news David Harbour: A Movie Like ‘Goodfellas’ Couldn’t ‘Exist in This Climate’ of MCU Domination

Marvel? Cinema? Not in this universe, according to David Harbour.

The “Stranger Things” star and “Black WidowMCU alum told The Independent that the concept of Marvel ruining cinema is laughable…truly.

“I don’t see it as anything but entertaining, fun stuff,” Harbour said, after letting out a laugh per the interview. But that doesn’t mean that the film landscape doesn’t need a “broader scope” of creativity.

“When I was growing up, ‘Goodfellas’ came out in the cinema, and it was like the ‘Captain America’ of its day,” Harbour explained. “We all rushed out to see it. And I don’t know if those movies really can exist in this climate anymore.”

The dominance of the MCU at the box office is “a smaller piece in a much larger cultural puzzle,” according to Harbour.

And let’s just say that “Goodfellas” director Martin Scorsese would certainly agree: The Oscar-winning auteur slammed Marvel movies in 2019, likening them to amusement parks.

“I don’t see them. I tried, you know? But that’s not cinema,” Scorsese told Empire at the time. “Honestly, the closest I can think of them, as well made as they are, with actors doing the best they can under the circumstances, is theme parks. It isn’t the cinema of human beings trying to convey emotional, psychological experiences to another human being.”

Francis Ford Coppola agreed, saying soon thereafter, “When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration…I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again.”

The “Godfather” director added, “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.”

MCU staple Elizabeth Olsen, who most recently starred in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” told The Independent that actors are very aware that the caliber of Marvel movies is not on the same level as “indie art films” but that doesn’t diminish the films as a “lesser type of art.”

“I just think it takes away from our crew, which bugs me,” Olsen explained about MCU criticisms over artistic merit. “These are some of the most amazing set designers, costume designers, camera operators — I feel diminishing them with that kind of criticism takes away from all the people who do award-winning films, that also work on these projects.”

The “WandaVision” alum added, “From an actor’s point of view, whatever, I get it; I totally understand that there’s a different kind of performance that’s happening. But I do think throwing Marvel under the bus takes away from the hundreds of very talented crew people.”
 

sfoster

Staff Member
Moderator
no more of those slow methodical movies.

go faster go harder we want it rough.

fifty shades of grey film GIF
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
They can say it isn't cinema. But MCU isn't calling it cinema. Fast food and fine dining co-exist, and without the fine diners critiquing the Big Mac!
 
The real point that should be address is that there is room for all types of films; Marvel, "slow methodical", "fast and hard", comedies, political satire, horror, science fiction, religious, and on and on... I think the problem Scorsese has, and I agree with him, is that there are too many of one type an not enough of, or none of the other types. Personally, I have only seen a couple of the Marvel movies and I don't care for them. YES, the special effects are top notch. The production value is high, but there is practically no story or, to put it a better way, there is no story that has any real meaning. It's all junk... and I'm tired of watching movies with nuclear physicists and other high level scientists who look like they are 22 years old. As if..

Back to Scorsese, if you think of films in terms of these two categories: thought provoking and relatable, and eye candy (high octane or regular, doesn't matter). Scorsese is saying that almost all films these days are eye candy. There are almost no good thought provoking and/or relatable films being made. Now, you'll notice I said GOOD films. Amazon prime, and I presume the other services, are indeed serving up a glut of highly forgettable, luke warm, contrived crap trying to pass itself off as drama. That's not what people who remember good films that were made before 2005 (I"m being generous) want.

I love Night of the Living dead, and fast and furious, and Friday, but I also love Lady in a cage, The Exorcist, Casino, and Nebraska.

Unfortunately, now more than ever, the entertainment industry is more concerned with making BLOCK BUSTERS than good films. Today, a book like The Godfather would probably not be made into a movie.

One last comment: The crew. Nobody is throwing any crew under the bus. A talented crew is a talented crew whether working on an "amusement park-like movie or real cinema. The producer's decide which movies are made, not the crew.

.... and maybe that's the real point. Maybe cinema is truly dead.
 
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indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
They are film snobs, but have earned that right. But I mean, they do sound like they walked through the snow 8 miles to school when they were a kid, when they talk about film. 🤣 "Back in my day..."
 
"back in my day".. Yeah, I get your meaning. It's true; each generation thinks they are the one's who did it the right way and the new, younger generation doesn't know what they are doing. I get that. My "back in my day" started around 1970 and started to fade away in the early 90's. That being said, I still love and appreciate films from as early as the 1920's.

The funny thing is that today's film makers will one day, many years from now, be sitting somewhere starting their conversations with "back in my day" too. :hi:
 

mlesemann

Staff Member
Moderator
I actually DO think there are plenty of great but slower movies being made - unfortunately they rarely get a theatrical release. But they DO get out to us via streamers. You might like or not like CODA, Pig, or The Lost Daughter (just a few of the more prominent examples from 2021), but I'm glad to see things getting made even if they don't break through to huge audiences.
 

indietalk

IndieTalk Founder
Staff Member
Admin
To that point, the older generation seems to pick on the blockbusters only. Or what is in the press only. Surely they know movies they like are out there. Like with music, it's really pointless to say "Rock music is dead as we know it." But instead, pick out a band in rock you really like and talk about them. Perhaps you have proven the mainstream is not about rock, but it certainly isn't dead and you can help lesser bands get exposure by talking about them. Same with movies. Would have loved to see one of them talk about a director or movie even if unknown instead of poo-pooing modern "cinema."
 
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