The legendary director who helped to redefine cinema in the 70s continues to be outspoken against the popular comic book culture of cinema.

It remains to be seen if 2023 will have a lasting effect on cinema, but the year has seen some interesting shifts in one way or another. One of the most notable observations that can be made is the stunning underperformance of big-budget popcorn films that were once seen as reliable moneymakers. Another big development is the huge success of Barbie and Oppenheimer. Two well-received films that have exploded in pop culture and seemingly can only stand alone.

Martin Scorsese, whose upcoming film Killers of the Flower Moon is garnering hype, feels that supporting films like Oppenheimer is a way to “fight back stronger” against comic book movie culture. According to Variety, the Taxi Driver director passionately continued his crusade against the popular genre in a profile in GQ. Scorsese states, “The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture. Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those — that’s what movies are.” He continues, “They already think that. Which means that we have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves. And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean? And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up. Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”

The Academy Award-winning director went on to say that he isn’t necessarily condemning the entirety of the movies as they do have some artistic merits, but he still feels that the films are more of an assembly line than having a true voice. He expresses his opinions on the difference between the streaming era of content and cinema. “I do think that the manufactured content isn’t really cinema. It’s almost like AI making a film. And that doesn’t mean that you don’t have incredible directors and special effects people doing beautiful artwork. But what does it mean? What do these films, what will it give you? Aside from a kind of consummation of something and then eliminating it from your mind, your whole body, you know? So what is it giving you?”

Killers of the Flower Moon is due to hit theaters on October 20.

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