Nov 24, 2019
This week we look at the famous quote by respected film director Martin Scorsese that “Marvel movies aren't Cinema” and also the quote by fellow director Francis Ford Coppola that Marvel films are “despicable”. We try and look at the proper context of these remarks outside of the twitter garbage and social media outrage to see if either had any point or whether they're way off the mark and deserving of criticism.
Topics and Show Notes
We've linked to the video where you can hear the full quote from Scorsese in its proper context. It was an industry focused discussion about his latest project “The Irishman” and the challenges involved in getting it produced and promoted. He was asked about the future of movie-making and the platforms for movies and narrative cinematic storytelling. In the conversation, as an aside he mentioned what he thought of as “cinema”: something that is a defined, encapsulated, curated narrative experience is what he seemed to mean, as opposed to a long form TV series where the audience chooses how many episodes they watch at a time (his example), so the experience of the overall story isn't as fully guided by the creator. It was in exactly THIS context that he mentioned Marvel films, thinking of them more as an experience, like a “theme park”- NOT that they are facile and lessor things than a traditional movie, more that it's not really a contained story that's offered but more of an immersive world that you visit. I don't entirely agree but I can see his viewpoint and it's valid.
We are all emotionally connected and invested in the Marvel films so we mistakenly took his remarks too personally and out of context, turning it into a very stupid old vs young argument that it never was. It seems it was in the spirit of this that Francis Ford Coppola waded in and offered his rhetorical firebrand defence to his good friend, using a value judgement and actually calling Marvel films “despicable”. This was again blown up into something huge and headline grabbing. It really was a stupid thing to say, but in the context of defending a friend that was wrongly attacked it becomes more forgiveable, especially since its obviously just rhetoric and not a considered, thought out, personal viewpoint. We can't forget that both men know cinema inside and out and helped create the modern blockbuster film industry of which Marvel is a part. They started out with Lucas and Spielberg. They don't deserve to be ignored, the targets of childish Ad hominems, or casually dismissed because they're not big fans of the same things we are.
We on the Quackcast are huge fans of the Marvel films and all forms of storytelling.
This week Gunwallace has given us the theme to Inner Enemy: Time races ever onward. As the piano keys play note after note, step by inevitable step we move closer and closer to uncovering the mystery at the heart of this world… it teases at the edges like the disturbing, haunting background melodies in this track.
Topics and shownotes
Martin Scorsese quote - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fyZcEZsFXkk
Francis Ford Coppola quote - https://www.indiewire.com/2019/10/francis-ford-coppola-marvel-1202183238/
Feint - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2019/nov/19/featured-comic-feint/
Inner Enemy - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Inner_Enemy/, by Sabin, rated T.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes
kawaiidaigakusei - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/kawaiidaigakusei/
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Sep 2, 2019
How about having it so anyone in your story can die? Let me explain: It's fake. NOT just anyone can die OK? Your main character will still survive until the end and all that, but what you do is set things up so it really truly looks like they're vulnerable and can die, this way it gives the story bigger stakes. If all the other characters are obvious redshirts then who cares? You KNOW the main character or characters will make it to the end so the threat of death or even injury isn't that important… But if you set things up right and have some clever fakeouts then the story will have much more impact!
Dec 10, 2018
We mined Tantz's Saturday newspost for our discussion topic: Strong characters and how to write GOOD ones! What is a strong character? Well it has nothing to do with physical ability, power, command, or anything so obvious and trite. Strong characters are well rounded and well realised, they're often active and opposed to reactive, they make things happen, the story hinges on them. Failed attempts at “strong” characters or obvious and often result in Mary Sues, whether male or female. People hand them traits that they THINK will make the character strong: make them a general, make them a great fighter, make them royalty etc. The problem comes when none of that is ever logically backed up in the story. You can't just title a character something or have other characters talk about how great they are without having them demonstrate a reason for it, or else all you have is a pathetic paper tiger and a really shizzy failed part of your story.
