I quite enjoy a spirited discussion on film and Martin Scorsese ruffled a few tunics by saying “Marvel movies are not cinema.” I have enclosed the link for reference:
Martin Scorsese: I Said Marvel Movies Aren’t Cinema. Let Me Explain.
Now, being a ‘white guy’ myself, I cannot help but see through the filter I have. Mr. Scorsese was correct.
The films lack the depth of the comics. The Marvel comics of the sixties were vastly different and reflected heroes and villains differently from its competition. The original FANTASTIC FOUR, SPIDER MAN, X MEN, etc touched areas of society not seen before in the hero genre of comics. Any emotional upheaval in these films is surface, and smacks of poor writing choices. The Marvel films are roller coaster rides sprinkled with moments of brooding heroes in tights with guns. These are not deep characters; however, some audiences may have a history with them from the various incarnations in their past.
This brings me to the ongoing problem in film: the Art of Acting is suffering. We speak in Classical Film of the wonderful performances, which, given their time were quite on the edge. Hollywood history is filled with male and female actors wanting to play more substantial roles than monsters, gangsters, sword swingers, cowboys and many others. The public, also known as the box office, was the arbitrator.
I have often said that we have ‘boy men’ on the screen who could not play tough guys if hit in the head. We have some that couldn’t do an accent if they had a year to work on it (with honourable mention to Daniel Craig in KNIVES OUT (2019). Mr Craig does his American accent with gusto, only faltering in a few spots. I find it hard to accept Leonardo DiCaprio on screen with anything as there is really nothing there. There is no truth, no effort to work. Hence I do not understand how his one note performances get awards and adulation. But, he puts ‘ bums in the seats.’ The more he ages and gets a filled out face perhaps he could become a good character actor as now there is distinction. Please learn how to alter your voice on a constant basis, change your look and inhabit someone other than yourself.
That’s why like the current adaption of LITTLE WOMEN (2019), directed by Greta Gerwig, is a modern acting class on film. The entire cast shines on the screen, along with wonderful understated direction, shot selection, music and color pallet. The actor that steals the film is Timothée Chalamet as Theodore ‘Laurie’ Lawrence.
The fellow has screen presence, movement, and some ‘Lord Byron’ looks that will go far. Plus he can deliver dialogue other than one note slang.
Everyone in this film works well and is given a moment on the screen. The tragic thing about this film is it may not make money as ‘men’ are not going to it as it is thought to be a ‘chick flick.’ I abhor the term. Hollywood did call them ‘women’s pictures.’ This film is clearly not. There no car chases (there is a horse pursuit in the rain) and no rapid camera work of the hand held variety in a fight. Acutal. Simple. Story.
Film watching and producing has changed with the advent of Netflix, most likely Amazon, and studios with their own channels. I hope it changes for the better as one can get caught up in the method of delivery and forget the quality. The “Medium is the message,” as was said years ago by Canadian Marshal Mcluhan. People get caught up in the actual sending, writing, pressing of buttons and forget what it is they are sending.
I do enjoy Classic film and the time, however, if we don’t watch out we will have none to look forward to. It’s unfair to say this person is the next Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow, or John Wayne since the time is different. Acting, be it Classic Hollywood or today, never goes out of style. When it is neglected, then that is a loss.