Things were heating up at this year's Locarno Film Festival. Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke was at the annual film festival to present his new movie Blaze and accept the Legend Award. Hawke sat down with The Film Stage's Rory O'Connor to discuss how essential film festivals are at this point in cinema, when movies that don't involve tights and capes don't get the kind of attention or revenue that Avengers: Infinity War garners.
"So many things get lost in the cracks, and if those big names are getting lost, where are the Gattacas of right now," Hawke asked. "It might be like other art forms, where it might take 50 years to curate what’s happening right now. That’s why film festivals have become so important, because you guys at film festivals are like curators of, like, what does the world need to be paying attention to. What should be seen? If we didn’t have these festivals, big business would crush all these smaller movies."
Hawke took a jab at the Oscar-nominated and critically acclaimed 2017 Logan "superhero" noir. "Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie," Hawke said. "Well, it’s a great superhero movie. It still involves people in tights with metal coming out of their hands. It’s not Bresson. It’s not Bergman."
The AARP Movies for Grownups award winner states that "superhero movies" aren't films. "There’s a difference, but big business doesn’t think there’s a difference. Big business wants you to think that this is a great film because they wanna make money off of it," Hawke said in closing.
Do you agree with Hawke's opinion that movies like Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight trilogy shouldn't be considered films because they generate millions of dollars, or was this just a headline grabber to promote his film about the unsung country outlaw Blaze Foley that's hitting the festival circuit? Discuss in the comments!