Russo Brothers respond to Martin Scorsese's Marvel criticism
Joe and Anthony Russo think Martin Scorsese can't deny the "emotional success" of 'Avengers: Endgame'.
The legendary filmmaker sparked a debate last month by describing Marvel films as "not cinema" and comparing them to "theme parks" and now the director siblings have defended their work on the franchise, insisting that the movies offer a "shared" experience that has brought people together and they are more interested in that than the fact the final film in the series made $2.78 billion at the global box office.
Joe told The Hollywood Reporter: "Ultimately, we define cinema as a film that can bring people together to have a shared, emotional experience.
"When we look at the box office [of] 'Avengers: Endgame', we don't see that as a signifier of financial success, we see it as a signifier of emotional success.
"It's a movie that had an unprecedented impact on audiences around the world in the way that they shared that narrative and the way that they experienced it. And the emotions they felt watching it."
The 'Irishman' director admitted he hadn't watched any of the movies all the way through, prompting the Russos to note it is difficult to spark a dialogue if the filmmaker hasn't seen the work he is criticising.
Joe jokingly said: "But, at the end of the day, what do we know? We're just two guys from Cleveland, Ohio, and 'cinema' is a New York word. In Cleveland, we call them movies."
Anthony added: "The other way to think about it, too, is nobody owns cinema. We don't own cinema. You don't own cinema. Scorsese doesn't own cinema."
Scorsese, 76, recently expanded on his criticism, suggesting that films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe lack "genuine emotional danger".
He wrote: "Many of the elements that define cinema as I know it are there in Marvel pictures. What's not there is revelation, mystery or genuine emotional danger. Nothing is at risk. The pictures are made to satisfy a specific set of demands, and they are designed as variations on a finite number of themes."