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Cinema is Cinema: George Miller on Marvel-Scorsese Debate

'Mad Max: Fury Road' helmer George Miller defended the existence of superhero and franchise cinema.


Updated:December 7, 2019, 3:57 PM IST
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Cinema is Cinema: George Miller on Marvel-Scorsese Debate
Image: George Miller

Filmmaker George Miller is the latest Hollywood veteran to weigh in on Martin Scorsese's criticism of Marvel movies, saying cinema as a broad field has room for every kind of film.

In an interview with Deadline, the "Mad Max: Fury Road" helmer defended the existence of superhero and franchise cinema.

"I watch all of them. To be honest, in terms of this debate, cinema is cinema and it's a very broad church. The test, ultimately, is what it means to the audience.

"There's a great quote I saw that applies to all we do. It was from the Swahili storytellers. Each time they finished a story they would say, The story has been told. If it was bad, it was my fault because I am the storyteller. And if it was good, it belongs to everybody'," Miller said.

He said it is a "mistake" and "a kind of hubris" to dismiss a blockbuster film as "clever marketing".

"There's more happening there, and it's our obligation as storytellers to really try and understand it. To me, it's all cinema. I don't think you can ghettoise it and say, oh this is cinema or that is cinema. It applies to all the arts, to literature, the performing arts, painting and music, in all its form.

"It's such a broad spectrum, a wide range and to say that anyone is more significant or more important than the other, is missing the point. It's one big mosaic and each bit of work fits into it," Miller added.

Scorsese had stirred up a debate in October by branding superhero films as "theme park experience" and "not cinema" while promoting "The Irishman", which started streaming on Netflix from November 28.

He later elaborated on his comment in a New York Times op-ed, saying he was not questioning the talent of the people behind superhero films but the absence of "revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger" in the movies.

The director had to turn to Netflix as he was not able to raise funds through the Hollywood studio system for "The Irishman" despite the presence of Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci.

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