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 Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'

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Largo's Shark
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PostSubject: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:46 am

Too damn right.

Quote :
Comics god Alan Moore has issued a comprehensive sign-off from public life after shooting down accusations that his stories feature racist characters and an excessive amount of sexual violence towards women.

The Watchmen author also used a lengthy recent interview with Pádraig Ó Méalóid at Slovobooks entitled "Last Alan Moore interview?" – to expand upon his belief that today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic", a view originally aired in the Guardian last year.

"To my mind, this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence," he wrote to Ó Méalóid. "It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."

Read the rest at.

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/jan/21/superheroes-cultural-catastrophe-alan-moore-comics-watchmen
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:17 am

What I don't understand is how James Bond has been subsumed by the children's superhero genre.That's partially why I enjoyed Skyfall so much; it was very much an attempt to reclaim 007 from the unwashed nerds and give him back to the boozing, fucking, drug-taking adult males.

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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:27 am

Although oddly, the same crowd that consumes Marvel/DC pap loved SF. It had something for almost everyone.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:09 am

I keep on waiting for one of these "too big to fail" monsters to actually fail.
But even Ant-Man looks like it'll at least break even.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:02 am

I don't think the issue with the popularity of comic books today has to do with adults liking them. I think the bigger problem is over-saturation. Eventually, the bubble is going to burst and a lot of these superhero franchises are going to go back to being just comic book properties. Batman and Superman and the like will always transcend the page, but there probably won't be a new Ant-Man film, for example, in 2030, barring some kind of culture shift. (And I liked Ant-Man.)

Who gives a shit if adults like comic books? Live and let live. Nerds have been around for longer than this generation, and will continue to be around. They aren't really hurting anyone. For every Avengers, there's a Skyfall. No reason to think that will change. (Though I hope SPECTRE isn't a Dark Knight ape like Skyfall was.)
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:17 am

I'm 44, and admittedly do occasionally wonder if I should be enjoying Marvel and DC's output, playing videogames etc.

Then I hear about something like the 75 year old Annie Nightingale doing 'trap' and 'grime' DJ sets at Glastonbury and think 'Fuck it, that's MUCH more embarrassing'.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:22 am

I was a staunch opponent of cinematic censorship until I saw the trailer for the movie about the superhero ant.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:46 pm

Friedkin weighs in as well:

Quote :
William Friedkin has launched an attack on Hollywood blockbusters, claiming the constant stream of superhero movies is killing the artform.

The director, behind films from The Exorcist to The French Connection, has criticised the lack of realism and substance in the majority of mainstream movies released today. “Films used to be rooted in gravity,” he said at the Champs- Élysées film festival in Paris. “They were about real people doing real things. Today, cinema in America is all about Batman, Superman, Iron Man, Avengers, the Hunger Games: all kinds of stuff that I have no interest in seeing at all.”

Friedkin believes the change happened in the late 1970s, around the time that he made the action-thriller Sorceror, which was overshadowed by the success of Star Wars. “That is when my films went like that – out of the frame,” he said.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jun/17/william-friedkin-criticises-superhero-movies

His praising of "The Babadook" also made me curious about that film.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/dec/02/the-babadook-scariest-film-exorcist-william-friedkin


Last edited by Salomé on Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:24 pm

It's odd for people like me who used to go the cinema two or three times a week. Now I go maybe two or three times a year. It's not like I abandoned cinema, more that cinema abandoned me. There just aren't any intelligent films now. So much so that I automatically give a film 5/10 if it doesn't have a car chase. Which is unfortunate as the last film I saw was Mad Max: Fury Road. That an overlong fairground ride is being described as a masterpiece shows how low standards have fallen.  

All a bit sad. Like seeing a very erudite and much loved family member become a  drooling, shitting senile wreck.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:33 pm

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a movie (a new release) that I truly enjoyed.

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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:50 pm

For me it was probably Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Skyfall. Both very underrated films.

Another thread, but I'd argue that Skyfall is easily the most intelligent and multifaceted Bond film. Possibly the most intelligent and layered blockbuster full stop.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:20 pm

As to crossover genres I really enjoyed Kingsman recently and indeed do most comicbook fare, but I do feel Moore, notoriously curmudgeonly and self obsessed, is right in that we are losing a degree of balance in film and media, the geek inheriting the Earth is not entirely a good thing (even if I am one of them) and it might be a distortion that society as a whole suffers from.

