Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns 'Top Of The Lake' Season 2 Starts Shooting This Year, Elisabeth Moss Returns Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Trailer For Bret Easton Ellis’ Penned Teen Horror ‘The Curse of Downers Grove’ With Bella Heathcote Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Video Essay Counts Down The 10 Most Beautiful Movies Of All Time Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Watch: Bond Is Back In New Trailer For 'Spectre' With Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Lea Seydoux, And More Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' Alejandro González Iñárritu Still Has To Shoot The Finale Of 'The Revenant' The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Films Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" Stephen King Says Wendy In Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "One Of The Most Misogynistic Characters Ever Put On Film" All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time Martin Scorsese Names His 11 Scariest Horror Movies of All Time

David Cronenberg Clarifies Comments About 'Dark Knight' Series, Questions Comic Book Movies As Cinematic Art

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 2, 2013 at 1:55PM

Last summer, David Cronenberg caused a bit of an uproar among fanboy circles when it was reported that he said Christopher Nolan's best film was "Memento," and by comparison, his Batman films were "boring." Of course, this caused quite the heated reaction on the interwebs, but with his own "Cosmopolis" hitting home video his week, we got a chance to sit down with Cronenberg and we couldn't help but ask him about that minor controversy. And while he chalks up some of it to his words being taken out of context, he's still not convinced of the potential of the comic book movie genre. 
55
The Dark Knight Rises David Cronenberg

Last summer, David Cronenberg caused a bit of an uproar among fanboy circles when it was reported that he said Christopher Nolan's best film was "Memento," and by comparison, his Batman films were "boring." Of course, this caused quite the heated reaction on the interwebs, but with his own "Cosmopolis" hitting home video his week, we got a chance to sit down with Cronenberg, and we couldn't help but ask him about that minor controversy. And while he chalks up some of it to his words being taken out of context, he's still not convinced of the potential of the comic book movie genre. 

"No, I haven't seen ['The Dark Knight Rises']. See, this is how it all gets distorted. The question was asked, to me. And, of course, when they quote me, they never quote themselves or the question that provoked the response," Cronenberg explained. "I was asked, then the journalist woman said, 'By the way, superhero comic book movies have shown to rise to the highest level of cinematic art – would you be interested in doing one?' And I said, 'Wait, who said they have risen to the highest level of cinematic art?' That's when I started my little rant. I was really responding to that. She proposed that about the new Batman movies. I had seen the one before this ['The Dark Knight'], not the new one, and I think at that time only journalists had seen it. So I wasn't talking specifically about that movie and I wasn't criticizing it directly." 

It should be noted that Cronenberg's comments came a few weeks after 'Rises' hit theaters, but that's also besides the point. However, what he does want to make clear is that his feelings were more directed at the genre as a whole, and not Nolan specifically. "What I was saying was that a comic book movie is really a comic book movie. Comic books were -- especially those comic books which I was raised on (I loved Captain Marvel) -- created for adolescents and they have a core that is adolescent," he elaborated. "To me, that limits the discourse of your movie if you're basing it accurately on that, and you cannot rise to the highest level of cinematic art. That's my take on it. I went on to say that, of course, technically they can be incredibly interesting, since there are very clever people making the movie and of course have a lot of money they are throwing at it. But creatively, artistically, they are incredibly limited. It got bent out of shape that I was dissing Christopher Nolan, which just wasn't the case."

Certainly, with Nolan's 'Rises' proving to be an ambitious capper to his groundbreaking trilogy and with "The Avengers" becoming a global blockbuster and one of the biggest movies of all time, there are many who will dispute Cronenberg's assertions. What are your thoughts? Can comic book movies also double as cinematic art? Weigh in below and stayed tuned for more from our chat with Cronenberg tomorrow.

This article is related to: David Cronenberg, The Dark Knight Rises


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates