I just flew home from vacation today and as I was browsing the internet briefly as I boarded the plane, I read that Margot Kidder has passed away at the age of 69. I knew she had some health problems and that she had stepped away from acting and focused more on political activism in her later years. It seems that just like the most famous role she portrayed, Margot Kidder also courageously fought for what she believed in.
I was saddened by this news particularly because how her portrayal of Lois Lane in Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie (my all time favorite Superman movie) and basically made the role as iconic as Christopher Reeve did as the Man of Steel. I mentioned in this 2011 post when Amy Adams was cast that Kidder was my favorite Lois Lane. Well, I think she always will be and I tell you why.
From the first moment we saw Lois in the 1978 Superman movie, we saw her in her element. She’s hard at work at Daily Planet, doing what she loves and does best, surrounded by people who relies on her and trusts her. We saw how her photographer colleague Jimmy Olsen adores her (probably has a secret crush on her) and how her boss Mr. White values her work. She’s the best reporter of the paper, and perhaps even the entire Metropolis.
This quote is from Superman II which best defines Lois according to her boss:
Perry White: If Paris is going to go kablooey I want my best reporter right in the middle of it… No offense, Kent. You’re good, but Lois Lane’s better. Clark Kent: No, I mean uh, isn’t that a bit dangerous, sir? Perry White: That goes with the territory, Kent. Don’t worry; if I know Lois Lane, she’ll not only come back with a Pulitzer Prize story, but a one-on-one interview with the hydrogen bomb titled “What Makes Me Tick.”
So when she meets Clark Kent for the first time at Mr. White’s office and he spills his new boss’ drink all over himself, she was focused on her work. Her career is the most important thing for her, not because she cares about being at the top, but because she is absolutely passionate for the art of journalism. In other words, she’s already a super woman before she meets Superman, and she doesn’t need a man (no matter how super) to define who she is.
Now THAT is what inspires me the most about Kidder’s Lois Lane. In fact, I was so inspired by her that for as long as I could remember I had always wanted to be a journalist. Never mind that I was barely in grade school when I saw Superman: The Movie, that film made such an impression on me I thought her Lois was (and still is) the coolest gal ev-er!
When I went to college years later, I even put down in journalism as my major on my I-20 (for those not familiar w/ being an international student in the US, that form is a Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students). I ended up switching to Advertising with Graphic Design minor, but for one quarter, I did take journalism and broadcasting courses and I’m so glad I did! As I became a film blogger over a decade ago, the journalistic principles I learned in school proves to be quite beneficial.
So yeah, I did have a massive crush on Christopher Reeve’s Superman for years (he remains the only actor I’ve ever written letters to), but I was just as influenced by Kidder’s portrayal of Lois. I think to this day, no other actress can top Kidder’s portrayal of Lois, just as no actor can top Reeve’s Superman for me.
I mentioned in that 2011 article that I love the contrast of Kidder’s acting with Clark Kent vs. Superman. How she’s domineering and bossy to Clark, but then goes all googley-eyed in front of Superman. But what I didn’t mention is, that Superman and his alter ego was just as mesmerized by Lois. I believe he’s drawn to her not only for her looks (though she’s indeed gorgeous), but because of her spunk, her no-nonsense attitude and simply her zest for life. Yes, Supes has saved Lois a few times, but no, she’s not some damsel in distress. She may be a bit ruthless when she pursues a story, but that’s because she always gives a hundred and ten percent to her work and is driven by the passion for uncovering truth just as Supes does.
All of those elements makes Lois Lane a heroine to me… who needs superpowers when you’ve got cojones like that?
No wonder Margot Kidder wasn’t enthused with the way DCEU portrayed Lois. As she mentioned in this article, despite casting a strong performer like Amy Adams, Lois was mostly relegated as ‘the girlfriend’ which seems like a step back in time.
Kidder’s Lois Lane was not ahead of its time, it’s timing was just right and therefore it’s timeless. She is strong as well as vulnerable, which makes her relatable. She is feminine (in her own sassy way), as well as a fierce feminist who’s comfortable in her own skin and knows her worth, no wonder Supes’ willing to give up his superpower just to be with her.
