Paul Thomas Anderson: Superhero Movies Haven’t Ruined Cinema

“You know what’s going to happen [audiences] Back to the cinemas? ‘Spider Man.’ So let’s be happy about that,” the PTA says.

From Martin Scorsese to Ridley Scott, the great debate over the artistic validity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the DCEU is the gift that keeps on giving. Now, Paul Thomas Anderson has given his opinion of superhero movies’ contributions to the art form, and he’s hardly as snappy as Scott (who called them “boring as shit”) or Scorsese (who compared Marvel movies to theme parks). In fact, the director of “Licorice Pizza” and “Phantom Thread” is optimistic about what superhero films can offer the industry.

The question was asked, as is often the case, during the press cycle for Anderson’s latest movie (which has just scored four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy). In an interview with The New Yorker, Anderson spoke about how he is “happier than ever” to be able to break into his own niche in the film industry, acknowledging that superhero films are the thing most likely to bring audiences back to the benches.

“Boy, my heart is glad to be able to tell you that I feel happier than ever when I work in this field. I have my own little corner of the sandbox and work with people I really admire, like MGM. I am so happy now. But this I. The Oscar nominee said “There will be blood” There is no end to the kind of sky-high questions that always surround movies and what will happen.

He then added, “Obviously, it gets a lot more complicated with the streaming and the kind of exuberance in superhero movies. Most of the things I don’t take very seriously. I mean, there seems to be a bit of a preoccupation with superhero movies. I love them. It seems like a common thing these days to question. Kind of wondering if they screwed up the movies and all that kind of thing. I just don’t feel that way.”

Anderson noted that the pandemic is certainly contributing to the box office slump, but noted that the opening of a certain Marvel entry on December 17 is cause for hope. “I mean, look, we’re all nervous about people getting back on stage, but do you know what’s going to bring them back to movie theaters? ‘Spider-Man.'” So let’s be happy about that.”

Anderson also discusses how the dominance of broadcasting has allowed for a greater proliferation of content — as well as adding creative freedom thanks to seemingly limitless resources — but at the expense of regulation.

“There is a lot of money right now for people to make movies. When I started making films, there was a lot of money for a window of time, and it was home video money. If you could make a movie for one and a half, two million dollars and keep it for under three , and you had two of the kind, there was the home video component to make a movie that has to be your feed. Which is basically like broadcasting – call it home video, VHS, whatever you want to call it. It’s something that comes into your home and gives you entertainment, right? So? “The playing field hasn’t fundamentally changed, you know? There’s some money out there,” he said.

But, he added, “Now it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. Because there are so many things. I’m one of those people who spend an hour looking at the list and then I feel overwhelmed.”

PTA’s “Liquorice Pizza” is now in a limited edition ahead of its nationwide expansion on Christmas Day.

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