It seems that the cranky old man theme is the ‘in’ thing in Hollywood right now since Francis Ford Coppola has decided to one-up Martin Scorsese’s remarks when it comes to his utter contempt for the MCU. Where Scorsese at least tried to walk his comments back and explain himself, Ryan Lattanzio of IndieWire has shown that Coppola is going full steam ahead and letting people know about his utter disdain for the movies and for the process of ‘invasion’ that they seem to be undergoing. In a way it’s kind of like the Grumpy Old Men version of cinema with Coppola playing the part of Max and Scorsese the more level-headed but just as snippy John Gustafson, don’t you think? Both men are so very set in their ways that trying to get them to agree is pointless while trying to get them to at least change their minds and see that they’re being cantankerous is about as likely as getting them to admit that there’s any fault with their own movies. It’s not likely to happen and if it did then the world would end at that particular moment for those that would readily agree with them. In truth though the MCU is growing bigger and bigger, but it’s certainly not trying to push out any movie that might be considered ‘high art’.
Excuse me while I scoff a bit at the ‘high art’ since quite honestly movies are made for many reasons, to educate, to make people think, and to entertain among many others, but claiming that one has value while one doesn’t is sometimes accurate, but not at all needed. It’s hard to talk bad about Coppola in a way since he’s done so much and been a very impressive individual throughout his entire career, but the snobbery of claiming what is and isn’t necessary in cinema is something that I can’t abide since it seems to indicate that despite his expertise and experience, what he says is sacrosanct and as a result is what people need to believe. The high brow and elitist manner that far too many take when it comes to artistic expression and cinema is on its own nothing to really contest or even bother trying to talk down, but when it begins to push past its own boundaries and attack ideas that are not its own for one reason or another, in this case that reason being nothing more than a perceived insult to its own sensibilities, then Coppola, Scorsese, and anyone else that wants to speak up needs to take a step back and realize that it’s here and it’s not going anywhere. As anticlimactic as it might sound, the ‘high art’ of Coppola’s day has had its run and continues to have its way so long as there are people that are willing to produce it. The popularity of the MCU has nothing to do with this so-called ‘high art’ as they’re about their own business and not looking to disrupt Coppola or anyone else. Matt Fowler of IGN has a little more to say on this subject as well, but it’s along the same lines.
See what I said about Grumpy Old Men? Something that is introduced into the world they know that they can’t understand seems to threaten them in a way that hey can’t fully justify or really define but is going to stoke their ire all the same. Other actors have chimed in as well, with Jennifer Aniston being another voice that has been heard when it comes to how the ‘invasion’ of the MCU is a negative thing. Someone really needs to tell her, Coppola, and Scorsese, that the movies are for ENTERTAINMENT. Sure a movie can be made to make people think, to inspire them, and to tell a very ground and beautiful story, but people want to be shocked, titillated, and left feeling pumped up by the end of a movie as well. If those that make ‘high art’ can’t compete then it becomes less of a real issue and more of a case of Coppola and company crying that it’s not fair that the new kid on the block is more popular than they are. That’s not really the case since Coppola and Scorsese made their bones, as the saying goes, when the Marvel universe was still in its infancy and hadn’t yet reached the screen. But as old men it would seem that they’re feeling threatened and the only way they can react is to lash out and remind the young’uns that they were here first and their stuff matters the most. That’s what I get from it at least, a couple of old hounds snapping at the pups while the pups look at them and wonder what they’re barking about.
Let’s put it this way, Coppola and Scorsese are great directors and visionaries that have made their fame and are due their respect. But as Kaila Hale-Stern from The Mary Sue might agree, that respect meter begins to lower the moment that they decide to rail against something that people like, no matter if some agree with them. The MCU isn’t attacking the older, favored movies that tell a very realistic story, but try telling that to a pair of old men that don’t want to look past their own prejudice.