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As I vented on Twitter, I think there’s an element of sneering canonicism in Scorsese’s statement: Marvel Films aren’t “cinema,” they aren’t “Art,” they aren’t canon-worthy.

Which of course prompts the usual questions: who decides what’s in and not in a canon of cinema? What standards do they use? Who profits from canon-construction, and who loses out?

All questions that Scorsese is not intellectually prepared to tackle.

(I like your post better than my tweets, naturally)

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William Kendall said on October 9th, 2019 at 10:40 am

You make a pretty good argument about it. This is actually the first I’ve heard of this dust up. Probably because I’m not on Twitter anymore.

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Matthew Vossler said on October 9th, 2019 at 11:53 am

Nice to have you posting again. You always have something thought-provoking to say.

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I think when Scorsese says they are not cinema, he means they aren’t trying to do the kinds of things he’s trying to do when he makes movies.

Which is a fair claim for him to make, and might even be right. I’m not sure he makes the case very well, but I don’t think he’s required to sit through 10 Marvel movies and take notes in order to have a gut reaction that “This doesn’t look like it’s interested in the things that I think make film interesting.”

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Halloween Jack said on October 11th, 2019 at 2:58 pm

I’m glad that you mentioned Ebert, because he’s someone whose opinion I respected, even though I disagreed with it more than a few times. I’ve had friends who were serious comics readers who didn’t like Watchmen, which still baffles me.

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Placeholder said on November 1st, 2019 at 12:24 pm

“Scorsese’s subjective opinion is wrong that the things are bad, but my subjective opinion is right that they’re good!”

I was gone for months. Came back and found this. Think I’ll try again in 2021.

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