There’s a very interesting interview with MAN OF STEEL director Zack Snyder online over at JapanTimes. The piece is, perhaps, our best sense yet of how Snyder perceives the subtleties driving the Superman/MAN OF STEEL mythology - and begins to explain some of the more divisive creative decisions evident in this Summer’s release. Like: the staggering amount of collateral damage evidenced in the film’s protracted, Super Smash Bros. style climax.
"I wanted the movie to have a mythological feeling. In ancient mythology, mass deaths are used to symbolize disasters. In other countries like Greece and Japan, myths were recounted through the generations, partly to answer unanswerable questions about death and violence. In America, we don’t have that legacy of ancient mythology. Superman (who first appeared in ‘Action Comics’ in 1938) is probably the closest we get. It’s a way of recounting the myth.”
...says Snyder, who earlier offers this assessment of what a ‘good movie’ is.
“For me, a good movie has a pokey feel, and its surface has sharp edges. It’s hard to hold in your hand, but fascinating to look at. The ‘Hollywood committee,’ on the other hand, is always trying to get rid of those edges, to make it softer, lighter, more palatable. Those movies are easier to sit through and accept but once the lights come on you’ve forgotten all about it. It winds up not moving you, and the experience doesn’t stay. The best movies are the ones that cut you a little."
The first quote? I ‘get’ it, but I’m not sure that I altogether buy it. PERSONALLY, I feel like...despite it’s ‘realistic approach’ and 9/11 evocation...the trashing of Metropolis and the resultant (staggering) loss of life was MAN OF STEEL’s greatest and most grating divergence from the Superman mythos. It’s hard to find the virtue in a hero who would, frankly, not find some other way. I didn’t feel sobered by what was happening. I found moral ambiguity in the sequences, and couldn’t stop asking myself, “What the fuck?” and “We want this guy on our side?”
As for those ‘sharp edges’ ? In a broader sense I do concur with this assessment, and have openly commented many times here on the site that current mainstream film is too ‘safe’ and ‘sanitized’ and ‘unchallenging’ for its own good...or for audiences in general. I don’t mind a tougher MAN OF STEEL or a more real-world approach to superheroes. In the case of MOS though, perhaps the right idea was focused a tad more recklessly than it might’ve been?
What do you think?
Read the full JapanTimes interview with Snyder HERE. It’s interesting, and likely provocative.
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