I feel like I’ve been rambling on when now all I want to do is rewatch Superman: The Movie. In sum, I just want to say THANK YOU Margot Kidder, for your inspiration and for defining a role of a strong woman for a generation and beyond.
May you rest in peace.
Have you been inspired by Margot Kidder as Lois Lane or otherwise? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
When I saw this blogathon that Getter over at Mettel Ray Blog is hosting, I simply had to participate! What an awesome idea, and original one at that. It must’ve taken her ages to made five of those gifs.
Here are the rules: 1. There are 25 facts, you have to pick 5 or more and for each, you drag out a movie as an answer! *Click on the gif, hold it and drag out a single movie* 2. You can only drag out one movie for each statement, no do overs, 3. Write down your answers and feel free to comment whether they make sense or not. 4. Link back to this announcement, and link to the Movie Roulette Ultimate Gif Set as well! 5. Last but not least, have fun!
This proves to be quite fun to do, though I have to admit sometimes I pick the movie first then look at the facts [hope that’s ok Getter!] 😀 Ok, here goes:
1. This movie describes my mood in the mornings the best
Every morning, first thing I check is my iPad for email/twitter/tumblr, etc. In a way, my online connection is what fuels my day 😛
2. I hate the main [male] characters of this movie, but I think they [are] still very hot
I abhor the daft idea of this movie but I still watched it [on the plane] for these two guys. I mean Tom Hardy AND Chris Pine looking every bit as gorgeous in every scene? Heck yeah!
3. I would make love to this movie’s plot, it’s amazing
Glad I saw this on the big screen, thanks to TCM Rerelease! One of the best stories about unrequited love… beautifully done all around.
4. Sometimes I can’t sleep at night thinking about this movie… it’s so good!
As I just happened to see this interrogation scene during Christopher Nolan’s lecture earlier this month, I remember thinking about how good this scene is. It’s so well-constructed and the two actors are absolutely perfect. It was mesmerizing and it really riled me up.
5. When I think of my childhood, I think of this movie
Well naturally. I saw this when I was a wee girl, probably 4-5, and even at that age, I immediately fell for Christopher Reeve. Yep, he set the bar VERY high for my future crushes.
6. Every time this movie is on TV, I turn it off and sit in complete silence instead
This movie actually never came on TV as I barely watch any TV. But if it were, I’d rather sit in silence or watch paint dry than watch this.
7. This movie makes me so emotional I even cried while watching it
I saw this in a nearly empty cinema and I’m glad there was nobody sitting near me as I was bailing my eyes out in some scenes. It struck me hard emotionally… it was a beautiful experience.
8. If I ever made a movie, it would be something similar to this movie
I’m referring to the basic idea of this film, and I’ve been toying w/ the idea for some time. In fact, this inspires me to resurrect the Fantasy Movie Pitch blogathon that a now-defunct blog used to do a few years ago.
10. I always wanted to punch this movie’s main character(s) in the face
I don’t usually get such a violent reaction whilst seeing a movie but can you blame me? I actually watched some clips of this as it’s now on Netflix Streaming [not sure why since I hated it the first time]. I had such a strong reaction wanting to punch these two silly that I simply turned it off.
10. I’m going to recommend this movie to the next person who asks me to recommend them a movie! (Challenge accepted!)
I’ve actually been recommending this to people who haven’t seen it, and will continue to do so!
Well that’s been tricky but fun! What do you think of my picks?
Happy Midweek folks! I always choose a certain theme for my Wordless Wednesday posts and since I’ll be spending a few days in New York City this weekend, I thought I pick ten clips (including one music video) from some of my fave movies set in the Big Apple. I lost count how many times I’ve visited the city, in fact I was just there last year for my sister in-law’s wedding.
