Kevin Smith has discovered the ultimate bar argument: who would win in a fight, Jesus or Superman? Last week, the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot writer and director shared his two cents on Martin Scorsese’s belief that Marvel movies are “not cinema,” telling Yahoo! that, actually, Marty made the “the biggest superhero movie ever,” 1988’s The Last Temptation of Christ, starring Willem Dafoe as Jesus. “And I’m not diminishing Jesus by any stretch of the imagination,” Smith added. “But who is Jesus if not a superhero?”
Scorsese has since doubled down on his Marvel Cinematic Universe = amusement park belief, and so has Smith with Jesus = superhero. “For my money, I think Martin Scorsese made the biggest superhero movie ever, which was The Last Temptation of Christ,” he said at the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot premiere (while wearing a Stan Lee t-shirt) on Monday night. “Don’t get much bigger of a superhero than Jesus. He beats Superman and [Robert] Downey [Jr.] every time, so maybe Martin is bending on that territory.” (My favorite thing about Smith’s quote is that he didn’t say “Superman and Iron Man.” He went with “Superman and Downey,” and now I’m imagining Dolittle boxing with Jesus.)
“My feeling is, Martin Scorsese never sat in a movie theater with his dad and watched the movies of Steven Spielberg in the early ’80s or George Lucas in the late ’70s. He didn’t feel that sense of magic and wonder… I can still step into one of those comic book movies, divorce myself of that fact that I do this for a living, release, and my dead dad is back for a minute, for two hours. And it’s personal for a lot of the audience. You know, and we’re not arguing whether or not it counts as cinema.” (Via)
Outside of the Jesus thing (fun way to start a sentence), Smith makes a good point: superhero movies might not be on the same level of artistic achievement as Tokyo Story and The Passion of Joan of Arc and other perceived “cinema” (the hierarchy goes movie, film, then cinema), but for millions, they’re escapism. We need that sometimes.
Speaking of cinema, Jay and Silent Bob Reboot comes out on October 15.
(Via Hollywood Reporter)