Mark Ruffalo Shutter Island

The fight between diehard Marvel Studios fans and Martin Scorsese stans is starting to feel like if the climactic battle in Avengers: Endgame had lasted for months instead of minutes. At this point, both sides are tired and just waiting for something to end this once and for all, finally putting everyone out of their misery. Thankfully, Mark Ruffalo has a potential solution.

Because the news media apparently wants this fight about what should and shouldn’t be considered “cinema” to last the rest of our lifetimes, a BBC reporter (via Indiewire) asked Ruffalo for his thoughts about the argument in a recent interview while Ruffalo was out promoting his new movie Dark Waters. The actor is probably best known for playing Bruce Banner/Hulk in the Marvel movies, but he also worked with Scorsese on Shutter Island. After inviting Scorsese to watch some of the Marvel movies with an audience to see how they’re emotionally affected by the characters, Ruffalo tried to offer an actual solution to this battle instead of just dumping more fuel on the flames:

“If we’re living in a world where economics are how we measure the value of a society, then yeah, whoever makes the biggest thing is going to dominate. They are going to try and keep making it again and again. In that [NY Times] article, [Scorsese] said something really interesting, and I wish he took it all the way. He said, ‘I am not suggesting that we subsidize films.’ But that’s exactly what he’s suggesting. We should have a national endowment of the arts that gives money to another kind of cinema and does support another kind of cinema.

If you’re working in the milieu of ‘I’m going to try and make a movie that has economic success’ – which [Scorsese] does too, by the way – then how can you complain about that system when you’re not on top of it anymore? I would love to see Marty create a national film endowment – and he could do this – that lets young, new talent come in that isn’t just driven by the marketplace, but driven by the precepts of art. That would be amazing. That’s really at the crux of this conversation, I think.”

Scorsese, of course, is already being the change he wants to see in the world: he’s been a longtime advocate, preserver, and active champion of the type of movies he thinks the world needs more of. (Just this year, he’s executive produced smaller movies like The Souvenir and Uncut Gems.) The U.S. already has a National Endowment for the Arts which awards money for grants, but perhaps Ruffalo thinks that with Scorsese’s influence, the master director might be able to lobby the government to institute a national endowment specifically related to film, similar to how the British Film Institute uses National Lottery funds to develop films in the U.K.

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