Have you ever acted in a high school play? Did you once use your phone to record your buddies lighting a fart on fire and unknowingly did a tracking shot? Then you better get your story straight, pal, because a film journalist will track you down, stick a voice recorder in your face, and demand to know if you think Marvel movies are art. Fortunately, before TMZ started digging up Stanley Kubrick to get his take on the matter, a hero has emerged to put a stop to the madness, telling the world that when it comes to superheroes we should all take a breath, put on some comfy sweatpants, and chill out.
When plugging his new class war dark comedy Parasite during an interview with Variety, South Korean director Bong Joon Ho (Snowpiercer, The Host) was asked the question that haunts every serious filmmaker's dreams: do you think the fun and popular preplanned movie franchise that pre-censors itself to please the Chinese government is the boldest work of art ever to be created? Bong gracefully sidestepped the question, saying he respects the opinions of both sides almost as if the conversation of art is a constantly ongoing one. But when the interviewer doubled down and asked Bong if that means he'd direct a Marvel movie himself, the director who has done just about every genre (often all at once) said that as an artist he would not feel comfortable directing a superhero movie. Why? Because the suits are too tight, obviously.
Bong claims that "seeing someone in tight clothes is mentally difficult" and that it makes him "feel suffocated." Suffocated because of how tight superhero clothing is used to suffocate the female voice and objectify their form in a way that doesn't happen with male superheroes? Mentally difficult because the films themselves don't try hard enough to go inside the mind of a masked killer and ask the difficult questions? No, he just can't stand seeing people wear something unbreathable and figure-clinging. How is that comfortable? How does Iron Man not get claustrophobia in that? Why can't Black Widow fight crime in her comfy sweater from Assassin U?
It's obviously a strategically silly response to mock the ongoing fake controversy, but maybe Bong's onto something here. Are tighty-crimefighties what's holding back Marvel movies from attracting true cinematic auteurs? Would David Lean had directed Lawrence of Arabia if he'd had to look at Peter O' Toole's camel toe for two years? Would Kim Novak's squeaky spandex butt going up all those stairs not have distracted Alfred Hitchcock too much to turn Vertigo into a cinematic masterpiece? Maybe if they had let Black Panther wear some nice sweatpants that read "Juicy" on the back, they would've won those Oscars. We'll never know until Marvel releases superheroes from its sartorial stranglehold.
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