Author Topic: Superhero Movies  (Read 2714 times)

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Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #45 on: March 18, 2018, 01:54:44 pm »
  "I went to Wonder Woman and there were grown women weeping with emotion, and I wanted Black Panther to make black people feel the same way." 

But... not at the movie... at the idea that it was made.  They could have wept looking at the poster...

Therefore, I have also won but supporting the idea that it was made and not going.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #46 on: March 19, 2018, 11:49:27 pm »
But... not at the movie...

Wrooong, Michael.

... at the idea that it was made.

Ridiculous, Michael.

They could have wept looking at the poster...

Absuuuurd, Michael.



Seriously, though. He was talking about the visceral emotional experience of seeing it on the screen, not the philosophical satisfaction of knowing a movie studio might make a movie aimed at you. I get tha you can't relate...

Therefore, I have also won but supporting the idea that it was made and not going.

...but you're wrong to discount the power of fantasy.

I saw a headline last week, and I forget if it was in my news feed or if it was a link on another site I was reading. I haven't read it yet, but the headline said (I read this in Whoopi Goldberg's voice): "Black Kids Don't Want To Read About Harriet Tubman All The Time."

I loved the sentiment.  Not that people shouldn't know or care about Harriet Tubman-- of course they should.  But peoples' imaginations and dreams and fantasies deserve much more varied fuel than stories from a dark time in history.


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Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2018, 06:23:37 am »
Seriously, though. He was talking about the visceral emotional experience of seeing it on the screen, not the philosophical satisfaction of knowing a movie studio might make a movie aimed at you. I get tha you can't relate...

I can relate to being happy at seeing a black man elected President.  Through that, I can relate to being proud of seeing certain roles portrayed, but it's a separate experience from enjoying the art.

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...but you're wrong to discount the power of fantasy.

I only do so for myself, and - slightly - as an old guy who doesn't get the kids today.  The latter stance says as much about me as about the kids.

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I saw a headline last week, and I forget if it was in my news feed or if it was a link on another site I was reading. I haven't read it yet, but the headline said (I read this in Whoopi Goldberg's voice): "Black Kids Don't Want To Read About Harriet Tubman All The Time."

Why would they ?

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I loved the sentiment.  Not that people shouldn't know or care about Harriet Tubman-- of course they should.  But peoples' imaginations and dreams and fantasies deserve much more varied fuel than stories from a dark time in history.

The real diversity comes now, after the "first" one... when nobody gives a ****.

David Mamet writes a lot of movies for people like me, but also people like you.  You would like his politics, maybe.  I'll put a link to an interview he did last week with WTF.


Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2018, 10:56:12 pm »
I can relate to being happy at seeing a black man elected President. 

You can relate to it, but if you were a young black person, you wouldn't just relate to it, you'd *feel* it.

When I was young, Japanese-Canadian hockey star Paul Kariya was a big deal for my Chinese-Canadian friends. They didn't know or care much about hockey, but it was tremendously exciting for them to know that someone who looked like them was a real star in the white-man's game.  That a white guy could become a big star in the NHL is probably not very exciting for white guys at large, because pretty much every big star in the NHL is a white guy, but there's probably still lots of boys out there playing street hockey imagining that they're Conor McDavid or Austin Matthews.  And for a while, at least, there were Asian kids playing street hockey imagining they were Paul Kariya.   And playing basketball imagining they were Yao Ming.   And I'm sure that a lot of short white Canadian kids were playing basketball imagining they were Steve Nash too.


Through that, I can relate to being proud of seeing certain roles portrayed, but it's a separate experience from enjoying the art.

Perhaps it's a "separate experience" because you relate to it but don't actually *feel* it.  Perhaps these films are exciting for people who aren't you because they give people who aren't you an experience that you've taken for granted your whole life.

Perhaps you never found discarded fluorescent light tubes in the alley and grabbed one and held it like a sword and said "I'M A BEN KENOBI!!!" and had a a sword fight with your friends.  Or similar.  My little brother did. I got to be Count Dooku or Darth Maul, of course, because the hero of the story was always the white male.  I was always the villainous foil, first of all because mostly I was just indulging my little brother, and secondly because the hero is always the white male.  And even though I knew better than to have sword-fights with breakable glass "light-sabers", I played along because it made my little brother feel good to imagine himself as Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi.  There was never a Kim Kenobi in Star Wars when I was a kid. I never got to be the hero in our imaginary Star Wars adventure.


Why would they ?

Why indeed.  And yet it seems like when Hollywood sets out to entertain black people we get two extremes.  It's either historical epics-- 12 Years A Slave, Selma, Malcolm X,  etc etc etc, or low-brow Tyler Perry comedies.   There's a substantially large void in between.

And into this void steps Black Panther, a movie that's unapologetically aimed towards a black audience while standing on its own as a solid piece of entertainment to audiences of any race.  And, to the surprise of perhaps some-- made a ****-ton of money.  This is a smash success even by Disney/Marvel standards-- it will very shortly surpass every other Marvel movie to date, and when all is said and done it will rank among the biggest commercial successes of all time, regardless of genre.

