Not all superheroes movies are soulless spectacles Jodie!
You all know this lady. Double Academy Award winner, former child star – turned acclaimed director. Jodie Foster. Well she recently got herself in a bit of messy situation, after she openly criticized the superhero movies and compared them to fracking.
She’s just the latest in the long line of filmmakers and artists in Hollywood that openly mocked and ridiculed the superheroes movies (the previous being Christopher Nolan, Clint Eastwood, Terry Gilliam, Mel Gibson, David Cronenberg) but the first to compare the whole genre to fracking.
“Going to the movies has become like a theme park. Studios making bad content in order to appeal to the masses and shareholders is like fracking – you get the best return right now but you wreck the earth,” she said in an interview with Radio Times.
Incoming James Gunn, and his in fan-boy reasoning (which i love). You can be cynic and say that he’s just defending this genre of movies, because he makes them is not enough. Yes, it’s his job but it’s also his passion. Just like let’s say Nolan hates them and refuses to make them, James Gunn loves them, and not only that he makes, them…he makes them GOOD!.
I think Foster looks at film in an old-fashioned way where spectacle film can’t be thought-provoking. It’s often true but not always. Her belief system is pretty common and isn’t totally without basis. I say not without basis because most studio franchise films are quite soulless – and that is a real danger to the future of movies. But there are also quite a few exceptions.
For cinema to survive I believe spectacle films NEED to have a vision and heart they traditionally haven’t. And some of us are doing our best to move in that direction. Creating spectacle films that are innovative, humane, and thoughtful is what excites me about this job.
But, to be fair, at least from Foster’s quotes, she seems to see film-making as something that’s primarily about her own personal growth. For me, that may be part of why I do this, but spending many millions of dollars on a film has to be about more than that – it’s communication – so my experience is merely one spoke on that wheel. But I respect Foster and what she’s done for films and I appreciate her different way of looking at Hollywood’s landscape, was his Twitter response, regarding Foster’s remarks on the subject, but I want to make my point on several things as well.
First things first… Yes. Sometimes the superheroes movies do feel mindless, vapid, stupid and hollow compared to the other other genres. But not all of them and ti’s a stupid generalization. Captain American Winter Soldier contained many allegorical nods to the current political climate, and even Wonder Woman condemned the atrocities of war – just to name a few.
Superhero movies can be meaningful and thought-provoking underneath all that muscle, action packed CHI scenes and yeah… in a nutshell… James Gunn is right for calling out Jodie publicly. He’s right in his conviction that for cinema to survive, spectacle films NEED to have a vision and heart, but they also have to evolve and grow and not just from the point of view from the director, but also from the point of view from the story he’s telling. Yes, it can have a global diameter, significance-wise, but it can also be intimate and poignant and reflect the reality that we are living right now.
So yeah… Jodie Foster’s comments come from an outdated, black an white era of film-making. That is not to say that precisely that version is dying, or losing it’s audience because of the superhero spectacles. No… Not at all. Her disdain is pointed mostly to the content, and not to the technology behind those movies, but she’s part of a business, an industry that just happens to figure out the formula to making more money. Yes, the studios aim to appeal to the masses but isn’t it what every franchise in every other industry is doing?
The bottom line is that Jodie Foster is old-fashioned and not willing to see the bigger picture. She may be right about the bad contend (in some of the movies she’s referring) but the superheroes movies are spectacle for a reason. Cause for the most part, they’re awesome!