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What's Everybody Mad About This Week?!: More directors vs. the MCU and Watchmen's history lesson
Welcome to What's Everybody Mad About This Week?!, a SYFY WIRE series that rounds up the biggest geek culture uproars of the week and adds a little bit of context for those who missed out.
There's no denying that the internet, no matter how you feel about it, is a breeding ground for debate. Not all of that debate is healthy, or even really a debate in the classical sense of the word. In case you're living a healthy life away from internet outrage, we've cut through all the noise to take stock of the latest, hottest debates so you can pretend to know what your friends are talking about.
MORE DIRECTORS ON THE MCU…
The internet’s latest never-ending saga comes in the form of journalists asking various directors their take on whether or not Marvel movies should be considered true cinema. (I am so tired.)
This all started when auteur director Martin Scorsese called MCU films “not cinema" and the geek internet exploded. Since then, others have weighed in with their opinions.
Francis Ford Coppola agrees that Marvel movies aren’t cinema, going so far as to say, “Martin was kind when he said it’s not cinema. He didn’t say it’s despicable, which I just say it is.” And Ken Loach said Marvel movies are “made as commodities like hamburgers.” David Cronenberg called MCU movies “boring,” Terry Gilliam has previously deemed them “bulls**t,” and Pedro Almodóvar has said he doesn’t think they’re “sexy enough.”
Some of these reactions from directors are old news, but the Scorsese fervor brought them back to the forefront. Others have also weighed in, but the list is becoming long enough at this point that we don’t really need to list them all out — you get the point.
Fans, of course, had thoughts on these various reactions. It’s still not shocking, honestly, that none of these directors are lining up on premiere night, though, to see Marvel movies. You kinda have to admit that would be weird, right? Not that it will stop people from being angry.
AMERICAN SCHOOLS' TRAGIC OMISSION
Now, this bit — about people’s reactions to the opening scene of HBO’s new Watchmen series, which depicts the Tulsa Race Riots — is, for once, included in this breakdown not because people were mad about what was depicted onscreen, but because they were so surprised by it.
In case you didn’t watch Watchmen this week, the opening scene of the first episode reenacts the Tulsa Race Riots (also known as the Tulsa Race Massacre and the Black Wall Street Massacre), which took place from May 31 to June 1, 1921, in the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Greenwood, also known as “Black Wall Street” for being an affluent, primarily black neighborhood, was set upon by racist white protesters, both on foot and in private aircraft, who destroyed local businesses and harmed residents. It’s estimated that up to 300 people were killed.
Many people thought what was being depicted onscreen was fictional. It was not.
Now, there’s a lot of history out there for students to learn, but considering the Tulsa Race Massacre's horrific position as the single worst incident of racial violence in American history, viewers were flabbergasted and embarrassed, while others realized some of the reasons why, perhaps, they’d never learned about it.
We are not going to solve the education system’s systemic problems right here and now — but at least, for once, everyone was mad in a way that felt productive.