The villain of the story-- Erik "Killmonger" Stevens-- is a compelling figure, and his anger and angst speak to the audience just as clearly as some historical civil rights drama might.  There is, I gather, a lively ongoing debate as to whether Erik is even a villain... some feel like he has a pretty good point and maybe T'Challa is actually the villain in the story.  I read an interesting column arguing that both Killmonger and T'Challa symbolize competing factions within the actual historical Black Panther Party movement.  There's a lot of discussion about the way this movie has portrayed black anger and black resentment.  It's possible that this movie has created more discussion about racial issues in America than any "serious" historical drama ever has.

And, when it comes to the issue of diversity and representation in Hollywood, you can be dead certain that Black Panther and Wonder Woman have done far more to advance that front than any number of Harriet Tubman biopics ever could.

The real diversity comes now, after the "first" one... when nobody gives a ****.

There will be more. Some will be good. Some will suck. Some will succeed. Some will fail.  Just as with movies with white male protagonists.


David Mamet writes a lot of movies for people like me, but also people like you.  You would like his politics, maybe.  I'll put a link to an interview he did last week with WTF.

"WTF"?


 -k
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Offline ?Impact

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2018, 11:04:06 pm »
Perhaps you never found discarded fluorescent light tubes in the alley and grabbed one and held it like a sword and said "I'M A BEN KENOBI!!!" and had a a sword fight with your friends.
...
And even though I knew better than to have sword-fights with breakable glass "light-sabers", I played along because it made my little brother feel good to imagine himself as Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi.

You should have brought him under some high voltage transmission lines.

Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #50 on: March 21, 2018, 05:49:27 am »
You can relate to it, but if you were a young black person, you wouldn't just relate to it, you'd *feel* it.

I do 'feel it' but admittedly not in the same way as a young black person would.  The point is that the 'feeling' of the achievement is separate from the 'feeling' of experiencing the art.  You can be brought to tears that Wonder Woman or Black Panther was made and still think the movie itself isn't that great.

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When I was young, Japanese-Canadian hockey star Paul Kariya was a big deal for my Chinese-Canadian friends. They didn't know or care much about hockey, but it was tremendously exciting for them to know that someone who looked like them was a real star in the white-man's game.  That a white guy could become a big star in the NHL is probably not very exciting for white guys at large, because pretty much every big star in the NHL is a white guy, but there's probably still lots of boys out there playing street hockey imagining that they're Conor McDavid or Austin Matthews.  And for a while, at least, there were Asian kids playing street hockey imagining they were Paul Kariya.   And playing basketball imagining they were Yao Ming.   And I'm sure that a lot of short white Canadian kids were playing basketball imagining they were Steve Nash too.

Yes, yes I'm a liberal remember ?  I'm all about the little guy/gal/nonbinary getting "in".  You don't need to explain this to me.

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Perhaps it's a "separate experience" because you relate to it but don't actually *feel* it.  Perhaps these films are exciting for people who aren't you because they give people who aren't you an experience that you've taken for granted your whole life.

Ibid.

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Perhaps you never found discarded fluorescent light tubes in the alley and grabbed one and held it like a sword and said "I'M A BEN KENOBI!!!" and had a a sword fight with your friends.  Or similar.  My little brother did. I got to be Count Dooku or Darth Maul, of course, because the hero of the story was always the white male.  I was always the villainous foil, first of all because mostly I was just indulging my little brother, and secondly because the hero is always the white male.  And even though I knew better than to have sword-fights with breakable glass "light-sabers", I played along because it made my little brother feel good to imagine himself as Jedi Knight Ben Kenobi.  There was never a Kim Kenobi in Star Wars when I was a kid. I never got to be the hero in our imaginary Star Wars adventure.

Not true.  I used to *love* the Flash Gordon type movies when I was a boy.  Then I grew up.  Most sci-fi and superhero films are pure garbage but the odd one is still ok:

The first Superman (Christopher Reeve), a few Terminator movies, two Star Warses, two Aliens, Batman Begins....

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Why indeed.  And yet it seems like when Hollywood sets out to entertain black people we get two extremes.  It's either historical epics-- 12 Years A Slave, Selma, Malcolm X,  etc etc etc, or low-brow Tyler Perry comedies.   There's a substantially large void in between.

The former type is mostly for white people, and the latter for ... who knows.  Straight Outta Compton was good enough.  There are enough good black film makers to make commercial movies for a black audience.

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"WTF"?


 -k

I posted in the Podcast Culture thread.

Offline kimmy

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #51 on: May 20, 2018, 11:41:00 am »
Is Marvel/Disney destroying the entire movie industry as we know it?!

https://www.theringer.com/movies/2018/5/14/17351238/avengers-infinity-war-box-office-counterprogramming

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Infinity War and Black Panther are intimidating and then crushing competition. These movies—movies that I, like Falcone and millions of others, generally really enjoy—are creating a beggars’ class of haves and have-nots that threatens not just the old manner of movie-release strategy, but the notion of film lovers. It is brand loyalty as artistic assault. Today, we have repeat customers, not cinephiles.


