The GodfatherFrancis Ford Coppola gave his take on Marvel movies. In an interview with QG to celebrate the film’s restoration, he called the MCU movies “a prototype.” Now stop us if you’ve heard this before, but it fits right in with other critiques of the superhero genre by great figures in film lore. Once upon a time there was Martin Scorsese and now it’s Coppola. One interesting thing to note about this whole Q&A series is that either caption could be about any number of big blockbuster movies. (In this case The Godfather the director praises No Time to Die and Dune directors Denis Villeneuve and Cary Fukunaga.)
“Before, there were studio films,” the director began. “Now there are Marvel pictures. And what is a Marvel picture? A Marvel picture is a prototype film that is made over and over and over and over and over again to look different. Even the talented people – you could take Dunes, directed by Denis Villeneuve, an extremely talented and gifted artist, and you could take No time to die, directed by…Gary?” Before he was told it was Cary Fukunaga, “Cary Fukunaga—extremely gifted, talented, and magnificent artists, and you could take those two movies, and you and I could go shoot the same sequence of both and put them together. The same sequence where the cars all crash into each other. They all have this stuff in them, and they almost have to have it, if they want to justify their budget. And it’s the Good movies, and the talented filmmakers.”
For a nuanced take on the whole issue, Stellan Skarsgard seems to have a good grasp of what’s at stake. He told the Guardian that we’re all mad at the wrong things.
“I have nothing against superhero movies,” Skarsgård explained. “I’ve been in a relationship and they definitely belong. The problem is that the system that allows eight people to own half of the world’s wealth reinforces the power of market forces, so that small, independent cinemas exist rarely. more outside of a few big cities. There’s no distribution channels for all the mid-budget movies that have the best actors, the best writing, because they can’t shell out $3 million to a marketing campaign. When cinemas let them in, they do so for a week and if it doesn’t pay off in a week, they’re gone.”
He continued, “Remember that The Godfather first opened in 100 theaters in the US – big movies now open in 4,000. They had small ads in the New York Times, but it grew and grew because it was such a good movie. The opinion of the people no longer has a chance. And it’s sad. I think we should have Marvel movies and more roller coaster movies. We should have other movies too. And that’s the saddest part: when brute market forces kick in, studios start to be run by companies that don’t care to sell movies or sell toothpaste as long as they get their 10% [return]. When AT&T took over Time Warner, it immediately asked HBO to become lighter and more commercial. They always made money. But not enough for an investor.”
Do you agree with Coppola? Let us know in the comments!