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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"I need better back-up than C3PO and Stick Figure Barbie."
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June 05 2013

Joss Whedon on Shakespeare, female superheroes and feminism. It's an exceedingly quotable interview.

You know, that was the first thing I caught with Joss, his spin with this cute, little blonde cheerleader that so happened to be a bad ass monster killer in one. It was so different, so new that I had to keep watching. Then, he took the story to a much deeper level and I was hooked for life.

I'm not an expert on Shakespeare, nor female superheroes. And, there's a good chance I would be skinned alive if I even make a comment on feminism. However, Buffy did open my mind on several of these subjects so success in some way?!

Amazing what you can learn about a girl that kills vampires. At least, people are still talking about it. Just wish they would give it an honest watch and learn....

Well, if wishes were horses....
And back to the female-hero thing, I’m not going to let nobody do it. It doesn’t have to be me, but it could be.

Great quote Joss, good interview too.
"My daughter watched The Avengers and was like, “My favorite characters were the Black Widow and Maria Hill,” and I thought, Yeah, of course they were. I read a beautiful thing Junot Diaz wrote: “If you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves.”"

I think Joss will be able to convince everyone at Marvel, and maybe everyone at Disney. He is in a position to really make a difference.
We can hope. I'm certainly hoping. Very fervently.
Re: the "female-hero thing", Mia is a woman. So is Violet. FREE GONERS!
Full quote - " "You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There's this idea that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. And what I've always thought isn't that monsters don't have reflections in a mirror. It's that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn't see myself reflected at all. I was like, "Yo, is something wrong with me? That the whole society seems to think that people like me don't exist? And part of what inspired me, was this deep desire that before I died, I would make a couple of mirrors. That I would make some mirrors so that kids like me might seem themselves reflected back and might not feel so monstrous for it."
I don't know that this warrants its own post because it quotes the Daily Beast interview, but Slashfilm has its own commentary on it.
I think this is the first time I've ever seen Joss acknowledge, without references to fine meals, that he took a financial hit on the Avengers. Hope his new deal with Marvel rectified that.
I stopped in mid-interview because I was struck by the Junot Diaz quotation. I did not know who he was, and I was able to find the full quotation that I was going to bring back here, only to find that @gossi had already done that. But I found an article on him that others might be interested in.

As a teacher, I was struck by the following passage from the article on Diaz:

As an undergraduate at Rutgers in New Brunswick, working his way through college, Diaz said he missed many opportunities to learn. "I didn’t understand the role of education. I was closed. You need to be open," he said. "You don’t need an education to get a job. You need an education to understand that, at a fundamental level, the world is yours and you are part of the world. Education means you learn in a way that transforms you. It means the person who started the process and the person who finished the process wouldn’t recognize each other."

This and the "monster" comment Joss quoted will make their ways into my courses in the fall somehow. (I cannot tell you how much I have learned from being a part of the Whedonesque community that I have taken to the classroom. Thank you, Joss.)
counti8 - I saw the same words but I read them as meaning he didn't get paid the amount a director would normally expect on a film this size, as opposed to meaning he had to turn down other word that would have paid him more but had less visibility. (Can't speak to it much myself - still haven't seen this at the local pawn shop.)

gossi: I used to often get that from many things I saw, as well (Joss and I,given as different as we are, share so many reactions it's whacky.) My idea for showing it (Joss never did this exact thing but he did so many superior equivalents; I'm not familiar with the work of the person who originally sdaid this.) would be a mosnter mvoie scenario- a strong, self-confident jock known for sticking up both for himself and for others and for the right things, gets attacked by the monster, loses it, and dies without a struggle. Later,a fangeek type, not known for standing up for himself, and only normally strong, gets attacked and by the time the monster kills him the area around thme is a shambles. Most importantly, one of the people investigating it takes this as a clue.

I've always thought Newsweek did good interviews, and Joss took advantage of the opportunity here.
Oh, I'm sure that Marvel stumped up more cash to Joss for keeping him exclusive re: movies and TV until after 2015, counti8, but compared what other directors average on big-budget films, I don't think the whole "$100M payday" is anywhere near true. If it's even half that, I would be astounded.
A little more on this... at
palehorse-Diaz' the Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao was a great novel.
Good interview. I hope Joss will have the time to make a female superhero movie more than a ballet. But I'll be there, no matter what.
DaddyCatALSO, BlueEyeBrigadier — I had many of the same thoughts as you, though I know nothing of what kind of compensation directors typically get compared to the overall size or budget of films. Without digging too much into So Not My Business, I suspect it may have been a strict pay out versus depth/scope of commitment considering the simultaneous writing/directing duties and the way it likely limited his ability to be participating in and developing other things. (I mean, he wasn't sleeping for a good chunk, right?) The fact that the current Marvel deal is exclusive seems like a much-needed formalizing (with expected paybump) of something that may have, for the most part, already been the case.
Joss met Ang Lee? O_O
Thanks, @CaptainB, for the recommendation. I'm going to get a copy of that.

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