Scors­ese’s su­per­hero fight is pure ge­nius

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - INSIDER - DUN­CAN LAY TWIT­TER.COM/DUNCANLAY

Martin Scors­ese is a ge­nius. And I don’t just mean his movies. He has picked a fight with the big­gest bruiser in the cin­e­matic prison yard and, no mat­ter what hap­pens, he’s go­ing to come out the win­ner.

If you missed it, Scors­ese — the cre­ative mind be­hind the likes of Taxi Driver, Rag­ing Bull and, more re­cently, Wolf Of Wall Street — has slammed su­per­hero movies.

First of all he said they are “not cinema” and then he dou­bled down and said movie the­atres should not be “in­vaded” by su­per­hero films but in­stead leave space for “nar­ra­tive films”.

And he’s right that many su­per­hero movies don’t all have a wider mes­sage.

But the best of them use the same emo­tions that Scors­ese claims he wants from movies.

Of course, they are not like WOWS, where watch­ing Leonardo Di Caprio snort drugs, throw dwarfs and shag a wide as­sort­ment of top­less hook­ers re­ally gives you a sense of the essen­tial time­less­ness of the hu­man con­di­tion.

Nat­u­rally fans and ac­tors alike have scram­bled to fire back at Scors­ese and de­fend the hon­our of su­per­hero movies. Who can say what is art, they ar­gue?

And of course that’s true. One per­son’s sev­ered cow’s head, drip­ping blood and mag­gots, is another per­son’s Mona Lisa. Al­though Scors­ese movies do tend to lean to­wards the sev­ered head rather than in­scrutable smiles. But this isn’t a de­bate about art or even about su­per­hero movies.

This is Scors­ese drum­ming up pub­lic­ity for his new movie The Ir­ish­man.

The blood-soaked tale of one man’s rise through a crime fam­ily in the 1950s, it’s ob­vi­ously a sen­si­tive piece that will make you ques­tion your life phi­los­o­phy. Or not.

Any­way, he couldn’t get a ma­jor stu­dio to stump up the cash for it so he went to Net­flix, which promptly gave him $160 mil­lion but is only let­ting the film have a lim­ited cin­e­matic run be­cause it wants peo­ple to pay for its stream­ing ser­vice and watch it there.

So nat­u­rally Scors­ese is a bit miffed. Here he is, more Os­cars than a su­per­hero comic has vil­lains and he can only get a lim­ited re­lease.

So he wants max­i­mum pub­lic­ity for the movie so it rings the tills at the cinema and en­sures next time he’ll get a ma­jor stu­dio to give him the bucks.

And what bet­ter way than to pick a fight with su­per­hero movies? He knows the only way to sur­vive in prison is to take out the big guy and earn some re­spect. So he’s gone up to cinema’s equiv­a­lent of the gi­ant, tat­tooed mus­cle­man and given him an atomic wedgie.

It’s guar­an­teed at­ten­tion and Net­flix must be lov­ing it.

Scors­ese won’t dent the pop­u­lar­ity of su­per­hero movies. He won’t change the mind of movie the­atres, ei­ther, who are en­tirely mo­ti­vated by money ($10 for pop­corn, any­one?)

But he might win him­self a fresh con­tract from a ma­jor stu­dio by do­ing so.

Now that’s a twist wor­thy of one of his movies.

Al­though, if this was one of his movies, he would sign the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar con­tract and then die in a hail of bul­lets from a dis­grun­tled su­per­hero fan af­ter­wards.

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