'It was a perfect storm!' Martin Scorsese praises 'special' Oppenheimer and Barbie cinema releases

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 October 2023
Martin Scorsese

Martin Scorsese thought Oppenheimer and Barbie being released in cinemas at the same time created a 'perfect storm'

Martin Scorsese believes it was "something special" for cinema this summer when 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' were released at the same time, and he found it "wonderful" that so many went to watch the films in theatres

Martin Scorsese thought 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' being released in cinemas at the same time created a "perfect storm".

The 80-year-old filmmaker – who has made the likes of 'Taxi Driver', 'Raging Bull', 'Goodfellas', and 'The Departed' – said the double release was "something special", because so many people went to see the films in movie theatres.

He told The Hindustan Times: "I do think that the combination of 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' was something special.

"It seemed to be, I hate that word, but the perfect storm.

"It came about at the right time. And the most important thing is that people went to watch these in a theatre. And I think that’s wonderful."

After Tom Cruise revealed on X, formerly Twitter, that he had bought tickets to see both 'Oppenheimer' and 'Barbie' over the summer, it created a cultural phenomenon known as "Barbenheimer", in which people also watched the two movies, often on the same day.

But 'Killers of the Flower Moon' helmer Scorsese hasn't actually seen either movie, despite being a fan of the work of Christopher Nolan – who directed 'Oppenheimer' – and Margot Robbie, who portrayed Barbie.

He added: "I haven't seen the films yet. I love Chris Nolan's work.

"Margot Robbie, I must say, started with me from 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.

"Rodrigo Prieto (cinematographer), after finishing 'Killers of the Flower Moon', went on to shoot 'Barbie'. So it's all in the family.

"The way it fit perfectly – a film with such entertainment value, purely with the bright colours – and a film with such severity and strength, and pretty much about the danger of the end to our civilisation – you couldn't have more opposite films to work together.

"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.

"I always get upset by that, the independent films being relegated to ‘indies.’ Films that only a certain kind of people would like. Just show them on a tiny screen somewhere."

Scorsese's latest comments come after he recently called for Nolan and other directors to "save cinema" from a comic book and franchise culture.

In a profile with GQ magazine, he said: "The danger there is what it’s doing to our culture.

"Because there are going to be generations now that think movies are only those – that’s what movies are.

"They [audiences] already think that. Which means that we have to then fight back stronger.

"And it’s got to come from the grassroots level.

"It’s gotta come from the filmmakers themselves. And you’ll have, you know, the Safdie brothers, and you’ll have Chris Nolan, you know what I mean? And hit ’em from all sides. Hit ’em from all sides, and don’t give up.

"Let’s see what you got. Go out there and do it. Go reinvent. Don’t complain about it. But it’s true, because we’ve got to save cinema."