Marvel Comics on Film

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domino harvey
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#151 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:06 pm

movielocke wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:24 am
On the other hand twenty years ago in film school, professors literally said things like “terminator isn’t cinema, Jurassic park isn’t film,” so this is also just what old people say about things that are less old. Grandpa Simpson yells at cloud.
Several other members have already taken you to task on this, but I can’t just let this slide without an additional pile-on. It’s funny how none of the superhero boosters had a problem with the age of these directors or their output or whatever else is being mocked here until they said something bad at their beloved “popular” film franchises. It’s entirely possible to defend these movies without resorting to low effort personal attacks on someone who disagrees with you. It might be worth thinking about why your first response to criticism was “Well, they’re just old, amirite,” because let me assure you of what you no doubt must already know: no franchise raking in this kind of money is solely appealing to or made for an exclusively young audience. And as the dominant cultural product right now (sad, but accurate), these movies are already doing just fine in the face of these dissents and don’t need such blind defending on their behalf, especially when it manifests in posts like the above

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dustybooks
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#152 Post by dustybooks » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:08 pm

The thing that disturbs me most about the online response to all this is the idea that any well-respected director's opinion raises so many alarm bells everywhere and gets all these hackles up about old white men and snobbery and whatever else, as though Martin Scorsese somehow has the power, in these folks' conception, to single-handedly will the MCU out of existence. Whenever this sort of subject is raised on Twitter, someone invariably responds with the "let people enjoy things!" cartoon, and I can't get over how much work the word "let" is doing in that sentence; how confident can you possibly be about your own likes and dislikes if you desperately need those views to be shared by a person you don't know? It seems more infantile to me than the movies, which I don't really care either way about. And what it really says to me is that certain people are extremely defensive and guilty over how much this stuff dominates their media intake; whether they're right to feel that way is not for anyone else to say, but I can't think of any other reason why any statement against the stuff they love sends them into this tortured state of consternation over it. It's anti-intellectualism fused with a desperate for the approval of highbrow, and I don't see why one would expect the latter to be forthcoming in any era. Why would Chuck Jones praise Scooby Doo, whether you like Scooby Doo or not, and how does it weigh so much on your consciousness if he doesn't?

I know it's not a perfect comparison, but I keep imagining this kind of tribalism coming up with Bergman and Godard's dislike of each other's work -- Bergman fans not resting until Godard acknowledged the brilliance of the master, or vice versa. I just don't understand wanting that degree of impeccable validation for every opinion you can possibly hold, nor why there's so much resistance to acknowledging that the real problem being protested is less these films themselves (cynically manufactured popcorn movies not being a new phenomenon) than the way they and the accompanying brand of entertainment they represent have shut out everything else in regional cinemas, to which I can readily attest.

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domino harvey
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#153 Post by domino harvey » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:26 pm

The Bergman/Godard split went one way (Godard liked Bergman's films, Bergman hated Godard's films), but it's actually still not a bad comparison point because I suspect most of the Marvel directors enjoy Scorsese's films. But yes, I think what we're seeing online is what always happens when someone wraps their tastes up in their identity: you start taking people not liking the thing you like as people not liking you, and then your feelings are hurt, and then you lash out in rather embarrassing ways. It's never a good look

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#154 Post by DarkImbecile » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 pm

[reluctantly deletes 37,000-word rant calling for mfunk to be keelhauled for walking out of A Hidden Life]

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#155 Post by dustybooks » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:40 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:26 pm
The Bergman/Godard split went one way (Godard liked Bergman's films, Bergman hated Godard's films)
Oops, I totally mis-remembered that, need to reacquaint myself with the classic director beefs!
Last edited by dustybooks on Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#156 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:40 pm

"Film Twitter" has recently turned the discussion of this to the canard that movielocke is exploring above - that is, the idea that just the old and out of touch have an issue with blockbuster films, so a lot of old stories are being brought back into the conversation to shut down this sort of argument wholesale. When, in fact, even directors' closest peers would give them a hard time about this stuff. Brian De Palma was so vicious about Star Wars that he allegedly made George Lucas cry, Coppola didn't like it either, John Carpenter was often brutal about the popular films of his own era, and on and on and on. Critics and even the dusty old professors you're talking about have always been more open to a shift toward blockbuster filmmaking (just look at the rubber stamp that all these Marvel films get) than filmmakers themselves, who are far more critical of one another than anyone (and critical of themselves). If you think that professors were grousing about The Terminator and Jurassic Park while fellow directors were all glowing about them, you're just flatly incorrect about how these things are often received.
DarkImbecile wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 1:35 pm
[reluctantly deletes 37,000-word rant calling for mfunk to be keelhauled for walking out of A Hidden Life]
Don't push me. I already saw plenty of pushing in A Hidden Life and know it's pretty stressful stuff

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Marvel Comics on Film

#157 Post by movielocke » Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:46 pm

Ha, wow, well this is a good lesson on not making a thoughtless comment from your phone onto the internet late at night. My apologies all, I didn’t intend to spark an ageist furor and looking at it now I see exactly how awful it sounded, how wrong it was to say and I’m embarrassed it popped out of me.

