The common sense argument
The two giants Marvel (Disney) and DC Comics (Warner Bros) are engaged in one-upmanship to lure the viewer. But there are many such films. Too much. A good ten per year. We get lost between the heroes, anti-heroes, intrigues and superpowers. Disney’s CEO agrees. Asked at the end of November about the failure of The Marvels , directed by Nia DaCosta, Bob Iger said, regarding sequels: “You have to have a good story. And often, it doesn’t hold up, it’s not as strong as the original. »
The movie buff argument
The most virulent prosecutor against Marvel is the American Martin Scorsese. “It’s not cinema”, “it looks like amusement parks”, the director told Empire magazine in 2019 . A strong opinion, underpinned by the idea that, although a film certainly comes from an industry, it is not a commercial object like any other and cannot obey a marketing plan. At the risk of exhaling the “putrid charm of its mercantile character”, according to the formula dating from 1935 by the philosopher Walter Benjamin.
The cocorico argument
According to the National Cinema Center (CNC), the last decade has seen an average of two hundred and eighty-eight French films produced each year, all genres and all budgets combined. But Spider-Man, Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy… pranced to the top of the French box office, suffocating the French feature films which had the misfortune of being released at the same time. A vicious circle, with large theaters favoring profitable films and chasing away the most fragile.
The common sense counterargument
We are invaded by superheroes, so what? Each era sees a genre of cinema flourish. In the 1950s, cardboard peplums and musicals with homoerotic choreography were fashionable. The 1970s saw the explosion of the psychological thriller, with a hero alone against everyone. Then syrupy romantic comedies reigned, alongside films where swashbucklers saved America and the world along the way.
The superhero cape will one day be as obsolete as the gladiator skirt.
The cinematic counter-argument
In the conflict between pro- and anti-superheroes, the peacekeeper is British filmmaker Christopher Nolan. Asked by the Associated Press agency about Martin Scorsese’s position at the end of November, he called for “balance” : “The more variety there is, the more interesting films there are, the better it is for all of us as spectators and industry professionals. » He himself directed three parts of Batman, to great acclaim. Just as there are bad arthouse films, there are great cinematic moments in superhero franchises.
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