The actor Ethan Hawke has questioned the quality of superhero films, saying that even the most praised are “not Bresson … not Bergman. But they talk about it like it is”.
In an interview with the Film Stage, Hawke discussed what he saw as the increasing marginalisation of indie movies at the multiplex.
“Now we have the problem that they tell us Logan is a great movie,” he 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. But they talk about it like it is.”
Logan, in which Hugh Jackman played an ageing Wolverine, won acclaim for what many saw as an emotional depth unusual in the genre. Its screenplay won nominations from the Academy Awards and Writers Guild of America.
Hawke continued: “I went to see Logan cos everyone was like, ‘This is a great movie’ and I was like, ‘Really? No, this is a fine superhero movie.’ 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’s comments met with a mixed reception online, where many accused him of pretentiousness.
The actor – who is currently winning acclaim for his performance in Paul Schrader’s First Reformed – was accused of a similar elitism five years ago, when he attacked the Oscars for celebrating “forgettable, stupid movies” and “mediocre performers”.
“Making a priority of chasing these fake carrots and money and dubious accolades,” was, he said, “I think, really destructive.”