David Cronenberg’s films aren’t intended to make big bucks at the box office; they are intended to make bold statements. His films explore the dark nature of bodily transformations, infestation, technology, and now with Cosmopolis coming out tomorrow, economics.
Recently, the director chatted about his latest directorial effort, but gave some interestingly negative thoughts about superhero movies.
You can see the quote below.
Here’s what Cronenberg had to say about directors like Christopher Nolan directing films like The Dark Knight Rises:
I don’t think they are making them an elevated art form. I think it’s still Batman running around in a stupid cape. I just don’t think it’s elevated. Christopher Nolan’s best movie is “Memento,” and that is an interesting movie. I don’t think his Batman movies are half as interesting though they’re 20 million times the expense. What he is doing is some very interesting technical stuff, which, you know, he’s shooting IMAX and in 3-D. That’s really tricky and difficult to do. I read about it in “American Cinematography Magazine,” and technically, that’s all very interesting. The movie, to me, they’re mostly boring.
Sure he may have not been reading the Hollywood trades, otherwise he would have known that none of Nolan’s Batman films have been filmed in 3D. But that is just a minor inaccuracy; what’s more important is what he says about superhero movies as a whole. He doesn’t find Nolan’s interpretation of Batman to be interesting at all, and believes that what he did for those films is more technical than anything else.
There is some truth to what Cronenberg said. Not that the film wasn’t interesting, but Nolan changed the way we look at films by using the traditional method of shooting. With many opting for digital film, it’s getting harder and harder to find a director who is willing to take on the challenge of using stock film. But whatever he thinks of Nolan’s Batman’s films are obviously his opinion.
Then the interviewer asked if superhero films can be more than a just a summer tentpole, to which he replied no. But he does believe that the horror genre can be produced for the artistic pallets.
Here is the full response:
Absolutely. Anybody who works in the studio system has got 20 studio people sitting on his head at every moment, and they have no respect, and there’s no…it doesn’t matter how successful you’ve been. And obviously Nolan has been very successful. He’s got a lot of power, relatively speaking. But he doesn’t really have power. [Q: So that's a no.] I would say that’s a no, you know. And the problem is you gotta… as I say, you can do some interesting, maybe unexpected things. And certainly, I’ve made the horror films and people say, “Can you make a horror film also an art film?” And I would say, “Yeah, I think you can.” But a superhero movie, by definition, you know, it’s comic book. It’s for kids. It’s adolescent in its core. That has always been its appeal, and I think people who are saying, you know, “Dark Knight Rises” is, you know, supreme cinema art,” I don’t think they know what the f**k they’re talking about.
Again, there is some truth to that. Often times studios does get in the director’s way. The studios hope that the changes they want to see would earn them the big bucks. Obviously a director would like to have full control of what they are doing for the project, but often times a studio steps in to change a few things.
So while Cronenberg does offer some valid points about the state of the superhero movie, he isn’t entirely right. Kick-Ass proved that there can superhero films that are dark, ultra violent, sexual, and not made for kids. To say that comic book films are for kids and “adolescent in its core” is not 100% accurate.
What are your thoughts on what Cronenberg has to say about superhero movies?
[Source: Next Movie]