Wife and I watched the Snyder Justice League. I wasn’t expecting much, I don’t even like DC comics much. Besides Jack Kirby’s New Gods and Mr.Miracle lore. Which I’ll get to later. I wasn’t expecting this movie to be way better than the Joss-Stice League. The social media circus that lead to the release of Snyder’s cut was a strange phenomenon and in itself is an epic tale and is surely being used as studies in academia right now. That’s not what I want to talk about though. The real thing that interested me about this entire thing was Artistic Freedom/Vision.
As an artist myself, I understand the importance of allowing an artist freedom. By this I mean giving them space to let them utilize their creativity to the best of their ability. Allowing them to get close to producing their vision. This is the inner struggle every artist goes through. When I want to create something, I get a feeling, inspiration. That feeling is the vision. Getting that metaphysical feeling to translate into a physical or tangible form of media is the eternal struggle of every artist. It’s also what artists love about being an artist. The process.
When we watched Joss-stice League in theaters, I was constantly confused. Not because the movie was hard to follow or had some complex plot, but because nothing the characters did or said made sense. In relation to plot, personality, or physical space, nothing meshed or correlated well. Or at all. Certain scenes were baffling. When we watched Snyder League, I kept saying “oooohhh that’s what that was for, oh that makes sense, nice that was interesting”. It was perplexing at the changes they did, and the reasoning behind the changes are infuriating. Again, that’s for another story. Trying to stay on theme here. The vision. Watching Snyder League was an immense treat and I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmingly happy for Snyder. He got to see his vision through. How much of it will not be known unless he outright tells us, but he was able to get it out there.
When an artist gets to see their vision through, it’s very apparent. Some times for better or worse, mostly for good. This goes for all sorts of media, so I’ll just stick with movies because I’m talking about a movie. A vision forming a uniting factor, makes a story feel whole. Hefty. I don’t mean serious and packed with lore. Just cohesive. Let’s take the MCU for example. Is it packed with lore? Yeah, it is. Is it cohesive? Kinda, a few slip ups here and there, but mostly pretty tight. But does it actually feel dense? Does it actually feel like everything is in unison? The MCU feels like the world is strung together with a few throw away lines, character name drops, locations, and large events, which also get name drops and callbacks. Oh and stingers. The connective adhesive and backbone of the MCU. Sounds like I’m hating on the MCU, but I actually really enjoyed most of their movies and praise them for pulling off a cinematic universe (really waiting for Fantastic Four and X-Men though). This doesn’t feel like unity to me. Doesn’t feel like one vision. The MCU’s “vision” is to make a cinematic universe. They did it. Watching Snyder League, I felt like I was watching an artist tell me a story. I saw his vision. His art.
Snyder League gave me a similar feeling to when I watched Fellowship of the Ring. The world felt massive yet intimate. I cared about characters and the choices they made. I didn’t get this feeling with the MCU, except for Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor Ragnarok. Snyder’s vision caries through starting from Man of Steel all the way to Justice League. The themes he establishes from day one are addressed and built on from the 1st movie to this current one. Same with Lord of the Rings. To varying degrees of course. We got to see an epic tale, within one movie! That’s amazing. He made us care about several characters, mostly new, within one movie. That’s extremely difficult. Even the villains. It’s downright appalling how much the villains were changed in Joss-stice League. We got to see what could be the set up or at least lore pulling from Jack Kirby’s New Gods.
It’s so fitting that this movie brings up characters from the New Gods. Jack Kirby left Marvel because he wasn’t getting treated right. Goes to DC and is given artistic freedom to flex his creativity. He creates a huge world and characters used to this day. I was never really a DC fan, so I’m not sure, but from what I can tell, even the current DC still uses characters and themes born from the New Gods. I’m happy Snyder got to do this. What I really want out of this thing is for studios, execs, the suits, or whatever, I want them to take a look at this and at least take notice how important it is to let the artist do their thing. Trying to get that vision out into the real world is hard enough. Give the artists freedom. Respect their craft.