Martin Scorsese: ‘Blockbusters are edging out regular films’

Martin Scorsese fears the types of movies he makes will soon be edged out by blockbusters.The Oscar-winning director’s latest film, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, is a semi-fictional documentary that chronicles the musicia…

Martin Scorsese fears the types of movies he makes will soon be edged out by blockbusters.

The Oscar-winning director’s latest film, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese, is a semi-fictional documentary that chronicles the musician’s 1975-1976 trek across a post-Vietnam America. It is also Scorsese’s first film for Netflix.

But in a new interview with The Associated Press, the filmmaker criticised how blockbuster films such as Avengers: Endgame are now dominating the majority of screens at movie theatres.

“We have to fight back at this practice of overwhelming the market with the blockbuster. The – how should I put it? – the regular film, that’s being edged out,” he said. “It has to go someplace because you know why? There are people that are going to continue to make them.”

The 76-year-old, who has not had a film financed by a major studio in 10 years, will also release his much-anticipated, $125 million (£98 million) mafia epic The Irishman in the fall, after the streaming giant was the only studio prepared to finance it.

“No one else (wanted to finance it). No one else did,” the director insisted. “We decided to make it with the understanding that it’ll maybe never be shown in theatres. They said, ‘You would have a time in theatres,’ – a few weeks or whatever. I said fine. The idea was to make the movie, you see.

“It (the movie) has a lot to do with the vantage point of being 76 years old, for myself, (Robert) De Niro, (Al) Pacino, (Joe) Pesci. It was something that had to be made. How we got it made, if I had to draw the pictures and show them on the street corner, I would have done that.”

The Dylan documentary, which premiered on Wednesday and will have a limited theatre release, includes restored performance footage from the tour, backstage scenes and the music icon’s first on-camera interview in a decade.

“I do prefer that people see Rolling Thunder Revue with an audience,” Scorsese admitted. “I think the theatre experience is important… What I’m concerned about is if the theatre experience is only blockbusters.”

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