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Ken Loach: Marvel superhero films ‘boring’ and ‘nothing to do with art of cinema’

Ken Loach has told Sky News he finds the Marvel superhero movies “boring” and “nothing to do with the art of cinema”.

The British director has joined the debate following comments by fellow filmmakers such as Martin Scorsese, who said they are “not cinema”, and Francis Ford Coppola who branded them “despicable”.

Loach told Sky News: “They’re made as commodities like hamburgers, and it’s not about communicating and it’s not about sharing our imagination.

“It’s about making a commodity which will make a profit for a big corporation – they’re a cynical exercise.

“They’re market exercise and it has nothing to do with the art of cinema. William Blake said ‘when money is discussed – art is impossible’.”

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Loach’s new film Sorry We Missed You is the antithesis of the superhero universe and explores the world of zero-hour contracts, epitomising his view of what cinema should be.

“I think reflecting the world we know can make beautiful cinema because it can celebrate who we are,” he said.

“It can laugh with us, it can cry with us, it can learn about our deepest feelings and what it is to be human – you find that in the everyday”.

Francis Ford Coppola attends his tribute during the 11th Film Festival Lumiere on October 18, 2019 in Lyon, France
Image:Francis Ford Coppola branded Marvel superhero films ‘despicable’

It is three years since he released I, Daniel Blake – his 2016 film which won plaudits for its depiction of austerity Britain, looking at the victims of the welfare system.

Sorry We Missed You is about a family in which both parents are in insecure work with no holiday or sick pay and struggling to bring up their family.

Loach said his new film is based “entirely on fact” with the writer Paul Laverty doing research with van drivers and care workers to bring the characters to life.

What interested them was “the world outside where we put on a smiley face and the world inside our personal relationships where you’re exhausted, you drop the smiles and that’s when the tensions, the stress, the anger plays out”.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Avengers: Endgame. Pic: Marvel
Endgame, starring Chris Hemsworth as Thor, is the highest grossing film ever. Pic: Marvel

Loach told Sky News that zero-hour contracts and the gig economy is “the reality of the free market, which the government does everything it can to support, where harsh competition means big companies compete on price, they cut their labour costs with no holiday pay, no sick pay with workers they have no responsibility to – they can just sack them overnight”.

He went on to lay the blame with the government.

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