Now it’s Ken Loach, veteran of the British film scene, who burns Marvel Movies a new one.
The director of “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” “Bread and Roses,” “Jimmy’s Hall” and many Celtic-flavored dramas in the UK, has added his complaints to those of Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.
Loach, correctly, I have to say, called the output of the blockbuster building Marvel Studios “commodities, like hamburgers.”
One of the consequences of the rise of comic book blockbusters is the loss of status, vision and control in the title “director.” Hollywood isn’t producing directors with any staying power, treating rising stars as nothing special, ignoring the legends of the profession.
Overseas, and in indie film, directors are still auteurs. Hollywood? Get us The Russo Brothers, or somebody from TV (British TV, preferably, as in the Potter pictures) — somebody CHEAP who can make the trains run on time.
And if you say, “Ken Loach? Who’s he?” That’s on you. Loach, Leigh, Holofcener, legions of directors with style, distinct voices, who insist on making movies ABOUT something, have no place at Marvel, or at Disney — which has become a blockbuster remake or bust studio. Joe Johnston, Ken Brannagh, Jon Favreau, Joss Whedon and Patty Jenkins all had “names” before taking on comic book directing duties. But while thus employed, all they could stamp their projects with was a little cute dialogue and a vague notion of a point of view.
Marvel and its ilk are the death of auteurism, and directors who claim that label are rebelling. No matter how old they are.