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Watch: Palme d'Or winning director Loach says superhero films are cynical exercise

  • Published at 02:37 pm October 24th, 2019
Loach
British film-maker Ken Loach | Reuters

The acclaimed British film-maker joins Martin Scorsese and Frances Ford Coppola and calls superhero movies commodities ‘like hamburgers’

Palme d'Or winning British film-maker Ken Loach has joined the recent statements given by auteur directors criticizing superhero films, saying they have “nothing to do with the art of cinema.”

The film-maker spoke to Sky while promoting his upcoming film, Sorry We Missed You, an account of the breadline existence of a gig-economy delivery driver in Newcastle.

Loach said: “I find them boring. They’re made as commodities … like hamburgers … It’s about making a commodity which will make profit for a big corporation, they’re a cynical exercise. They’re a market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema.”

Loach, who won the Palme d’Or at Cannes twice for The Wind That Shakes the Barley and I, Daniel Blake, echoes the sentiments of American directors Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola in criticizing blockbuster superhero films. 

Scorsese called superhero cinema “theme park” films, while Coppola described Marvel as “despicable.” 

Directors such as James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Joss Whedon (The Avengers) have defended the genre, with Gunn writing on social media: “Superheroes are simply today’s gangsters/cowboys/outer space adventurers.”



Moreover, acclaimed Brazilian film-maker Fernando Meirelles, told Variety: “I can’t disagree with Scorsese because I don’t watch (Marvel movies)…. I watched a Spider-Man eight years ago, and that was it. I’m not interested.

“It doesn’t mean it is bad. I don’t know if it’s Marvel, but I watched Deadpool, the first one, and it was very good. Amazing action sequences. Then I tried to watch Deadpool 2 on a plane. I watched, like, half an hour and gave up.”

He gave these statements after taking a masterclass at the recent Mumbai International Film Festival.

Meirelles’ masterclass was preceded by the India premiere of his Netflix film The Two Popes, featuring Oscar-buzz performances by Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce. 

The sold-out Mumbai audience responded to the film with a sustained standing ovation. 

Mumbai festival director Anupama Chopra then presented Meirelles with the festival’s award for international excellence in cinema.