Martin Scorsese: ‘The blockbuster is edging out regular films’


Martin Scorsese fears the type of movies he makes is being edged out by the blockbuster.

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

And in an interview with the Associated Press (AP), the filmmaker criticized the practice of blockbuster films such as Avengers: Endgame 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 (£98.6 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,” he 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,” he continued. “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 (June 12, 2019) 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.”