Apparently Star Wars might either be next in line to receive criticism from the likes of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola, or it might be given a pass for one reason or another that we’re not aware of yet. Or maybe they’ve just tuckered themselves out by doubling down on their criticisms of the MCU at this point. It’s hard to say really since there have been a lot of people chiming in with their own opinions, myself included, as to why Scorsese and Coppola might need to lay down and take a nap or eat a Snickers so as to counter their grouchy mentality towards the idea of Marvel ‘taking over’ the theaters. One of the easiest things to do would be to say that both men seem to feel threatened by the continuing encroachment that the Marvel universe seems to be, in their view, entertaining as it continue to grow and expand. In this light however it would be easier to tell them both that this is what people want at the moment, and that it’s not threatening their style any more than their styles threatened those that came before them. Does anyone remember people saying that talkies, basically the movies we have now, would be a fad that would come and go? Phil Edwards of Vox has a list of things that people thought would be a ‘there and gone’ kind of deal back in the day. What’s my point you ask? Well, for all they want to grouse, Scorsese and Coppola don’t seem to realize that while the MCU is still growing, it’s not looking to replace anything, but if they can’t keep up, then they might go the way of silent pictures eventually and phase out.
That’s what this whole argument seems to be about even if they refuse to acknowledge it, who’s attaining the kind of popularity they want and who’s about to get left out in the cold. If you can’t match your supposed competition then the next logical step is to resort to defamation as it’s been seen in the past, and Scorsese, as Travis Bean of Forbes might agree, has already led the charge that Coppola was all too happy to follow. What’s really funny about this is that both men don’t really have much to worry over since their legacies have been cemented in American history and culture and there’s not a huge possibility that they’ll be forgotten or even looked over in favor of the MCU, or Star Wars for that matter. Why’s that? Well that’s very simple, they tell different stories than the Marvel universe and Star Wars, and the reality is that people can enjoy the lot of them without having to compare which is better and which is more worthy of being given the title of ‘cinema’. Want to know the literal definition of cinema? Well here you go:
- a theater where movies are shown for public entertainment; a movie theater
- the production of movies as an art or industry
Get that? It would appear that Scorsese and Coppola, as much as one might want to argue, seem to have forgotten the word ENTERTAINMENT, and INDUSTRY. The high-brow manner in which they seem to enjoy deriding the Marvel movies will no doubt take a turn if they see the need and Star Wars, being another big target, seems like it might be the next possible direction they’ll turn unless they’ve had enough of people reminding them that for all their greatness and genius when it comes to movies, they’re not exactly the rulers, kings, or even final line in the sand when it comes to who determines what the people will love and why. They’re old men that have admittedly given their audiences something to enjoy, that have created movies that have withstood the test of time and hopefully will do so as the years continue to pass. But they’re not the ultimate authority on what’s good, what’s enjoyable, and certainly not what cinema really is. The narrow-minded views that some of those who have been in the business for so long employ is kind of hard to take really since it means that behind that genius and nestled deep within a mind that has given so much greatness there are still way too many closed off spaces that deny the individual the ability to see past their own prejudices in order to bear witness to the truth of what cinema really. Even in the goofiest and most garbage-laden movie there’s a faint glimmer, something that might be stoked into something that might impress others, if only the right person with a vision that’s not so closed off can see.
There’s a worthy story in just about every direction we can perceive and in every breath and every moment of our day if we really look, and it’s kind of saddening to think that visionaries such as Scorsese and Coppola have closed themselves off in this way. All I can say is if they decide to make their case against Star Wars is, the Force is not with you boys, and hasn’t been in a long time.Francis Ford Coppola