It seems rare to see a film that is simply about characters facing situations and reacting appropriately (or even remarkably) but we have a plethora of whose whole universes rotate about some fixed and all too readily identifiable centre, it is a massive oversimplification in many respects but also a massive stroking of the ego. Self importance and the idea that everything is about 'me' is a typical teen phobia/concept (no doubt the demographic synchonism is why we are here) and one that experience and world weary exposure eventually teach otherwise....but the cinema is clinging on for grim death in many instances (SPECTRE may field yet another of these threads) and that could defer or even overwhelm what is an important realisation in social evolution.......then again maybe its just indigestion....
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:24 pm

Salomé wrote:

His praising of "The Babadook" also made me curious about that film.

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/dec/02/the-babadook-scariest-film-exorcist-william-friedkin

I'd recommend it. I'm not sure I'd call it the "scariest horror ever" (Madonna's DAD performance still reigns supreme) but its jumpy bits are sufficiently poop-inducing. The subtext of the film is what makes it clever, I suppose.

Still, a superhero ant could've really spiced it up.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:50 pm

lachesis wrote:
the geek inheriting the Earth is not entirely a good thing (even if I am one of them) and it might be a distortion that society as a whole suffers from.

Could be. Time was when the only adults who'd seen the latest Disney or Pixar movies were those with young children. Not any more. Similarly, I interviewed a young woman for an internship recently and she informed me her favourite books were Harry Potter. She was 22.

lachesis wrote:
It seems rare to see a film that is simply about characters facing situations and reacting appropriately

When I was a child I was watching Hitchcock, Charley Varrick, and the Taking of Pelham One Two Three. That sort of thing. Part of the function of films was to prepare you for adulthood. Now, adults watch Toy Story, Star Wars or Marvel movies, shit they should've left behind a long time ago. I guess longer lifespans have led to childhood continuing until 40 or something.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:36 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
lachesis wrote:
the geek inheriting the Earth is not entirely a good thing (even if I am one of them) and it might be a distortion that society as a whole suffers from.

Could be. Time was when the only adults who'd seen the latest Disney or Pixar movies were those with young children. Not any more. Similarly, I interviewed a young woman for an internship recently and she informed me her favourite books were Harry Potter. She was 22.


I'm perpetually surprised whenever I see an adult reading those books.
On the other hand, utter trite like the "Fifty Shades" nonsense is hardly any better.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:26 am

Salomé wrote:
I'm perpetually surprised whenever I see an adult reading those books. On the other hand, utter trite like the "Fifty Shades" nonsense is hardly any better.

Well, the obvious difference is that one is aimed at kids and the other is aimed at adults - isn't that what we're talking about? Although, rereading the OP, I see Moore was making a wider point about adults who were attracted to children's material because they could no longer deal with the complexities of the adult world. Next stop the loony bin as I used to say in my less enlightened days.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:23 pm

Jack Wade wrote:
I don't think the issue with the popularity of comic books today has to do with adults liking them. I think the bigger problem is over-saturation. Eventually, the bubble is going to burst and a lot of these superhero franchises are going to go back to being just comic book properties. Batman and Superman and the like will always transcend the page, but there probably won't be a new Ant-Man film, for example, in 2030, barring some kind of culture shift. (And I liked Ant-Man.)

Who gives a shit if adults like comic books? Live and let live. Nerds have been around for longer than this generation, and will continue to be around. They aren't really hurting anyone. For every Avengers, there's a Skyfall. No reason to think that will change. (Though I hope SPECTRE isn't a Dark Knight ape like Skyfall was.)

That's pretty much how I feel. Friedkin and Moore just sound like bitter old fucks. We're in a world where we have more avenues of seeing what films we want to see. If there's nothing good in theaters this week, I find something more rewarding on Netflix or whatever streaming. I just watched TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. a few minutes ago on a whim. 10 years ago I would have been lucky to find that in a Blockbuster Video Rental.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 6:47 pm

Makeshift Python wrote:
Friedkin and Moore just sound like bitter old fucks. We're in a world where we have more avenues of seeing what films we want to see. If there's nothing good in theaters this week, I find something more rewarding on Netflix or whatever streaming. I just watched TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A. a few minutes ago on a whim. 10 years ago I would have been lucky to find that in a Blockbuster Video Rental.

So Friedkin is a bitter old fuck yet directed a film you enjoyed?

No one denies the growth in media formats. The discussion is about the childishness of Hollywood's current output and the decline of intelligent and challenging content. Interestingly, I would say it parallels the level of debate in this forum.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:05 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
I'm perpetually surprised whenever I see an adult reading those books. On the other hand, utter trite like the "Fifty Shades" nonsense is hardly any better.

