Gondry Calls Superhero Fans Fascists

via The Guardian

Interviewed by the UK’s The Guardian, Michel Gondry, director of Sony/Columbia’s THE GREEN HORNET showed surprisingly thin skin for a professional regarding the Comic Con audience walking out on his poorly-received panel this summer.

“I usually identify with the nerds, but these ones just reinforce the social rules. Their values are fascistic. All those people marching around in capes and masks and boots. The superhero imagery is totally fascist!”

While there may arguably be an element of fascism in the superhero/vigilante concept, Gondry seems to be unaware of the actual meaning the word. Fascism refers to a movement that combines far right and far left ideologies, promoting an ultra-nationalistic, modern and mechanized semi-socialistic state organized around a corporate model. Generally, authority is vested in a strong leader who controls both civil  and military forces.
In recent decades, it’s been used as a pejorative label by various people who think that anyone who disagrees or disapproves of something they’ve created or support is a bad person. 

Enjoying  superhero films that show respect for the traditional depictions of the characters is not a character flaw.  On the other hand, using hyperbole that compares someone with a different, possibly somewhat conservative  view of things to jackbooted thugs is, in my opinion a rather large character flaw… or at least a lapse in taste and  judgement.

He goes on to say:  
“When you step into this genre, they feel it belongs to them. They want you to conform, or they won’t like you. They want the conventional. But it’s fine. The movie’s been doing very well, I think, whenever we’ve screened it to normal people.”

From that statement, one must assume that Gondry feels superhero fans are not “normal people”.

Earlier in the interview, the director said:
“I don’t mock things, which makes me more vulnerable to mockery myself. If you’re cynical, you’re protected from mockery. But I have to be nice. I don’t think I have irony. A sense of humour, yes, but not irony.” 

So he doesn’t mock people and he wants to be nice?  Is Michel Gondry sure he has no sense of irony? (Which, in case you’ve forgotten, means saying the opposite of what you mean, for purposes of humor or  sarcasm.)
greenhornet_photo2Irritation at his apparently contemptuous assessment of a potentially significant segment of THE GREEN HORNET’s audience aside, I truly hope that Gondry’s authentic talents as a director make the film worth viewing. Some of the action sequences look promising. Perhaps the action-comedy approach will work better in context than it seemed in the rather labored and juvenile gags showcased in the trailers.
Next year will mark The Green Hornet’s 75th Anniversary, and it would be nice if the film helped revive interest in the venerable character.