind of epic, sprawling dramas that Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese make. And some of those people find something meaningful to latch onto in the movies of Marvel Cinematic Universe. Adults and children alike genuinely love these characters. That’s why tears streamed down their faces when Tony Stark died in Avengers: Endgame. That’s why Coppola himself found something powerful in Black Panther. Marvel movies provide a diverse slate of superheroes for kids of every ethnic background to look up to. They give people heroes who are always trying to be better. And that’s only going to increase as time goes on.
To disregard these movies as simply despicable feels shortsighted and bitter. Coppola can say whatever he likes about whatever film he wants. But he doesn’t have the final word on what constitutes cinema or what certain movies mean to you. And don’t forget that Francis Ford Coppola directed Captain EO. A Michael Jackson-led sci-fi short film that was shown at Disney theme parks from 1986 through 1996. So we’ve all done things that can be called despicable.