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Offline cybercoma

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #52 on: May 22, 2018, 09:24:01 am »
Yes they are, but not through their own intentions. They're responding to the way our society operates, which is economic rationalism above all else. Every aspect of society as we shifted from pre-modern times to modernity became contingent on a few key factors: calculability, efficiency, predictability/standardization, control. It's a rationalism that is to the detriment of artistic endeavours and human experience. Ritzer called this the McDonaldization of society. He goes on to argue that this kind of social organisation is irrationally rational. What he means is that strict rationalism dehumanizes the people who work in such a system. We can see the humanity stripped out of films, quite literally with the overabundance of CG. People are no longer an end in themselves, but a means to an end. They are numbers on spreadsheets.

As it goes for superhero movies, they are efficient and predictable through serial spin-offs, sequels, prequels and reboots. They are calculable because they become brands, as mentioned. Studios don't want to take a chance on something new, when they can just take a story, already written and already popular, and churn out a film that's already recognized. Consequently, it's the death of creativity. Trying something new, stretching boundaries, pushing the envelope are irrational but they are the quintessential characteristics of the artistic, the aesthetic, and the human experience. Economic rationalism is the death of not only film but all kinds of artistic endeavours. We are left with a meme economy that endlessly reproduces the same images, de-contextualizing and dehumanizing everything.

Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #53 on: May 22, 2018, 09:32:22 am »
  Ritzer called this the McDonaldization of society. He goes on to argue that this kind of social organisation is irrationally rational.

Yes, and this has happened before.  Art that is not genuine will not be supported.

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As it goes for superhero movies, they are efficient and predictable through serial spin-offs, sequels, prequels and reboots. They are calculable because they become brands, as mentioned. Studios don't want to take a chance on something new, when they can just take a story, already written and already popular, and churn out a film that's already recognized.

Until somebody takes a chance on the next Easy Rider.

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Consequently, it's the death of creativity. Trying something new, stretching boundaries, pushing the envelope are irrational but they are the quintessential characteristics of the artistic, the aesthetic, and the human experience. Economic rationalism is the death of not only film but all kinds of artistic endeavours. We are left with a meme economy that endlessly reproduces the same images, de-contextualizing and dehumanizing everything.

People need novelty, and art sneaks in...

Offline TimG

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #54 on: May 22, 2018, 10:30:04 am »
Consequently, it's the death of creativity. Trying something new, stretching boundaries, pushing the envelope are irrational but they are the quintessential characteristics of the artistic, the aesthetic, and the human experience.
Movie theaters are not the only outlet today. People with interest and capital can produce original content for streaming and reach a wide audience.  So it is silly to say that the dearth of original movies in theaters is the 'death of creativity'.


Offline MH

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #55 on: May 22, 2018, 10:42:12 am »
  So it is silly to say that the dearth of original movies in theaters is the 'death of creativity'.

Some other aspects of this debate include:

high art vs low art
relevance
escapism vs realism





Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #56 on: May 22, 2018, 10:48:21 am »
If you're spending hundreds of millions of dollars to create and distribute and market films I see why studios would rather invest that money into a sure thing people obviously want to see rather something they're not sure they want to see & could bomb.  Eventually people will get sick of superhero movies & there won't be so many.  Same with Star Wars movies possibly.

There's still tons of other quality and artistic movies for people to see, it's just that Star Wars and superhero films seem to be dominating the blockbuster genre lately.  If it wasn't superheroes it was The Hobbit or Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Carribean or The Matrix or The Hunger Games etc.  They made 8 or 9 Harry Potter movies because people like Harry Potter movies, it's not the end of the world or the death of art.  If people want to see superhero movies, leave them alone.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 10:50:10 am by Coonlight Graham »
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Offline cybercoma

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #57 on: May 22, 2018, 10:55:46 am »
Movie theaters are not the only outlet today. People with interest and capital can produce original content for streaming and reach a wide audience.  So it is silly to say that the dearth of original movies in theaters is the 'death of creativity'.
Having access to an audience is not the same thing as capturing an audience and it is a giant leap to being economically supported in these endeavours.

Offline Queefer Sutherland

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #58 on: May 22, 2018, 11:02:11 am »
Having access to an audience is not the same thing as capturing an audience and it is a giant leap to being economically supported in these endeavours.

That's true, they also won't have the marketing on every bus shelter supporting it.  Luckily film is such a big industry that you still find pretty much anything you want to see.
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Offline TimG

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Re: Superhero Movies
« Reply #59 on: May 22, 2018, 11:10:45 am »
Having access to an audience is not the same thing as capturing an audience and it is a giant leap to being economically supported in these endeavours.
Any artist who can't self-fund is going to have to create art that sells. This is a fact of life that has always been true and will be forever true in the future. In the past artists depended on wealthy patrons which might have eliminated the need to sell art to the masses but still required that art could be marketed to the patrons. Today artists have more options because they can reach wide audiences for little cost and have access to revenue streams such as YouTube ads. A world where artists create art that no one wants to buy is a pointless fantasy.