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Old 10-11-2017, 10:50 PM   #1
zachthegeek
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Default Are Superhero Films True Art?

After entering a different state of tired consciousness from a mind-numbing test, I had a revelation - lots of superhero movies, even when critically successful, are not artistic. What do you think? What superhero movies are examples of art, and why? Or are all superhero movies just silly escapism?

For example, Spider-Man: Homecoming. I love Spider-Man, and I loved this movie. One could argue that it’s a masterful work about the story of a boy in a world of legends (marvels, if you will), trying to live up to the image of his idols. Or one could argue it’s a corporate cash grab exploiting a tired character. What do you think?

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Old 10-11-2017, 11:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

I do believe every single movie is art. Film is an art form, so this should be a given. I really can't stand arguments that try to dictate what is and what isn't art in a way tha makes you feel bad for liking movies that are just "entertainment" - as if that word was poisonous and the opposite of art. What we have, of course, is good and bad art - which is something very personal, too. Homecoming, that you mentioned, I'd say is a terrific piece of art. Of course, it was made by a corporation to generate profit, but so what? The passion of the cast and crew behind has nothing to do with it.

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Old 10-12-2017, 12:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

I see art as self-expression on the part of the artist, so I don't consider a work of entertainment to automatically be art (although in practice I usually don't bother making that distinction). However, "art" doesn't equate to "good". As I see it, whether the artist cares about their work or is trying to express something with it is their business, and my business is what I get out of it, whether that be silly fun or deep emotion. I'd rather watch a cynical cash grab that happens to connect with me on an emotional level than an artist's personal, heartfelt vision that happens to leave me cold.

To answer your question more directly, it's hard to really speak on what the filmmakers felt or intended while making the movies. To me The Avengers was a largely hollow experience, but since Whedon was a comic fan getting to make a movie about these characters, I'd imagine he was putting something heartfelt into it, even if it was just expressing his love of Marvel superheroes.

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Old 10-12-2017, 12:49 AM   #4
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

One man's interpretation of what constitutes ART is not necessarily the next man's and it definatelly isn't everyone's.....so there is no true answer to the opening question.

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Old 10-12-2017, 01:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Some are. Specifically I think Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, Richard Donner, on his most recent try James Mangold, and maybe James Gunn have reached that lofty term.

But for the most part? No, although that does not mean they are bad films. I just mean many do not strive to convey a single vision or message, and many more are more a series of decisions made at a committee level to appeal as content. The first two Raimi movies I think straddle the line in this regard.

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Old 10-12-2017, 01:46 AM   #6
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

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Originally Posted by DACrowe View Post
I just mean many do not strive to convey a single vision or message, and many more are more a series of decisions made at a committee level to appeal as content.
This applies to most Italian Renaissance ART.

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Old 10-12-2017, 03:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

I think it is possible to make art with comicbook stuff.
You just need creative space and a very good director. I would love to see per example Quentin Tarontino or Denis Villeneuve would make a movie.

And I dont think Comic-Movies dont have to end in a big epic fight, we need to break out from that.

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Old 10-12-2017, 04:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

A creative 'art form' is the very definition of personal interpretation. You only have to see the thousands of posts on here to see how and why.

I would distinguish them as certainly being taken more seriously as an art form or a platform from which to relate a story from for both the general audience and 'us', the already converted.

Content and structure are components in accessing the format, given the number of years heritage and character development over the years of these superheroes, the fact they have shifted from some insular community to the mainstream and spilled over multi-media is evidence enough that the 'geek shall inherit the world'.

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:48 AM   #9
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Of course they are, they fit well with the literal definition. To try to limit the notion of what's art in the way some does is just ridiculous to me. Many that put these limits on what art is also seem completely unaware of how, and in what context, many pieces of historical art were created. Collaborations, commissions, products, etc. All was going on back then just as it is now.

These discussions are just here because some people try to make some things out to be fancier than others, rather than there really being a proper fundamental difference. Often the kind of people that like to talk about the intellectual aspect of what they like, even though venturing into the sciences is a much more significant venture into the intellectual.

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Old 10-12-2017, 10:58 AM   #10
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

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Originally Posted by ludovica View Post
This applies to most Italian Renaissance ART.
I disagree. Being commissioned is one thing. Nolan was commissioned, they all were. Very few--other than ironically maybe Zack Snyder with 300 and Watchmen--came forward and said I must tell this story as a passion project.

