Martin Scorsese certainly seems to be having issues with the younger generation recently, with the filmmakers’ highly-publicized outbursts on how superhero movies aren’t what he classes as cinema drawing huge backlash from fans and Marvel alumni alike. Ironically, the legendary filmmaker looks to be going head-to-head with the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the awards trail over the coming months as well, with both Avengers: Endgame and Scorsese’s The Irishman in the running to be named Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Despite his repeated claims about how comic book blockbusters are ultimately hurting modern cinema though, you can’t say that Scorsese isn’t moving with the times. The Irishman is a Netflix exclusive, with the deal benefiting both the director who failed to secure funding from the major studios and the streaming service set to make the movie their marquee picture for awards season.
However, Scorsese isn’t entirely enthusiastic about the way modern audiences consume films. Plenty of people watch Netflix on their phones, which is something that the 77 year-old isn’t on board with. When asked in a recent interview how he felt about The Irishman potentially being watched on a handheld device, he urged fans to watch the movie on the biggest screen possible.
“Certainly, I could say, the past 20-odd some years, I’ve made films for both television and, in terms of the screen size, for the theater. Never for a phone. I don’t know how to do it. I wish I could, I don’t know how. No, I don’t get it… Well, I would suggest, if you ever want to see one of my pictures, or most films, please, please don’t look at it on a phone, please. An iPad, a big iPad, maybe.”
This isn’t quite in the same ‘old man yells at cloud’ territory as his Marvel comments, but Scorsese seems horrified at the idea of people watching The Irishman on a phone. He has a point though, as a three and a half hour sprawling crime epic wasn’t made to be watched in bursts on a tiny screen, despite users already finding ways to trim it down into a more manageable length.
The Irishman is also facing criticism from some corners for being a little bit on the boring side, which is indicative of audience viewing habits these days, particularly on Netflix where binge-watching is the preferred method of consuming media. Just don’t watch it on your phone, or Martin Scorsese will likely shake his fist and yell at you for it.