Oscar has a history of not considering superhero offerings worthy of their awards or recognition despite accumulating billions of dollars in box office records. Given this predicament, award-winning filmmakers see the need to belittle superhero franchises like Marvel, noting that their movies do not fall into the category of real cinema. Recently, another Oscar-winning director weighed in on the debate about whether Marvel is truly cinema.
Steven Soderbergh, who won the Academy Award for Best Director for his crime drama Traffic (2000), shared his opinion with Rolling Stone about why Marvel deserves respect, even if he's not a big fan himself. Despite his stellar filmmaking record, Soderbergh noted that superhero productions are difficult to nail; even if he couldn't do it himself.
“That shit’s hard. I couldn’t do it. I have no philosophical issues with those movies. The fact of the matter is: I’m not the audience for that. I never was. When I was growing up, I never had comic books. I’m not a fantasy person. I’m too stuck on the ground. So, I’m just not the target for that. I’m agnostic about them. I can tell you right now, just as a filmmaker, they’re tough movies to make in terms of the stamina required.” he justified.
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In 2019, The Departed (2006) director Martin Scorsese took shots at the MCU and claimed their movies were not true cinema, describing them as theme parks. “I’ve tried to watch a few of them and that they’re not for me, that they seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I’ve known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don’t think they’re cinema.” he reasoned.
Aside from Scorsese, other Hollywood personalities have also spoken out against Marvel, including The Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, Silence of the Lambs actress Jodie Foster, Blade Runner's Ridley Scott, and others.
Soderbergh gave his best and most honest take on the debate instead of probably throwing just hate. Despite the unending discussion, everyone should just agree that any project that is the result of passion and teamwork has the right to be considered art. Cinema is art; let the audience decide what it is for them.
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