Nov 6, 2017
A psychopomp is a physical manifestation of death. These are of course impossible in reality since death is a process, not a force or anything that can be personified, but culturally death has very different meanings and resonances! Most cultures have a psychopomp in one form of another, like Valkyries and Charon the boatman to name two, and there are even more in literature and movies. In this Quackcast we go back to Kawaii's great Halloween newspost where she asked people about their fave psychopomps and we talk about a few of our own. ^_^ This week Gunwallce has given us the theme to The Constellation Chronicle - In the cold, blackness of space, suddenly a twinkle appears, bright light shoots out, supercharged particles race on their path into the void at the speed of light, travelling through glowing, spidery filaments as thick as a sun that make up the frozen explosion of a giant nebula, bending their course towards the radioactive chaos of an event horizon, to take a deep dive into eternity, towards the mysterious singularity within.
Jun 12, 2017
FLASHbacks… you have to do them right or they will screw up the flow of your story. That's the theme of the newspost by Tantz Aerine that we stole this podcast topic from. :) Flashbacks can be expository, they can explain story elements and plot to you, they can push the narrative forward in a (seemingly) non-linear way, they can do all sorts of things, but one of the very worst is when they ruin the flow of your story and irritate your audience! That's what we're chatting about today, the poorly handled flashback and how to avoid it! Now let me tell you about that time… JUST KIDDING! Our music theme by Gunwallace this week was Galactic Nebula Race. This is all about speed! Racing, acceleration, hyper-velocity!! Watch those lights fly past faster and faster until they become just a single coloured blurred line… only to see your rival speed past as if you were standing still.
Nov 14, 2016
In this Quackcast we tackle the topic of fandom. Fandoms can be interesting, fun, helpful, fascinating, inspiring, or even bizarre and disturbing. Fandoms are frequently great resources for information about their subject and can really enrich your experience of whatever you're into. Fandoms are also a hotbed of creative energy- some of our most iconic literature was written by people who started out as ardent fans- even the great H.P. Lovecraft was part of a fandom of Gothic horror fiction along with fellow writers Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, and Robert E. Howard. These highly influential writers were influenced by such greats as Arthur Machen, Robert W. Chambers, Edgar Allen Poe, and Lord Dunsany to name a few. And of course Lovecraft and his group went to to influence legions of fans who changed the face of 20th century pop culture. Looking at fandoms gives a cultural roadmap so we can follow influences, where ideas originated, how they changed, how pop-culture was created, and more importantly: they give us great clues about what other stuff we might like to read! No music this week I'm afraid. Mr Gunwallace is dealing with the fallout from a huge earthquake in his native New Zealand.
Jul 11, 2016
Our very own heavily mutated Pitface put up a guest post about her fellow mutants, filling in for HippieVan while Hippy is away fighting the mutants in Japan wearing a tie-dyed sailor suit and riding a Volkswagen battle mecha, as you do in Japan… anyway, as a member of the anti-mutant police force, I had to drag in Pit for questioning! And that's what we did for this Quackcast. Banes and I interrogate Pit on the subject of mutants! Mutants are a forgotten race at the moment: Mutants are the zombies of SciFi in a way; a mob of anonymous monstrous minions who exist to menace the heroes and be gunned down in their thousands. But they're also so much more… Unlike zombies, mutants have a lot more personality and humanity, they can also be far more demonic and revolting than any zombie, they can be any shape, size of configuration. Mutants are so much scarier and adaptable than mere zombies, because unlike zombies they're not always degrading and falling apart, no, mutants are evolving constantly, they can get larger, gorier and more terrifying, i.e. The Thing. For mutant pathos witness the Mars mutants in the original Total Recall: There's a man with a baby in his chest and we feel for him and respect him. We have superhero mutants too in the form of the X-men. Can't forget them! But remember also that “mutants” are also a very real thing in this world, unlike zombies, in fact we are ALL mutants in one way or another, not just those special people with a conjoined twin or extra nipples or genitals or whatever, all of us have our own exciting DNA variation! I have a big nose, crooked lower teeth and pasty white skin myself, I'm practically a Morlock. So what is YOUR “mutation”?