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Snyder responds.

 

 

I made "Watchmen" for myself. It's probably my favorite movie that I've made. And I love the graphic novel and I really love everything about the movie. I love the style. I just love the movie and it was a labor of love. And I made it because I knew that the studio would have made the movie anyway and they would have made it crazy. So, finally I made it to save it from the Terry Gilliams of this world.

 

 

That's a pretty good interview, I think:

 

Over your career, do you feel critics have been fair to you?

Zack Snyder: I don't know. You know, it's a funny thing that you should bring it up. I always feel like -- and I always believe the movies I've made are smarter than the way they are perceived by sort of mass culture and by the critics. We set out to make smarter movies than what they're perceived to be, do you know what I mean?

Deborah Snyder: I think it has to do, in a way, because I've thought about it, and I think some of it maybe is that if they have a visual style -- if they're from a graphic novel, if they happen to be genre -- I think people sometimes don't want to look to see if there's a deeper meaning. To see if there's symbolism, to see if there's other things going on. It's easier to dismiss it and say, "Oh, it looks like a video game."

Zack Snyder: And, also, "It looks like a video game." Well, maybe it's supposed to look like a video game.

 

 

 

I still don't care for [most of] Snyder's stuff--Watchmen and Man of Steel are ok, but I don't actively seek him out--but I can really respect this viewpoint, even if it doesn't always pan out.

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I rewatched this the other day, and I was struck by how much The Dark Knight rips off the end of this story. Then I realized that TDK was 2008. I know the graphic novel was earlier, but I do feel the film's ending verbalizes a lot of the same beats and underlines the same idea that the people need a lie to believe in. 

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The Dark Knight certainly has noticeable similarities to Watchmen in theme and tone. I don't know how much of this is The Dark Knight being influenced by Watchmen and how much is simply the tendency of dark-and-gritty superhero stories to gravitate towards this part of idea-space. It's much more obvious that Brad Bird's Tomorrowland was meant to be a response to Watchmen (among other things), where the Ozymandias figure, the one who tells people a lie in order to scare them straight, was an overt villain, not an ambiguous (anti)hero.

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The idea that people need a lie to believe in is a recurring theme in Chris Nolan's films, e.g. Memento.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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