Whereas Spider-Man: No Way Home is preparing on this Christmas day to cross the billion dollars at the world box office (we will write an article about it when it is made official), the declarations of the persons in charge of the project, in particular vis-à-vis the debate of formal quality of this third adventure, turns to the ridiculous. If the sphere of “cinephiles” is regularly and tirelessly punctuated by sterile debates on a loop, one would expect the professionals in the field to leave the peremptory positions or the snide comments of bad players to the fans, without giving oil on the fire. Alas, the team Kevin Feige seems to be a little too galvanized by questions of money.
Profitability and quality, the eternal question
First there is the subject of the Oscars. Every year, we witness the same charade from the entertainment majors: marvel studios, particularly prolific, has got into the habit of campaigning for a good part of the films in its catalog over the space of a year, in all categories. By placing its directors, actors and actresses in the slightest potential selection, like an aspiring intern who would machine-gun CVs hoping that, in the heap, one of the applications will find a taker. These campaigns offor your consideration” for the Academy no longer have anything surprising, but are based on a vision simplistic view of how the film industry works. Very often we hear in the mouth feige that his films, pleasantly received by the public, would be victims of snobbery. Not naming (and not “nominating”, stop this damn anglicism) popular works at the Oscars would be an insult to the work of its teams or to the tastes of the spectators.
Except that: financial success does not guarantee the artistic quality of a film. And although the productions marvel studios have their qualities, everyone agrees that naming them elsewhere than for “best special effects” or “best costumes/makeup” doesn’t necessarily make sense. All the more so in the case of Spider-Man: No Way Homewhose staging suffers greatly from the comparison with the previous films Spiderman that it invokes, through its cast and some of its visual choices.
Yet, according to the HollywoodReporter, Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal and Tom Rothman (in other words, the thinking heads of marvel studios and Sony Pictures) are ready to fight hard so that No Way Home is one of the nominees in the Best Picture category. The trio is based on an argument that gets along perfectly and can even lead to respectful and interesting discussions: that it is not because a film brings in a lot of money that it would necessarily be devoid of cinematic qualities. The term “quality commercial cinema” is used several times, notably in Rothman. However, it would obviously be foolish not to want to consider the place of superhero films in major award ceremonies – and in fact, that has never been the case. The case of The Dark Knight, Spider Verse Where Logan informs about the hypocrisy of this speech: if feige affirms that the Academy would seek to park the productions of supermen in a corner of the room, in reality, several works will have already been classified in quite valid categories (best actor, best adapted screenplay, best animated film, etc. ). In truth, this argument mostly brushes aside the quality factor, a debate that irritates both hard-core fans and those responsible for this kind of production – because “if the film makes money , it has to be good” or “if the other films are better, why don’t they bring in as much?”.
“The academy must stay connected to the idea that quality commercial films are not easy to make.” Explain Rothman. “We’re all in this industry to make movies that people want to see, that make them feel something, and I think that [No Way Home] legitimately fulfills its role.” assures Pascal. “I think it’s a good thing that people stand up in the room and applaud. It’s a good thing that they’re wiping away tears as they remember their last twenty years of cinema, and what it means to them. For me, that’s a very good thing – the kind of thing to recognize and what the Academy was founded for, at the time.“, adds feige. We will easily recognize Spider-Man: No Way Home to have known how to speak to his public and, yes, to have known how to generate emotions. That said, the spectrum of emotions covered by superhero cinema in the mold of marvel studios Where Sony Pictures remains relatively restricted: always limited to the same range of values, relatively stable from one project to another. Why Spiderman would then be more deserving than Shang Chi ? Because people clap louder, or because the film had more cameos and surprise effects? What if we didn’t tend to confuse “the best film” and “the most entertaining film” too quickly?
To see what turn these hammered speeches will take in the weeks to come, and if Sony Pictures and marvel studios will push to the end to get this nomination. Moreover, one might be surprised by this desire to receive the compliments of the mistress, or the respect of his peers, from two studios which have nothing more to prove. Kevin Feige as Amy Pascal have won their bet: superhero cinema dominates the world of modern culture, and one wonders what a statuette would add to this reality. As if the overwhelming power of the mark of Marvel should also be applauded, and that we give the rich landowner the keys to the city, as if to congratulate him, to salute the prowess of having amassed such a bundle of dough. At the same time, we are also surprised to see Kevin Feige return frequently to the same subject, when his films have not changed. Instead of drawing comparisons with the works put up for competition each year, the faithful lieutenant of industries disney persist and sign: it would be the fault of others, it would be unfair, it would be snobbery, and yes, the butter and the money for the butter will end up coming by dint of attempts.
