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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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The Fanaticism of Marvel Is the Decline of Cinema

Marvel is the embodiment of the prioritization of commerce over quality art.
Photo Grace Shafer
Illustration depicts the fatal effect the Marvel franchise will have on the film industry.

The Marvel Franchise and it’s monopolizing cultural effect are the death of the film industry. A dedicated Marvel fan is similar to that of a Disney adult; crazed and blindly engulfing themselves in these corporation’s propaganda. I think the only thing I can applaud Marvel for is this inculcation, and their ability to brainwash the masses into thinking their movies are in any means “art”.

Recently, I’ve noticed increasingly just how fiscally dominating Marvel and other fluffy productions are compared to more meaningful pictures. By “fluffy” I mean produced with no intent of providing a societal message or theme. They lack substance and emotion, but they’re dressed up in all the right ways to distract viewers from the fact that their movies aren’t actually saying anything. But, more and more people are happily donating to this institution at every shallow, money-grabbing movie they make.

Many could counter this argument by saying that they provide an escape, a momentary lapse from having to think, but this just proves how little thought goes into their production. They’re not made to make you think about the world around you; they provide little purpose in emotional development of any kind.

I write this in an extremely critical tone, but I do realize there are select marvel movies that don’t fit into this character. Movies like “Black Panther,” “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse” and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume One” all demonstrate that Marvel is capable of producing movies that are trying to tell people something. This capability is just more disappointing though because it proves they can create art that matters, but they decide not to and instead endlessly create meaningless movies for the sole purpose of stealing people’s money to make more empty productions.

Even more upsetting is that Marvel has this special, innate power of being able to mold young minds. Yes, their audiences range from all ages, but superheroes are children’s original role models. This is a privilege that other companies like Pixar and occasionally Disney use for good, but Marvel completely ignores.

The most disturbing thing to be said about all this is the effect Marvel has on all of cinema. This pattern of putting in little effort to what is supposed to be “art” creates a norm for what art is to become. Art is supposed to be bold, beautiful and meaningful. If these major corporations continue to only create media for commerce, we are going to permanently enter a terrifying age of hollow entertainment.

Although there are countless people in this industry creating films that matter, they will always be overshadowed and under-funded because of greedy companies like Marvel. The other day I went to see the new Scorsese movie “Killers of the Flower Moon,” a film about the horrific serial killings of the Osage Nation. It is one of the most gut-wrenching, impactful movies I’ve seen in a while- there were eight people in the theater.

Right next door, the new Marvel movie “The Marvels” (clever title) was showing and there was a line of about thirty people just to enter the theater. The sight could have been a scene from a movie. One received a Metacritic score (a critic film review website) of 89%, and the other received 50%- guess which one’s which.

Most famously, Martin Scorsese has been extremely open with how he feels about Marvel.

“They seem to me to be closer to theme parks than they are to movies as I’ve known and loved them throughout my life, and that in the end, I don’t think they’re cinema. There are going to be generations now that think movies are only those. They already think that. Which means that we have to then fight back stronger. And it’s got to come from the grassroots level. It’s gotta’ come from the filmmakers themselves,” Scorsese said in a interview with British GQ.

This confession was followed by many other filmmakers with very similar messages.

When Martin Scorsese says that the Marvel pictures are not cinema, he’s right because we expect to learn something from cinema, we expect to gain something, some enlightenment, some knowledge, some inspiration. I don’t know that anyone gets anything out of seeing the same movie over and over again,” Francis Ford Coppola, the director of the Godfather trilogy, said in a film festival interview.

Coppola describes viewing one of their movies perfectly “seeing the same movie over and over again.” They aren’t putting in any effort to diversify their movies at all, so why would you pay to see it?

The sad truth is money-hungry businesses like Marvel will always make more money than honest, expressive filmmakers and that’s just the way the film industry is run. But I hope people realize the cinematic art form will never be dead as long as you go to see these films that do matter. Instead of going to see a copy paste marvel movie for the eighty-seventh time, step out of your comfort zone to witness real art. I remember when I didn’t really appreciate movies and it was because I was only seeing commerce entertainment. Start your conquest to enjoying the film you watch; it will be worth it.

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About the Contributor
Grace Shafer, Senior Staff Writer
Grace Shafer is a sophomore at Robinson and a senior staff writer for Knight Writers. This is her second year on staff. Along with journalism, Shafer likes to spend her time reading and watching films. Some of her favorite authors at the moment are Joan Didion and Eve Babitz. At the moment, Sse enjoys films such as "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", "Night of the Hunter" and "20th century." Her favorite directors currently are Greta Gerwig, Wes Anderson, and David Lynch. Even though Shafer describes herself to be a very high-maintenance person, she wishes to travel and backpack through all of Europe at some point in life because she believes it's a beautiful country and she has always loved it. This year, Shafer is most looking forward to her English class because she gets along with her teacher and they might start a film class and a literary magazine, both being things Shafer enjoys and can't wait to be able to be a part of. "I just love journalism and writing in general," Shafer said. Looking into the future, Shafer's dream job ties almost directly into what she's going to be doing in her English class this year. "My favorite thing ever and what I want to eventually pursue as a career is film," Shafer said. Profile by Heather Parker
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