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Martin Scorsese Sells Out to Coke in Super Bowl

Martin Scorsese arrives for the gala presentation of the Robbie Robertson biopic Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band on opening night at the Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto, Canada, September 5, 2019. (Mario Anzuoni/Reuters)

Martin Scorsese is so pure of soul that he won’t sully himself by watching a superhero movie. As of a few weeks ago, he hadn’t even seen Joker, which he must be aware from the conversation surrounding it is both an antidote to any notion of comic-book movies as meretricious pap and a tribute to his own work. Moreover, Scorsese at one point was on board to produce Joker. Yet here he is, starring in a Super Bowl commercial.

This isn’t a public-service spot; it’s a dumb, witless commercial for fizzy sugar water that Scorsese did strictly for the paycheck. In other words, though Scorsese won’t stoop to watching a certain kind of commercial movie because it’s beneath him, he’s willing to actually star in a commercial for the kind of beverage that the movies he spurns are supposedly made to sell.

Scorsese’s rejection of comic-book movies as a genre means that as a voting member of various awards-granting bodies he is doing a disservice to fellow filmmakers by not even considering their work. And yes, he does care about awards, very much. He campaigns extensively for Oscars every time he thinks he has a shot at them.

As I’ve said before, since Scorsese doesn’t actually watch comic-book movies, he has no idea what’s in them and his opinion of them carries no authority. His blanket dismissal of an entire film genre that has become increasingly interesting over the last 20 years, even as he is happy to praise older commercial genres such as Westerns and horror, strikes me as an expression of age more than anything else.