Press tours, interviews, and all the media hype (the entity has ample means to finance an expensive advertising campaign) should once again fuel the news. This is also enough to annoy some of the cinephile spheres, with this attitude of a spoiled child who could not be satisfied with public success, but would also like lesser-seen films (because they are more demanding, less accessible, less promoted by studios with empty pockets in an already very complicated year) are “punished” for not having earned the same sums of money.
Again: we love superheroes and their adaptations in general, and feel that there is no reason to condemn them to this box of simple enjoyable, deserving but not necessarily more reckless entertainment. Over the years, we have above all acquired the perspective necessary to recognize that marvel studios does not seek to produce “great films”. Even when they are, in our opinion, very good. Do we need a Marvel be nominated for the Oscars so that we can talk about it? As much, making a category of “best popular film” for the ceremony did not seem to make sense, as much feige and his friends could also remember the number of films they prevent from bringing to life by the omnipresence of their productions (or by the undermining of disney at the very top, Mouse Guard we don’t forget you). Even within the same group, evidenced by the way the steamroller No Way Home already crushes the competition, for good films passed over in silence for lack of having in their possession one or more Spiderman to create the event.
In addition, there are comments from a Tom Holland who here too shows a rather surprising lack of humility. For a good couple of years, the same question has been coming up repeatedly: are superhero films cinema or mere amusement park rides? A question that follows comments from the director Martin Scorsese, who believed that the films of Marvel, in his eyes, do not fit into the definition of “real cinema”. In this case, we would like to give him reason on the question Spider-Man: No Way Homewhose incredible public success (and the reactions in room, especially) conjure up images of big thrill rides, even sporting or musical shows.
Since this release, professional journalists will have made a stupid and filthy habit of throwing oil on the fire by asking all employees to marvel studios to react in turn to the words of the director. As if to take advantage of a kind of “clash” spirit, and to give visibility to interviews that no one would have read. In the case of Tom Hollandobviously, it didn’t miss, and the little guy even took the director of Taxi Driver : “You can ask Scorsese if he would like to do a Marvel movie, but he doesn’t know what it is because he’s never done one. I’ve done Marvel movies, and I’ve done movies that were in Oscar talk, and the only difference, really, is that one is way more expensive to make than the other. But the way I compose the character, the way the director engraves the plots and the characters — it’s the same thing, but on a different scale.”
We can remind holland the way that marvel studios behaves with directors who do not comply with the guidelines of the studio and the vision of Kevin Feige, who are quickly ejected from the projects. A situation that extends to all major Hollywood productions: entertainment cinema, too limited to following algorithmic formulas, no longer inspires great directors who prefer to flee to the greenest meadows of SVOD , independent productions or television series. Marvel has had its role to play in this collective disgust of employees in the sector, since the famous “fatigue” of Joss Whedon at the distance fromEdgar Wrightor even the refusal to feige to recognize the status of showrunners to the head writers of the family’s recent productions Disney+.
But, apart from these points of detail, it is above all (really) very surprising to see the actor take such a look at the filmography of Martin Scorsese, monument of cinema almost reduced to a kind of angry old man, without the slightest kind of humility. One wonders if this kind of comment is not made to motivate this kind of editorial or new heated debates on social networks, as if to accompany public discourse, and above all, avoid questioning oneself.
It seems fairly obvious in any event that Spider-Man: No Way Homeregardless of the efforts of its producers, will not manage to be named to the Oscars (at least, not in “best picture”, considering all that could be released this year). Kevin Feige will stamp their feet on the ground, spectators who only consume blockbusters will howl at the injustice, at the elitism of these cultural spheres and “of their Hungarian films in black and white”, or some other turnkey periphrasis to say “I don’t like cinema but let me have my say”, and nothing will have changed. An emergency solution could then be to have the Oscars presented by Tom Holland. The idea of seeing the actor defend No Way Home in front of all Hollywood would have something tasty, like.
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Spider-Man: No Way Home: Oscars and Scorsese, the nonsense fair | COMICSBLOG.fr