Thanks to the ever-present nature of “the discourse,” practically everyone knows that Martin Scorsese isn’t a big fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and what he thinks it’s doing to cinema. But the director of Netflix’s streamable-via-smartphone The Irishman isn’t alone in his disdain for Marvel Studios. Many others have criticized the Disney subsidiary for its grandiose, repeatable practices — including The Man Who Killed Don Quixote director Terry Gilliam. In a recent interview, he railed against Marvel generally and Black Panther specifically.
For the most part, critics have agreed that Black Panther stands apart from the rest of the MCU as one of its greatest cinematic achievements. Sure, its global box office figures also stand out, but in terms of film quality, reviewers and general audiences alike have largely agreed that Black Panther is something special… but not Gilliam. Speaking with IndieWire, the acclaimed filmmaker went on to call Ryan Coogler’s movie “bullsh*t,” among other colorful things.
“I hated Black Panther. It makes me crazy. It gives young black kids the idea that this is something to believe in. Bullshit. It’s utter bullshit. I think the people who made it have never been to Africa,” he said. “They went and got some stylist for some African pattern fabrics and things. But I just I hated that movie, partly because the media were going on about the importance of bullshit.”
When asked if he felt that critical praise for Black Panther was a politically correct response that ignored aesthetics in favor of identity politics, Gilliam said, “It makes my blood boil.”
As controversial as Gilliam’s opinions about Black Panther‘s quality (and the critical response to it) may be, however, it was the director’s doubling down on his previous comments about the #MeToo movement and Harvey Weinstein that significantly upped the ante. “We’re in the era of the victim. We are all victims. It’s all somebody else, abusing us, taking advantage of us. We are powerless, except that we go out and do other things,” he told IndieWire. “I’m just very frustrated of the world we’re living in.”
Unless I’m mistaken, it almost sounds like Gilliam would have sided with the bad guys in Damon Lindelof’s recent Watchmen adaptation for HBO.