bbartonshaw

bbartonshaw

My life is film and television. I love it, I live for it, and I spend all my time learning and writing for it. History is a hobby of mine, and I like to draw storyboards.

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Controversy or Consciousness in Marvel Netflix?

Comic books, back in the day, were the dose of tiger balm to the congested chest. They were painful narratives that made us think, that put our problems into the perspectives of a false world so a hero could show us they can be solved and the villains of our lives vanquished. Unfortunately, the solutions are solely on the page or on the screen, now with the Netflix series’ of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, but does that erase the effect they have on us as viewers and readers?

Do the shows take some issues too far? Present them too blatantly or too straight-forward for escapism?

Are they too real and too relevant? Or exactly what we need?

  • Something else to consider would be whether or not the intention of comic books is still escapism. As entertainment becomes increasingly politicized, the escapism aspect may sit on a balance with a desire to provide political commentary. If you wanted to do that more broadly, too, you could look at the balance of escapism and commentary in modern comic books or their adaptations (like Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage), which I feel like is what you might be trying to do.There's an excellent article about Ta-Nehisi Coates discussing his run of Black Panther which touches on this --> http://kotaku.com/ta-nehisi-coates-is-trying-to-do-right-by-marvel-comics-1769418783 – Sadie Britton 3 years ago
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  • I think the subjective nature social consciousness makes this a hard question to answer. Comics have always run the gamut from utterly ridiculous to uncomfortably real but a lot of that is in the personal interpretation. Most comics aren't going to be as clear in their messaging as Captain America punching Hitler in the face. The X-Men arose as an allegory for the Civil Rights movement but not every white comic reader in the 60s was thinking "I see, this is like how we treat black people". However black comic readers may have connected with the story in a different way. Jessica Jones and Luke Cage both seemed overtly political but technically were recreations of plot lines that were decades old. When Brock Turner is making headlines, Jessica's inability to consent holds more weight. When Black Lives Matter plays a large part in the political sphere, a bulletproof black guy (in a hoodie) holds more weight. Your environment and your gender/racial/sexual identity change whether you view it as a nice work of fiction or a very political one. – LC Morisset 3 years ago
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Latest Comments

bbartonshaw

I am a huge fan of Disney and have spent most of my life researching the history and theory behind the classic animated pictures. As someone working in the film industry, it’s my job to know the ins and outs of what a company like Disney is thinking when it comes to marketing and box office, and how it effects a film comes out black and white — but, I’m also a history buff. History and the film’s place in said history reflects the values of society at that time. Snow White, for example, was the first animated feature film in America circa 1937, the first being a German-made “The Adventures of Prince Achmed” 1926 by Lotte Reiniger. Snow White was the frontier-breaking lady whose success allowed us to enjoy some of the greatest fantasy (and even sci-fi) movies like Star Wars and Wizard of Oz, and the Disney Animation Studios worked for years during the Great Depression on making such a historical film. So, in order to save his animation studio, Walt Disney had to take some liberties and “fix-up” a Brothers Grimm fairytale to make it palatable to an audience who lived a life of hardship and strife, to make a world, and a heroine, that represented, as you said, hope and the belief that there was still good in the world despite the evil that “hunted” us all. This movie would be the template for every princess movie listed and in the Disney Vaults today. We’re seeing more of a feminist agenda, as we know it, because feminism and blatant gender equality is becoming a backbone in our literature and media. We will see more of what we want, it will take time, but someday Disney will realign with its audience and make a movie that reflects us as a people and what we want, like it had with Snow White in 1937. It will just take time.

Feminism and Disney: They're Not As Different As You Might Think
bbartonshaw

There are days when I can’t believe how a book written nearly eighty years ago predicted how dependent we would be upon technology. Though the book wasn’t anti-nuclear, anyone reading Fahrenheit 451 could see how ashamed Bradbury was of his fellow man for never listening to the signs they heard all around. The over-head rockets, the fear, the hopelessness that naturally drew the sheep to their television shows hoping to ignore for the next hour that their world could end. I love that book, every time I reread it, there’s something new and exciting to understand.

Fahrenheit 451: What’s In a Tale?
bbartonshaw

The lack of creative integrity is really at the hands of the Disney-owned side of the Marvel Universe. It’s a shame not to mention the failures and successes of the Netflix-owned or 20th Century Fox-owned sides of the same comic books production banner. If you take example of Jessica Jones or the massive success of Deadpool, it’s easy to see how Disney is forfeiting their integrity and the reason those comic book characters were substantial originally, for a wider audience and safer ethic content when developing their tent-pole hero movies. Both Iron Man and Captain America were politically important in their comics, as was Black Widow and Bucky Barnes, Spiderman, and all of the Avengers as they were originally, but do to competitive marketing and movie rights, we will never see timeless stories onscreen as they deserve to be. Disney can’t make an Avengers movie without Wolverine, nor Spiderman. Their integrity is polluted with the legalities of sharing the Marvel brand and insisting on creating an ever-expanding world in which they’re blatantly, and rather clumsily, avoiding canon storylines and character development to get more and more money with films that are less and less satisfying.

The Pros and Cons Of Developing A Cinematic Universe