Martin Scorsese is taking issue with the label “indie film.” The director told IndieWire while at the “Killers of the Flower Moon” New York City premiere on Wednesday night that such films belong in theaters as much as blockbusters; however, the label of an “indie film” makes it easier for theater chains to shrug off including movies in their lineups.
“The thing about it is, it would be great to see not only blockbusters on a big screen, franchises on a big screen, but also what they consider now ‘indie films.’ I don’t like that title,” Scorsese said. “I think that categorizes, pigeonholes. I think they’re films for everyone, and I would love to see a support from theaters, particularly, which would make it possible for people to want to come to a theater to see a film that isn’t necessarily a blockbuster that needs a giant screen.”
He continued, “I’m glad that it’s on a giant screen, but otherwise the theaters will only become for films that are action films. That’s all I’m concerned about.”
Scorsese has previously likened Marvel movies to “theme parks” that undercut the term “cinema.” He recently told GQ that he credits filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and the Safdies for protecting “what movies are.”
“We have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level,” Scorsese said of having popular films outside the realm of comic book adaptations. “It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves. And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean? And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up. Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema.”
The “Goodfellas” director added that studios are not “interested any longer in supporting individual voices that express their personal feelings or their personal thoughts and personal ideas and feelings on a big budget. And what’s happened now is that they’ve pigeonholed it to what they call indies.”
Scorsese spoke to the fragmented film culture in theaters today.
“It should be one cinematic culture, you know? But right now everything is being fragmented and broken up in a way,” Scorsese told Time magazine, citing his own upbringing, where he saw everything playing in theaters regardless of genre. “Not everybody liked musicals. Not everybody liked westerns. Not everybody liked gangster films or noirs. But at the time, we just went to the movies, and that’s what was playing.”