“If the image moves, then it’s cinema”: George Lucas ‘Betrays’ Martin Scorsese Over His Marvel Comment That’s Still Discussed 5 Years Later

George Lucas disagreed with Martin Scorsese, stated Marvel movies are worthy of being called Cinema.

George Lucas, Avengers Endgame, Martin Scorsese

For years the debate about Marvel movies not being cinema has become the favorite topic of many directors, filmmakers, celebrities, and more. While it was Martin Scorcese, back in 2019, who made a significant contribution to this discourse by stating that such movies are not cinema, over the years several others have joined in to agree or disagree with him. And George Lucas is the latest to chime in.

The Original Six Avengers from The Avengers (2012) | Marvel Entertainment

In a rare interview at Cannes, the Star Wars creator subtly betrayed his Hollywood contemporary to state that such movies are, in fact, cinema, at least according to his definition of Cinema.

George Lucas Responds to Martin Scorsese’s Marvel Comments

George Lucas

Back in 2019, the acclaimed multiple-award-winning filmmaker, Martin Scorsese stated that Marvel movies and other superhero movies are far from cinema. Although such a discourse has been going on since MCU literally took over the box office with its visually striking and CGI-laced comic book mythos, Scorsese’s comments made a significant impact, the aftermath of which can still be felt today.

While several notable people have sided with or dismissed the legendary filmmaker’s comments, George Lucas was recently asked to give his opinion. In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival 2024 with Brut, the Star Wars creator stated, Look. Cinema is the art of a moving image. So if the image moves, then it’s cinema. I think Marty has kind of changed his mind a little bit.

Although fans, critics, and others would not agree with the filmmaker, Lucas isn’t wrong. Since cinema, in most simple terms, is in fact the art of creating motion pictures, Marvel movies and other projects within the genre are by definition cinema.

As his comments went viral, many fans applauded him for his thinking (via X), while others stated that it is about time that the industry moves on from such a trivial topic since superhero movies are here to stay.

Martin Scorsese on Marvel Movies Not Being Cinema

Martin Scorsese at the 74nd Berlin International Film Festival 2024 | image: Wikimedia Commons

Martin Scorsese kick-started a huge debate when he went on to state that Marvel movies are not cinema. The impact of his statement was thus that his words still find their way into popular discourse across the world. Back in 2019, in an interview with the Empire Magazine (via IndieWire), the Oscar-winning director had stated,

I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema. Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.

However, soon after Scorsese clarified that his comments were in no way disrespectful to the people involved in creating such movies. Explaining his earlier comments in a piece in The New York Times, he wrote,

The fact that the films themselves don’t interest me is a matter of personal taste and temperament. I know that if I were younger, if I’d come of age at a later time…  But I grew up when I did and I developed a sense of movies — of what they were and what they could be — that was as far from the Marvel universe as we on Earth are from Alpha Centauri.

Martin Scorsese then went on to elaborate on his stance on what he considered as cinema. However, his initial comments continue to be circulated and talked about. As people continue to talk about his comments, superhero movies will continue to be made and are now a staple part of cinema.

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