Come on Marvel, isn’t it time to stop this beef with Martin Scorsese? | Matt Mohan-Hickson

As the saying goes there are two constants in life: death and taxes.

Monday, 3rd January 2022, 7:00 pm

Although I feel there’s a hidden asterisk next to the second one, depending on how good an accountant you have.

But now it feels like a third constant is starting to be added to that equation – Marvel bullying Martin Scorsese.

It feels like every single month someone involved in the MCU – from actors, executives and more – takes another pop at the beloved filmmaker.

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Martin Scorsese with the BAFTA Fellowship award, at the 2012 Orange British Academy Film Awards. Picture byIan West/PA Wire

Even Tom Holland, who at least from his public persona seems like a thoroughly pleasant chap, had a swipe at Scorsese during the promo tour for the latest Spider-Man movie.

All because in 2019 the eminent filmmaker and all-round cinephile made a fairly innocuous comment comparing Marvel films to roller coaster rides.

I agree with him. I do enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movies as much as the next person, but they are like cotton candy. Tasty in the moment but are simply empty calories.

Give me a movie with depth of character and an insight into the human condition any day. Or an inventive animation movie that pushes the boundaries of what can be achieved.

Give me Andrew Garfield in Silence over another comic book movie any day.

But then again I am a pretentious film snob.

Whatever you think of Scorsese’s comments, they were not particularly scathing or harsh towards MCU – yet here we are years later and people associated with Marvel are still bringing them up and having a go at him.

If I was feeling like a conspiracy theorist, I might say starting to feel like it might even be part of the marketing now.

Sure the Marvel movies make a lot of money and Spider-Man got people back into theatres en masse in a way not seen since pre-pandemic, but they’ve also cannibalised cinemas.

It is either big superhero blockbusters or really small indie films and low-budget horror movies – there is less space for films like rom-coms, thrillers, spy movies and more.

Whereas Scorsese is a man who has done so much for the conservation of film history – his Film Foundation has restored more than 900 films.

He has a huge love of cinema and promotes films from around the world and has produced movies from marginalised directors (people of colour, women).

Perhaps it is time for Marvel and Disney to let it go.

What is your favourite Scorsese?

Perhaps when you think of the name Martin Scorsese, the films that come to mind are gangster movies.

He did after all make Goodfellas, which is a true all-time classic of the genre, as well as Casino, The Departed, The Irishman and more.

However, the movies of his that have stuck with me the most have been works from other genres.

The King of Comedy is a powerhouse of a movie – and clearly a large inspiration of the Joker movie from 2019.

Taxi Driver is immense and I still think about the twist from Shutter Island despite having only seen it once, in the cinema in 2010.

But my favourite Scorsese picture is Silence – a movie about Jesuit priests travelling to Japan to spread the good word and finding themselves having to confront their faith.

I can’t believe the Ashes were cancelled

It seems like it should have been bigger news that The Ashes never actually went ahead after all.

England never travelled to Australia and certainly didn’t completely embarrass themselves with the worst displays in a generation.

That most definitely did not happen.

It was also funny how BT Sport’s picture kept cutting out and was replaced with white noise when I assume an advert must have been due to be shown.

I can’t imagine what would have possibly been supposed to have been advertised in those moments.

It definitely can’t have been adverts for The Ashes as that didn’t happen – and England certainly weren't completely humiliated by our most bitter rivals.

Is this what it must have felt like to be an English cricket fan back in 1882. Do we need a bigger urn to add even more ashes to it?

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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