My film professors really did hate on pretty much all blockbuster cinema from jaws onward as not being as pure film art as Hitchcock (which I always found ironic they used him constantly (and sometimes exclusively!) as a counter example), and frequently came with rants that we students could only understand all the mish mash editing of blockbusters because we’d been raised on “MTV garbage” so our eyes were trained to handle ten frame shots, but no one else could even watch such monstrosities and it was such a shame that we were so broken and deformed by the culture we were raised in that we didn’t want anything but that. I am not exaggerating this, it was a standard refrain.

Not surprisingly, we students all thought this was a crock of shit. And I’d say my resentment at being insulted for four years came popping out of dormancy last night, and my comments were more responding to those memories than to the specific comments from Scorsese or Coppola.



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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#159 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:06 pm

tenia wrote:
Mon Oct 21, 2019 8:40 am
I was at Coppola's press conference where he said that about Marvel, and unfortunately, the context of his full answer hasn't been given.

What Coppola included this short summary into was a more general point about a few studios currently being in the process of getting rich and accumulating wealth for the sole purpose of doing that. In a world where fortunes are getting done most often on the back of a part of the population getting poorer and poorer, he thinks doing movies with so little risks and so impersonal are a waste of human people and that this is despicable.
Then, he summed it up by saying "Martin was kind with them, I think what they're doing is despicable".

His press conference was very moving, more so than his masterclass the day before. He talked about utopia, and the state of the world in a very naive but optimistic way. To him, movies should be personal, because the people making them were 1 chance in a million to be born, so they should never make something anybody else could have done too.
If there is video of this I'd love to see it.

He got in trouble for saying Apocalypse Now was like Vietnam too, right?

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#160 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:10 am

It was recorded but I don't think the whole stuff will appear online.
He did said something like that about Apocalypse Now, but I don't think the comparison was that direct. IIRC, he said he wanted the style of the movie to reflect how Vietnam was.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#161 Post by Roger Ryan » Tue Oct 22, 2019 8:38 am

tenia wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:10 am
It was recorded but I don't think the whole stuff will appear online.
He did said something like that about Apocalypse Now, but I don't think the comparison was that direct. IIRC, he said he wanted the style of the movie to reflect how Vietnam was.
The “My film is not about Vietnam, it is Vietnam” statement was made by Coppola when the film premiered at Cannes in 1979. During this year's Tribeca Film Festival Q & A with Steven Soderbergh (included on the new UHD set), Soderbergh asked Coppola if he was embarrassed by his 1979 proclamation. Coppola replied that he was embarrassed by a lot of things he has said over the years...then he doubled-down and restated the film "was like Vietnam"! Coppola's assessment was that, like the war, his production was an American invasion into another country with too many people and too much money that became folly. I understand how the director would find that parallel given how much of a psychological toll he paid making the film, but regardless of the self-deprecating quality of the remark, I don't think he realized how facile the comparison was.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#162 Post by bearcuborg » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:06 am

Someone had once asked, that if the super hero genre was the new western, where is the new John Ford? Well, I can't make any claim to these movies being great art - and I don't think anyone else is suggesting that - but I'll say this:

These movies are not completely devoid of soul. Now I've only seen 3 of them, and that's all I really care to see, but I did see audience reaction trailers on youtube to Infinity War, and Endgame - and there is clear evidence of a real connection with the audience and these performances - and it has little to do with CGI or super powers. The performance of Robert Downey Jr. can almost be likened to a "touch" (to borrow from classic cinema) that seems to permeate the series in the writing, direction, and other performances. The MCU movies have a certain feeling that other super hero movies do not.

Another note in defense of the MCU is that they have given people of color, and women more representation than had been previously seen in the genre, and heck - maybe more than in the films of Scorsese or Coppola.

With all that said, it is a bit of drag that movies that strive for more are not in theaters long, if at all. Still, I'm somewhat spoiled living in a major east coast city that's only 2hrs from New York, so the MCU hasn't completely taken over my theaters, like in smaller cities.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#163 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:27 am

I genuinely can't tell if this is a parody or not.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#164 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 10:58 am

I live in Philadelphia too and superhero films have totally taken over some of the best theaters in the area. Was a lot of fun seeing Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on the only 35mm print in the state of Pennsylvania in a shoebox because the other, fantastic theater was taken up with some Disney abomination. Multiplexes will have as many as 16 or 17 screens and have more than half of them occupied by a single superhero film, let alone multiple when multiple are out. I don't agree with the above, and the gender and racial representation stuff is too silly to even address.

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tenia
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#165 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:26 am

Lots of people falling for mediocre or bad movies has never been a very good argument in favor of the related movies.
I'd also argue about Marvel's representation of people of color and women as being a solely opportunistic move in trying to capture every single potential consumer there can be left for them. The way they did it with Black Panther (haven't seen Captain Marvel) was also extremely counter-productive, with a script bent totally backwards to what it should have been (but I already expressed my POV on this one so won't do it again).