Well, the obvious difference is that one is aimed at kids and the other is aimed at adults - isn't that what we're talking about? Although, rereading the OP, I see Moore was making a wider point about adults who were attracted to children's material because they could no longer deal with the complexities of the adult world. Next stop the loony bin as I used to say in my less enlightened days.

But "Fifty Shades" is no less an immature fantasy, only one aimed at bored housewives.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 9:23 pm

Salomé wrote:
But "Fifty Shades" is no less an immature fantasy, only one aimed at bored housewives.

I disagree. Both fantasies and badly written, yes, but one is aimed at women and the other is aimed at children. I'd say that's a pretty important distinction.

I should qualify that by saying I've attempted to read the works of J.K.Rowling and E. L. James, but been unable to finish any of them. I have to nod my head and move the subject on at dinner parties. So trying...
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:34 pm

I'd rather read an intelligent, subversive book written for children than a middlebrow hackjob aimed at adults.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:44 pm

Largo's Shark wrote:
I'd rather read an intelligent, subversive book written for children than a middlebrow hackjob aimed at adults.

Well, you opened a thread elsewhere stating that you have trouble reading fiction so I'm not sure why I'm bothering to address your concerns. However, as I never know which Sharky I'm going to get, I'll just observe you need to know your own mind.

In this thread's opening post, you say 'too right' in response to Moore's comment that "this embracing of what were unambiguously children's characters at their mid-20th century inception seems to indicate a retreat from the admittedly overwhelming complexities of modern existence". Now you say you'd 'rather read an intelligent, subversive book written for children than a middlebrow hackjob aimed at adults'. I guess a couple of weeks is a long time in forums.

Out of curiosity, have you considered reading an intelligent, subversive book written for adults? When I'm getting students started, I recommend Gulliver's Travels or The Illustrated Man. For those like yourself who prioritise feeling over thought, I find Michel Houellebecq hard to beat.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Thu Aug 06, 2015 8:14 am

Erica Ambler wrote:
Salomé wrote:
But "Fifty Shades" is no less an immature fantasy, only one aimed at bored housewives.

I disagree. Both fantasies and badly written, yes, but one is aimed at women and the other is aimed at children. I'd say that's a pretty important distinction.

I should qualify that by saying I've attempted to read the works of J.K.Rowling and E. L. James, but been unable to finish any of them. I have to nod my head and move the subject on at dinner parties. So trying...

The core of that distinction is the sexual nature of the subject matter, not the maturity/nuance with which it is tackled.
So I would agree that they are not children's books, but I am not sure they deserve to be deemed adult literature either.
They are the musings of a adolescent mind. It is not a coincidence that her work started out as Twilight fan fiction.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Thu Aug 06, 2015 2:03 pm

Erica Ambler wrote:
So Friedkin is a bitter old fuck yet directed a film you enjoyed?

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses.

Quote :
No one denies the growth in media formats. The discussion is about the childishness of Hollywood's current output and the decline of intelligent and challenging content. Interestingly, I would say it parallels the level of debate in this forum.

Hollywood has always had an output of spectacles for the masses, it's just that it's now more focused on the Summer season. Pirate films were all the rage back then, and then there was spymania, now it's superheroes. When the time comes, that genre will diminish and a different genre will emerge/reemerge. After that comes the so called "award season" aimed primarily at adults, though it's a fair point to make that there has been more of a decline of challenging content on that front.

Superhero films aren't the issue. The real culprit is what's behind the studios. Many have been bought by large corporations by the end of the last century, and there's a lot of people hired in studios who don't know shit about film because they're only hired to make money for the fat cats.
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PostSubject: Re: Alan Moore: 'Today's adults' interest in superheroes is potentially "culturally catastrophic"'    Thu Aug 06, 2015 10:17 pm

Makeshift Python wrote:
Superhero films aren't the issue. The real culprit is what's behind the studios. Many have been bought by large corporations by the end of the last century, and there's a lot of people hired in studios who don't know shit about film because they're only hired to make money for the fat cats.

Bizarre. You seem unable to join up the dots. The 'superhero' films (they're adaptations of children's comics, why not say that?), are the product of the people 'who don't know shit about film because they're only hired to make money for the fat cats.'

I get it though. You like these films. Nothing I can do about that. However, you need to realise the longterm damage they're causing to the industry and not dismiss and denigrate those who believe that as 'bitter old fucks'.
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