The conversation rages on regarding Martin Scorsese and his thoughts on Marvel movies. Quite a few have weighed in on the matter, which stemmed from the Goodfellas and Taxi Driver director saying that he considers Marvel movies to be theme park rides, as opposed to "cinema." Now, the Hulk himself, Mark Ruffalo, has stepped into the fold. Though, this time, he's brought with him a proposed solution.
Mark Ruffalo has been a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since The Avengers, when he took over for Edward Norton as Bruce Banner/Hulk. Ruffalo, in that time, has also starred in heralded dramas such as Spotlight, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Picture. So he has his foot firmly in both camps on this one.
During a recent interview, he elaborated a bit on the situation, suggesting there should be a way to subsidize certain movies financially, just as other arts are subsidized. Here's what Ruffalo had to say about Martin Scorsese and his Marvel movie problems.
"If we're living in a world where economics are how we measure the value of a society, then yeah, whoever makes the biggest thing is going to dominate. They are going to try and keep making it again and again. In that article [Scorsese] said something really interesting, and I wish he took it all the way. He said, 'I am not suggesting that we subsidize films.' But that's exactly what he's suggesting. We should have a national endowment of the arts that gives money to another kind of cinema and does support another kind of cinema."
Whatever side of the Marvel cinema debate one falls on, it's hard to argue that certain movies are having a tough time making the cut, from a business perspective, these days. Every year, well-liked, critically-heralded movies are dying at the box office. This year alone has several key examples, such as Booksmart, Ad Astra and Blinded By the Light, just to name a few.
With that in mind, Mark Ruffalo argues the responsibility is not as much on the consumer as it is on us, as a society, to value movies as art. If we provide endowments for other types of art, why not cinema? That opens up a much larger debate about what might qualify but, speaking further, Ruffalo argued that Martin Scorsese could be just the guy to make something like this happen.
"If you're working in the milieu of 'I'm going to try and make a movie that has economic success,' which [Scorsese] does too by the way, then how can you complain about that system when you're not on top of it anymore? I would love to see Marty create a national film endowment, and he could do this, that lets young, new talent come in that isn't just driven by the marketplace but driven by precepts of art. That would be amazing. That's really the crux of this conversation."
It's also worth mentioning that Mark Ruffalo worked with Martin Scorsese on Shutter Island. So he clearly has respect for both sides of the aisle here. But Ruffalo wants to help provide a possible, seemingly realistic path forward. Why not look to a guy like Scorsese to help preserve cinema as art for generations to come? Feel free to check out the full interview with Ruffalo from Husam Sam Asi's YouTube channel.