One of the silver linings of the last official weekend of Summer is that while marking the turn toward cooler weather and a decline in the days devoted to vacations, it’s also a sign that the guys in Spandex suits will soon be departing the Multiplex.
As the fanboys churned the Internet this week with the angst sparked by Ben Affleck being chosen as the next incarnation of Batman in the “Man of Steel” sequel, truly original movies designed to offer far more than CGI were unspooling in Telluride and Venice, promising original stories designed to engage rather than reboot memes most of us first became familiar with at the age of twelve.
I honestly don’t have a big problem with Super-hero movies. But when they become a steady diet repeated weekend after weekend, and then sequelized until the DVD boxset is released in time for a new auteur and cast to repeat the process –- well, it’s just not really about trying to seriously entertain people anymore.
As the Comic geeks raged against Affleck’s casting, many asking “Why?” since he’d already ruined “Daredevil”. I couldn’t help wanting to point out he’d also got to ruin Superman in “Hollywoodland”.
That’s because ruining things is what Ben Affleck does best, like the way he ruined what really happened as well as Canadian history in “Argo”.
So, in a way, I REALLY want him to play Batman. Because maybe his ruining it might make people turn to movies where the willing suspension of disbelief replaces the complete surrender to imbecility that most blockbuster comic book movies have become.
Don’t get me wrong. I love comic books. I’m in the middle of writing one right now. But the best of the Marvel and DC myths always left room for both the wonder and the scepticism encountering a being with super human powers would clearly engender.
There’s a little of that in a terrific short film by Brazilian filmmaker Marcus Alqueres entitled “The Flying Man”. And Alqueres’ description of his process goes right to the heart of what makes his film so powerful and different, “From the beginning I didn’t want the visual effects to be the centre of attention, I wanted to use it as a tool to help telling stories that can’t be told without it”.
Maybe if this guy were directing the “Man of Steel” sequel, there’d be less chance for the studio blockbuster mentality and Ben Affleck to ruin it.
Enjoy Your Sunday.