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#166 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:28 am

Also, a very good way to get the two cultural tentpoles of neoliberalism to work together to provide free promotion for these films: even if a media outlet wouldn't typically dedicate time to a Marvel picture, an unshakable dedication to identity politics forces them to. Because suddenly these films become the most important cultural events of a generation because an African American woman is the one holding a glowing shield from space, or whatever

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domino harvey
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#167 Post by domino harvey » Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:34 am

tenia wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:26 am
Lots of people falling for mediocre or bad movies has never been a very good argument in favor of the related movies.
I'd also argue about Marvel's representation of people of color and women as being a solely opportunistic move in trying to capture every single potential consumer there can be left for them.
Bingo. It cracks me up that some of the most liberal, anti-capitalist people I know were so intent on seeing Wonder Woman (which is DC but still relevant here) and Black Panther even though they didn’t like comic book movies because they wanted to “support the message”— of course, as it’s always been in Hollywood all the way back to the studio era, the message is first and foremost making money. Congrats, you got played and now you’re going online to give free advertising by defending a multi-billion dollar IP from a small minority of dissenters

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#168 Post by Brian C » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:01 pm

It also seems like Marvel is kind of in damned-if-they-do, damned-if-they-don't territory here regarding representation. If they try for inclusion, then it's corporate pandering. If they don't, well, obviously that's a problem too. I guess I'm not real clear what the actual criticism is here. Yes, this is a giant corporation that wants to make money ... but there are far worse ways to do that than trying to appeal to black people too?

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#169 Post by DarkImbecile » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:07 pm

I don't think anyone is mad that they made movies with non-white male characters (after first establishing the brand with all white male characters, of course), just pointing out that they shouldn't be given a medal for it either.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#170 Post by swo17 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:09 pm

Hey, one of them was green

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Brian C
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#171 Post by Brian C » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:12 pm

DarkImbecile wrote:I don't think anyone is mad that they made movies with non-white male characters (after first establishing the brand with all white male characters, of course), just pointing out that they shouldn't be given a medal for it either.
So fine, don’t give them a medal for it. But I don’t see how anything bearcuborg said is wrong - the rebuttal seems to be essentially pointing out that the movies are made by a big corporation, which seems neither here nor there to me.

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tenia
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#172 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:26 pm

domino harvey wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 11:34 am
a small minority of dissenters
That's what I don't understand too : how the fans of a franchise that clearly won the world and is massively popular can't even stand a handful of dissenters stating "well, those movies really do seem to just be about making tons of money and nothing else, aren't they ?"
Brian C wrote:
Tue Oct 22, 2019 2:12 pm
the rebuttal seems to be essentially pointing out that the movies are made by a big corporation, which seems neither here nor there to me.
Disney never intended to give a bigger role to minorities and women just for a morale purpose or because they think it's the right thing to do. They're just doing so because they rightly guess people would get on the bandwagon without doing anything more than this. And indeed : Black Panther is amongst the biggest BO successes of the MCU, yet, it does nothing purposeful for the minority it aims to push forward, it just uses it to widen its audience.
It's no surprise Shang-Chi will follow : it's not because Disney thought "there isn't enough Asian-led blockbuster movies", it's just that Black Panther worked well within this frame, that the Asian market has become unavoidable, and that Crazy Rich Asians did crapload of money in the US so Disney surely can try to do some too.

It's totally opportunistic. They're using that for making money, not pushing representations beyond Hollywood's habit because they're some good samaritans.

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domino harvey
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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#173 Post by domino harvey » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:23 pm

Yes, it would be one thing if the clear popular desire for films led by and made by underrepresented groups resulted in an increase of mid-budget films from these groups for mainstream audiences, but it hasn’t. And selling things like Black Panther or Crazy Rich Asians as a novelty and not the first shot fired from the new normal sets up the same separation that already existed, only now with new emphasis

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#174 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:23 pm

Not sure I understand the pointedness of this discussion. Popular culture always crosses over to include other groups. Is Disney being noble, yeah, probably but cash registers ringing doesn’t hurt. It’s the smart business move. And isn’t this the way of the world we’re in? Companies are becoming more diverse and inclusive. So why can’t superhero movies.

Super hero movies have been around for a long time. Have they become a thing for criticism from Scorsese and others because they have now entered award ceremonies and festivals? I expect the trend of festivals and such to continue, as much to the chagrin of many, myself included.

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Re: Marvel Comics on Film

#175 Post by tenia » Tue Oct 22, 2019 3:48 pm

What should be a goal (inclusiveness) is a tool here.
Sure, it's been done before, and sure making some money is nice, but I guess we went full circle since that was precisely the original point : money is the goal, anything else the tools to make more money.

And while superhero movies aren't new, again, the genre itself isn't discussed : it's its new deeply industrial making that is, and I don't find surprising that someone like Scorsese, who created very long historical docus about cinema and who founded and funded Film Foundation, has a particular look on the state of this art.

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