Martin Scorsese Delivers Another Odd Rant About Cinema, This Time Dissing Streaming, Despite Making Deals With Them

The Irishman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Fasten your seatbelts, and prepare to ride the hypocrisy train.

And here I thought we wouldn’t be reading about any more dramatic, disappointing rants over the death of cinema as an art form thanks to the big bad wolf known as streaming from none other than legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese.

Last year, it’s hard to forget how he slayed superhero movies as theme parks and not cinema (see: Simply Dismissing Superhero Movies As ‘Not Art’ is Bad for Both Art and Business). Now he seems to be disgruntled over films being referred to as “content” and the movie business turning into, yes, the movie business.

There are too many quotes in the article linked from Scorsese to highlight, but here’s one of them.

“We can’t depend on the movie business, such as it is, to take care of cinema,” he wrote. “In the movie business, which is now the mass visual entertainment business, the emphasis is always on the word ‘business,’ and value is always determined by the amount of money to be made from any given property.”

Martin Scorsese trash talks streaming services

This is all so rich coming from a director that just signed up with Apple TV+ to make more movie content, cough, likely to debut exclusively on streaming. Also his last film, The Irishman, barely screened in theaters, thanks to movie theater elitism (see: Theater Group Crying Foul Over Netflix’s Limited Theatrical Run for Scorsese’s The Irishman).

Let’s also not forget that Scorsese couldn’t get his most recent film financed without a streaming company bailing him out (see: Scorsese’s Flower Moon rescheduled, if safe, to start filming in 2021)

Perhaps my favorite Scorsese-ism is him taking multiple years to decide he did not “have the time” to direct a superhero movie (see: WTF? Martin Scorsese Took Almost 1,500 Days To Decide He did not “have the time” To Direct Joker) lol!

Seriously, we don’t care for cinematic snobbery. We love watching movies and definitely see it as an artform — for some, anyway. For others, perhaps even for most filmmakers these days — who don’t even shoot on 35mm film anymore — it is a content factory. Guess we agree with Scorsese on that point, but just because most filmmakers bend the knee and Scorsese feels like he doesn’t have to (and he might be right to feel that way based on his awesome body of work), doesn’t mean his stature as an artist historically will be diminished.

In Scorsese’s defense, I remember being impressed by a director’s roundtable video involving current luminary directors (see: Current Movie Landscape Artistic Roundtable Featuring Scorsese, Gerwig, Phillips, Baumbach, Wang and Meirelles), where Scorsese in particular makes a compelling case for his concerns. I’m somewhat suspicious that the way the articles are being slanted, aren’t entirely making his point like he does himself.

But his quotes, my goodness, they need severe context to defend.

Regardless, if Scorsese is saying some bizarre things in his later years in interviews — or is being tragically misquoted, time and again to generate a salacious headline — his place in history is sound. Respectfully, I think he should work more on the business side of his movie-making (see: Martin Scorsese – Great Director Struggling Staying Within Budget), because making movies that cost hundreds of millions of dollars to make — even if you’re the great Martin Scorsese — are not a great value proposition, art be damned, sorry, in the current cinematic universe.

Pod Filming Safety Precautions Reduces Risk To Cast and Crew

Poison Ivy captured by worker in quarantine suit in an episode of Harley Quinn

A frequent concern we share on this site is movie budgets spiraling out of control. This might have appeared prophetic in light of the current pandemic. Budgets have been exacerbated by new safety protocols for filming to keep the cast and crew safe from COVID infection.

In addition, Alex Kurtzman also shared a tidbit about filming that I find intriguing, particularly given that this is how Hallmark holiday movie productions were filming earlier this year. Kurtzman says the Star Trek: Picard cast is using the pods method to make sure that if Covid reaches set it won’t infect the entire cast so that things can keep moving even if there are further setbacks.

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 Dealing With Setback As Patrick Stewart Super Bowl Ad Launches – CINEMABLEND

It’s fascinating to review these procedures, considering many non-film production environments have had any such changes. For example, grocery store and retail workers have had limited changes to operations. Essentially, it’s wear masks, keep social distance, shopping carts and work surfaces sanitized by workers.