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Batman, Superman & superhero narcissism

  • Lupin

    Whenever I see a seemingly intelligent and well-meaning person disparage Zack Synder it upsets me. You said, “Zack Snyder is ‘style over substance'” – this is a false assertion. Zack Snyder is ‘substance through style.’

    Synder is undoubtedly the most misunderstood director we have. He’s a niche-artist painting on a blockbuster canvas. An average or sub-par director could not inspire such passionate response to their work. He focuses on themes of psychological subversion, hyper-realism, reality vs fantasy and the deconstructionism of both classical and pop culture tropes. While intelligently allowing the visuals to do the narration.

    If for one second you turn off your brain or are distracted by the incredible iconographic images and hyper realistic visual style that he employs you will miss the depth and thematic resonance he brings to bear in his films.

    Despite all the shallow accusations of Syder’s perfunctory overuse of CGI and digital manipulation, He is one of the few big name directors who maintains a high level of artistic integrity, shooting exclusively on 70mm film (including Speilberg and Tarantino), he is an auteur.

    I used to think that Sucker Punch was a disaster of a film until I keyed into its subversive themes and plays on reality vs fantasy. The title itself is apropos due to the fact that the true message is a ‘sucker punch’ but you are probably distracted by the hot girls in tight clothes doing bad ass stuff to notice its true message.

    It’s no surprise that he and Nolan and good friends

    • neodymium

      fucking genius man. Thank you for expressing my exact thoughts!

    • Jon Pirovsky

      Dealing with interesting themes does not make up for Snyder’s lack of narrative awareness. Sure, he can make some beautiful imagery – Leonidas solo battle through the Persian army always comes to my mind – but his crude understanding of immersion and constant breaks in the suspension of disbelief usually make for disjointed movies.

      Watchmen and 300 are good movies, narratively speaking, basically because he sticks to the story of the books. And even so, he managed to screw some of the atmosphere with useless additions – the alley mugging scene in Watchmen was supposed to be realistic, not cartoonish; the surreal creatures in 300 are not an element of the book and serve to dissociate the movie with reality ever further – basically ruining the atmosphere by breaking the suspension of disbelief.

      Not to mention that Man of Steel has a blatantly stupid story and features a Super Lois.

    • Gary Shannon

      Me saying “style over substance” was a little asinine, allow me explain myself. I have a bad history with Snyder’s comic book adaptations, in my opinion he misinterpreted many aspects of Watchmen and 300 which–when they were originally written–were great works of satire and social commentary.

      Specifically, I felt he fetishized most of the fight scenes in Watchmen with slow motion, as if we were supposed to admire the characters’ abilities. Alan Moore originally intended to make it look like they were exploiting their superpowers, particularly in the prison sequence, where they flagrantly broke the law to release Rorschach, who himself was hardly deserving of it. To me, it just seemed like he indulged the spectacle of the scene rather than the commentary behind it.

      That being said, I’m not completely against Snyder. In the article I was defending most of Snyder’s choices in BvS, especially when the response to them have become overwhelmingly negative.