I like to consider myself a cinephile, but without being pretentious.
I love to watch films for everything that goes into them: the story, the dialogue, the acting, the set pieces, the costumes. If someone is putting a lot of time and effort into the film, I want to appreciate every aspect of it.
Sometimes movies get everything right, and sometimes they don’t. Even flaws can make things better and enhance the experience (I’m looking at you “Star Wars” stormtrooper who bumps his head).
When I was younger, I had always wanted to be a screen writer. I idolized Quentin Tarantino, Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, and others because of the way they could tell a story. But when I couldn’t put together a coherent plot, I figured my talents were best to just enjoy other people’s work.
A lot of people enjoy films for the art aspects. A lot of people enjoy films (like “John Wick”) because they know the actors are going to punch each other in the face multiple times. Whatever your reasons for going to the movies are, the only thing that matters is you enjoy them, and yourself.
That’s what it broke my heart when Martin Scorsese decided to make comments about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, especially towards the new top box-office film of all time, “Avengers: Endgame.”
In his quote, Scorsese said the films were not “the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”
Let’s get this out of the way: I adore Scorsese. “Taxi Driver,” “The Last Temptation of Christ,” “Gangs of New York,” are all great films. But I also know that when I go to see a Scorsese film, I’m going to get certain things.
For example, when I saw “Silence,” I knew I was going to get an Edo-period film about conflicts of my Catholic identity, and it was beautiful.
Similarly, when I am forced to watch a Michael Bay film, I know I am going to get a lot of nonsense and women who are underdressed for no reason other than Bay being creepy.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Marvel films not because of my love of comic books, but because of all the technical aspects that go into the films. Just imagine trying to go through the movements of filming a fight in front of a green screen and having no idea what the final product will look like.
While the growth of a character isn’t what some directors want in terms of emotions, the actors in those films are still putting their hearts and souls into these characters.
Scorsese also fails to see how much of an influence he carries as a film director. Todd Phillips’ “Joker” is almost an homage to “The King of Comedy.”
Telling a larger story over the course of 10 years and 22 films is itself a masterpiece. And each film tells its own story while weaving everything together piece by piece. I sometimes have trouble just putting ingredients together for dinner.
I’m still going to see Scorsese films as they come out, just like I’ll continue to throw money at movies Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson comes out in just because I know what I’m going to get and I know what I enjoy. Personally, I encourage everyone to do the same thing.
Unless that movie you are enjoying is one of Adam Sandler’s made-for-Netflix films. Please stop encouraging him to make those things.