Martin Scorsese Is the Latest Iconic Director to Endorse Barbenheimer

He's optimistic about what it could mean for cinema

Movie theater marquee with "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer"
Plenty of prominent directors are fans of the "Barbenheimer" phenomenon.
Mark Makela/Getty Images

It’s now been a few months since the unlikeliest summer movie double feature imaginable turned into one of the most talked-about box office success stories imaginable. The films Barbie and Oppenheimer — also known via the portmanteau Barbenheimer — were both critical and commercial successes that launched a thousand thinkpieces in their wake. The way that both films were the rare non-franchise cinematic event might also have larger implications for theatrical moviegoing.

It’s not surprising, then, that a number of prominent filmmakers have expressed their fondness for the phenomenon. Quentin Tarantino was one such figure, showing up to see both films the weekend they opened. He’s not the only Oscar-winning director with a penchant for casting Leonardo DiCaprio who’s enjoyed both films, as it turns out.

As Popverse’s Fran Ruiz reports, Martin Scorsese addressed the phenomenon in an interview with Hindustan Times. “t came about at the right time. And the most important thing is that people went to watch these in a theatre,” Scorsese said. “And I think that’s wonderful.”

He went on to note that he hasn’t seen either film yet — though he did mention that cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto worked on Barbie after completing work on the Scorsese-directed Killers of the Flower Moon.

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In the same interview, Scorsese also hailed both films for pointing to a shift in direction in bigger-budget productions. “It does offer some hope for a different cinema to emerge, different from what’s been happening in the last 20 years, aside from the great work being done in independent cinema,” he said. Let’s hope so.

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