Martin Scorsese has for decades been high on the list of people I’d love to hang out with. It would be fun to just talk movies with him—to discuss classic cinema. To go through the Attention Must Be Paid list. I’m pretty sure he’d know a lot of the obscure choices I made and would be interested to hear about the ones he didn’t know. Hell, he could tell me stories about working with a few of them, I’m pretty sure, and his stories must be fantastic. We could talk movies and food and history, and it would be amazing. It would be so much fun.
What I wouldn’t do is ask him about the MCU. I’m an acknowledged fan—no, I still haven’t watched Secret Invasion, and I missed Guardians Volume III in the theatre because babysitting, but other than that, I’ve watched the whole series. I’ve enjoyed pretty much all of it, too. I even enjoyed a lot of the Netflix shows. Being a Marvel fan is part of my identity, like being a Disney fan and a Terry Pratchett fan and a writer and all kinds of other things that build up the person that is Gillian. That is not true for Martin Scorsese, and everyone knows it.
They’re asking him for clicks, but does it get clicks anymore? Is there literally anyone who reacts to whatever it is he said with shock and horror and checks out the article just because of Marty’s annoyance at the prevalence of the MCU? Because it’s not like this is news. Now, you could ask him intelligently about the studios’ leaning on tentpole movies and known IP rather than being willing to release midbudget movies and adult dramas and things, and that’s a real question. But you can do that without naming a single real IP. Because it’s not the fault of a single IP except inasmuch as the studios seem incapable of taking the right lesson from a movie’s success.
Heck, I’d be a lot more interested in knowing what he thinks of the success of Barbie and the fact that the lesson learned there seems to be “Mattel Cinematic Universe.” Which is of course the right lesson. As is the “Barbenheimer” thing—amused as I am at the idea of Saw Patrol, you can’t force something like that and it has to arise organically from the public. That’s a conversation about current film that is arguably clickbait but also much more interesting, and it’s something you wouldn’t be able to get from fifteen other articles.
Oh, there are all kinds of other silly things I’d like to ask him, many of them stemming from inside jokes. I’d like to ask him if he thought Free Guy had saved cinema, and while I’d have to explain the question, those of you who get the joke can picture how hard he’d laugh once it was explained. I’d like to ask him what he thinks about the background art in Sleeping Beauty and if he admires it as much as I do. I’d like to ask his opinion on a marinara recipe I’ve written for a cookbook—and what he thought about Cop Rock. I could have a fascinating conversation with him without ever bringing up the MCU, and if you’re going to read an article about Martin Scorsese, you already know what he’d say to that question anyway.