But the true greats of the Renaissance, even under patronage, could make a work of singular craft and artisanal skill that was unique to them. I am not really going to compare that to the modern world where a studio committee sends countless notes to directors, and now where they'll literally remove directors mid-production or even post-production and bring someone else on to tinker with it. That is more product management at a certain point.

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Old 10-12-2017, 11:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Of course they are. It's dumb to suggest otherwise. It's art when a cover artist plays a song, it's art when a theater group stage a play just like it's written, and so on.

Pretentious minds will disagree though but we have enough hipsters.

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Old 10-12-2017, 11:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zachthegeek View Post
After entering a different state of tired consciousness from a mind-numbing test, I had a revelation - lots of superhero movies, even when critically successful, are not artistic. What do you think?
At least most of them aren't. Escapism can be artistic but most superhero films are not original (in style) and try very much to be mass-crowd-pleasing and avoid anything controversial.

I think there are a few exceptions that are artistic rather than just or primarily commercial. Batman Returns and Spider-Man 2 for really embracing stylization and even otherworldliness and making it work and being willing to make the villains and even heroes controversial, Batman Begins and maybe TDK likewise for embracing realism/groundedness, the first X-Men or two for being quite grounded (yet working in the fantasy and action well) and having pretty fresh and strong social commentary.

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Old 10-12-2017, 02:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Film is art, so yes. Art doesn't have to be thought provoking or divorced from a profit incentive to be art.

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Old 10-12-2017, 04:18 PM   #14
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

NO. How dare you ask the question stirring this pot? You disrespect artsy films by merely asking if these silly movies are art, before reading the post explaining that you do not find them art.....

*Wall text of obnoxious writing*


....If you consider the new Power Rangers movie or the 1995 movie art, then I disrespect this opinion, and it is completely invalid to me. Go watch a Martin Scorsese movie, or one made by David Cameron to see real art.


Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
I'm jooooooooking,
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
just in case that second line did not make it clear that I kid

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Old 10-12-2017, 05:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Lol..Art is in the eye of the beholder. One could say junk thrown together is art..it is what is it is.

I would say that TDK, Spider-Man 2, Burton's Batman, and Watchmen are works of cinematic art. The GoG movies also have their unique flavor.

I think art in general is more about a personal style than a barometer of quality.

Thus one could say that Sucker Punch is artistic as heck, but not very good..
And one could say that the Russo brothers movies are very good..just not artistic in aesthetic or narrative style.

Are most superhero films truly artistic? Do they truly express the ideas of an individual filmmaker/and or-his/her visual style?

I think the answer, is for the most part, no..but I think that's true of most big budget movies in general..and not something that should be singled out for the superhero genre.

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Old 10-12-2017, 06:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider-Aziz View Post

....If you consider the new Power Rangers movie or the 1995 movie art, then I disrespect this opinion, and it is completely invalid to me. Go watch a Martin Scorsese movie, or one made by David Cameron to see real art.

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Old 10-12-2017, 06:40 PM   #17
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Jim's less successfully known auteur.

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Old 10-12-2017, 06:58 PM   #18
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kev4000 View Post
... Comic-Movies dont have to end in a big epic fight, we need to break out from that.
Ant-Man certainly showed that!

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Old 10-12-2017, 08:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Are Superhero Films True Art?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DACrowe View Post
But the true greats of the Renaissance, even under patronage, could make a work of singular craft and artisanal skill that was unique to them. I am not really going to compare that to the modern world where a studio committee sends countless notes to directors, and now where they'll literally remove directors mid-production or even post-production and bring someone else on to tinker with it. That is more product management at a certain point.
LOL, that's exactly how it was.
They had to consider a lot of factions (commisioner, Church, government), neither of which would not chime in; their true mastery was coming through with their point of view anyway.
Renaissance artists in Italy were definetly not left to their own devices.

The worth of art is subjective, but I would say it becomes objectively art when a couple of people view it as that. Of course the world is chockfull of bad art.

BvS is art, dreadful and flailing and failed one.
Civil War is great and masterful popular art.
Nothing wrong with that.
I may add I do not believe high art is intrinsically superior to popular art, most of the time it is the reverse.

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