Written by – Giuseppe Origo
Translation by – Julia Perry
Zack Snyder andSuperman, two terrible legends both wrapped by a thick curtain of bad luck.
The first is a brilliant director, the author of some of the most impeccable aesthetic and cinematic masterpieces of the past 10 years, scholar of motion picture and fetishist of Christian iconography, enlightened conservative, Catholic to the core but never duely appreciated by the general public, who, perhaps is unable to grasp the perpetual philosophical and aesthetic leitmotif underlying each frame of his films, generally labeled as “tacky.”
The latter, the indestructible Kryptonian, became, with the succession of terrifying and embarrassing filmmaking efforts that have attempted to transpose onto celluloid, the “non cinematographiable” Hollywoodian specter.
The director of Green Bay has remained, oddly enough, not the focus of largely short-sighted and blunt critics, but more the focus of an indolent audience, and my thought, strangely enough, is that this is a result of his own will, not chance: omnipresent biblical iconography alongside of nationalist aesthetics and teological philosophies form, in every one of his films, a mesh of meanings and an artisitic mosaic, each hidden behind one another. At first glance, very laidback, and as for the characters, all roughly along the same level of intellect, succinct and provocative like in Suckerpunch, or like the overly oiled Spartans from the picture 300, or the superheroes of the sublime Watchmen. And with this, whomever goes to the movie theatre with a carefree mind, expecting to see sex and explosions, is shocked, just as much as those snobby Monday night critics hungry for intellectualism and disoriented by everyday ambitions.
Snyder is a school for cinema but also for a higher understanding of cinematographic picture, as well as one of the few rightist intellectuals that, like the Danish Von Trier, chose to make the camera their paintbrush to fresco their ideological masterpieces and journey through the human condition.
The 33 year old (wait, wait… that age definitely rings a bell…) Klark Kent played by a statuesque Henry Cavill, addresses the burden of being “son of God, sent down among us men” (oh…right…) for “the remission of our [ecogical] sins”, the consequence being a fate similar to that of the Kriptonian society, a postmodern Babel, overrated and victim of the inexorable collapse (for the record: in the USA this movie is being shown free in many churches, being a movie “that allows one to get closer to the Gospel”).
It seems like Warner Bros, the production company of the movie, has, rightly and skillfully, chosen the brand new religious channel for the distribution and promotion of the film: in fact, along with copies of the film sent to many religious and opinion leaders, transcripts of a sermon by a Pepperdine University professor and theologian, Craig Detweiler, in which the values of the new Superman are comparable to those of Christ, are also given out.
“All religious communities are often described with what they are usually against. With a movie like Man of Steel, this becomes a chance to celebrate a film that sustains hope and sacrifice.”
Every actor has been paired perfectly with their character in this cinematographic transposition and in the beginning of the already cited movie, the viewer finally realizes they’re not watching an actor but a superhero in the flesh, and so the expressionless Kevin Costner finally finds a dimension fit to him, the one of the unlucky St. Joseph on duty whose constant frown highlights the solemnity and the “diligent father figure”.
The villain is as bad as the man who, more deeply, pushes the giant red self-destruct button on his own planet, Lois Lane is a journalist, damnit, not a model, so she’s hot, but not too hot, and Russel Crowe finally leaves behind his “man with the iron fists” image from RZA, finding once again, part of his gladiator physique, at least enough to slide into his little Kriptonian spandex onesie without looking like sacked meat.
Everything, as the Snyder brand wants it, is designed as an ingredient for the aesthetic dimension of the film because, as for all his works, what makes it distinguishable is the picture itself that, in part thanks to the right camera filter and in part thanks to the solemn cut of the shots, makes every frame a poster in its own right, and even the many fights don’t lose, for even a moment, the pace of global elegance that is given.
Exceptional executive producer, Christopher Nolan, and screenwriter, David S. Goye, also emerge from the DC multiverse, from Gotham-Batman City, as well as Hans Zimmer, now attached to the Warner house, who occasionally composes for the grand symphony that completes this so called mosaic, emphasizing its sacredness.
Man of Steel isn’t like a beer to be enjoyed cold and light heartedly with friends, pleasing, with bubbles, girls, special effects, scrapping away… It is the synthesis of the targeted Snyder cinema, a glass of meditation and research, to help see through the eyes of someone who is not only thirsty, but who has the desire of taking in every single note of a sublime aroma.