Am I the only one fatigued by the current trend of Blockbuster-filmmaking? Super hero’s have dominated the global market for the past five years, in fact it’s coming on over a decade since Batman Begins really kick started the fascination with our men and women in spandex. And yet the Genre, (or sub-genre depended upon who you ask) has regressed, fallen into type, and gained an unwanted formula. Am I the only one who finds it equally problematic and enthralling that we, as sheep herded into crowded movie theaters watch what are essentially the same film, year after year, with the only distinction being is arbitrary branding. It’s fucking Orwellian.
You’ll tell me that they’re vastly different, you’ll draw the distinction that DC properties are traditionally darker and more adult, but in the end they’re all people in leather or spandex, following the hero’s path, or some iteration there of, and then overcoming the obstacle. It feels to me like the death of original though, or at least artistic intention. While there have been trends in filmmaking before (see Fantasy post LOTR), nothing has dominated the zeitgeist quite like superhero’s before.
Moreover new vibrant ideas are still being brought forth into the Box Office, with Ben Weatley’s adaptation of Highrise being an example, a film that is reflective of society without being utterly fucking soulless. Even Deadpool, despite being a superhero film, and despite having real issues with the plot, narrative structure and use of C.G.I, was something refreshing, it didn’t have the polish, the soullessness, the lack of anything interesting that has plagued the Movies coming from both Marvel Studios and Warner Brothers (DC). Perhaps what would be refreshing is something not made for audiences, something that will take risks.
Filmicly there is something I can recommend for those feeling fatigue of traditional superhero films, yet finding themselves clinging to the spandex. Super, a super hero film, yet everything from it’s narrative, to a preference for stomach churning violence feels different, refreshing, , and readily available on Netflix. It ‘s a subversive superhero narrative, highlighting the ridiculous nature of it all, from the moralizing to the Leather and Spandex.
While my words may seem hypocritical, what I really miss is diversity; I don’t want to travel to the cinema week in, week out to see the same narrative with mildly different aesthetics separating the two tribes. Perhaps it is time I leave the Box office, for I fear that the domination of it will continue for at least the foreseeable future.