Martin Scorsese says “indie film” label pigeonholes movies and they should be supported by more theaters

The iconic director recently drew attention by striking modern franchise cinema. He now throws vocal support to smaller films.

70s filmmaking icon Martin Scorsese ruffled feathers recently as he stood against comic book movie culture that has been a dominant force at the box office. The director is known for his gritty, anti-establishment films, which include such classics as Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and The Last Temptation of Christ. His new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, was not only one of the most anticipated films of the year but is already generating Oscar buzz for it’s star and frequent collaborator, Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as the breakthrough performance of Lily Gladstone.

IndieWire caught up with Scorsese at the Killers of the Flower Moon premiere in New York on Wednesday, and the Gangs of New York director provided more of his opinions on the state of modern cinema. He spoke about his disdain for the “indie film” label since movie theaters are more inclined to sweep them under the bigger studio movies. Scorsese explained, “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. 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.” In the GQ profile where he rallied against superhero films, Scorsese called for the support of Christopher Nolan and Safdie brothers films in an effort to save cinema. Nolan’s Oppenheimer became a massive hit for a dialogue-heavy historical drama, and a large appeal was due to its IMAX presentation. Killers of the Flower Moon had initially aimed for a limited theatrical release before being available on AppleTV+; however, it has since added IMAX screenings to its release schedule.

Killers of the Flower Moon is due to hit theaters on October 20.

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