In any case, for this purpose I choose scenes that highlight the city, the streets, landmarks, Hudson river, etc., and some shows the daily life of New Yorkers, so they’re not necessarily the best scenes from the film. So without further ado, here we go…
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Superman: The Movie (1978)
Working Girl (1988)
Sleepless in Seattle (1993)
One Fine Day (1996)
You’ve Got Mail (1998)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
The Visitor (2007)
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
So those are just 10 of my fave New York City scenes, feel free to share your own favorites!
Here’s what Mettel had in mind about the set of emotions:
Finishing up the emotions are two of the most ultimate emotional states one could imagine, HATE is up first in this case because I wanted the good stuff to be the last thing everybody will read when it comes to the Breaking Emotions Blogathon. It is quite obvious that we all have those scenes that just bring up all the bad feelings and it’s not even awkward, it is just plain bad! Most of my hate is towards romantic comedies but I’m sure there are some serious scenes that have caused some of you some inner turmoil and this is the time and place to let all those emotions run wild.
And the last one, the very last emotion I’m asking you guys to break is LOVE – it doesn’t have to be a scene about love, hell no, it can be a sci-fi scenery, it can be the ending of a drama and yes, it can be a scene from Notebook as well but it’s not mandatory. I’m looking for scenes that you love and adore until the end of time, scenes that just pop up in your mind while walking to the store and are just simply awesome. What are the scenes that you love the most?
It should be obvious for posts like these, but just in case, if you haven’t seen any of these, BEWARE OF SPOILERS!
Ok, so here are my picks:
Schindler’s List – The Balcony Scene
There are many, many instances where Amon Goeth (played with chilling realism by Ralph Fiennes) does absolutely revolting acts that makes your blood turn cold. But this is one that particularly stands out. The bloated second lieutenant just wakes up and goes to his balcony of his villa in Kraków, he nonchalantly grabs his rifle and starts shooting Jewish people at random, whoever happens to enter his eye-shot.
I so hated Goeth, but more than that, I hated Hitler and the Nazi party for corrupting people to such a degree that they lost their souls. I mean, they’re worse than alien body snatchers (if there were such a thing) as they’re SOUL snatchers, making humans worse than animals.
District 9 – Test weapon scene
This is one of the most harrowing scene that made me so sad and so angry. I hated that the people at the lab forced Wikus to do this, it’s one of those sci-fi films that REALLY made me abhor the humans in it. I couldn’t bear watching this scene at the theater, and hearing Wikus’ pleading that he doesn’t want to shoot the aliens is so gut-wrenching. If you’ve seen the film, you’ll see the obvious allegory to racism and how the Prawns are treated like second or even third class citizens with nowhere to go. At this point, Wikus’ has been infected with the alien DNA and that’s why he’s the only one who could operate the extra-terrestrial weaponry. So he’s forced to shoot the Prawns who hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s infuriating how quickly the people at the military company turn on their fellow human being as Wikus’ been infected. On top of that, they have no qualms in manipulating him for their own gain. I hated this scene so much and it’s one that lingers with me most after the film’s over.
Bel Ami – Robert Pattinson’s mis-casting
I’ve already made a post on this a while back on good/bad casting choices of 2012. Well I’m going to mention it again here as I really hated his performance here as R-Patz is so terribly mis-cast. Ok so teeny-boppers may think he’s like THE most beautiful man vampire in the planet in those abhorrent Twilight movies, but seeing him with the likes of the great Kristin Scott Thomas, Uma Thurman, and even Christina Ricci who’s closer to his age just highlights how ill-advised his casting was. On top of that, his character is so utterly unlikable, unsympathetic and just a plain douche bag. Now, a charismatic actor could make me like him or at least enjoy his performance but R-Patz just makes me want to punch him and kick myself for renting this [it’s on Netflix so at least I didn’t have to pay extra for it, but still!].
The character of George Duroy from Guy de Maupassant’s classic novel is supposed to be seductive and manipulative [which is a juicy role for any actor methinks], but Pattinson’s portrayal is neither, he’s just annoying and lame. I hated what his character did to those women who loved him, but most of all, I just hated his sub-par acting that’s completely devoid of charm.
* I almost put his ex Kristen Stewart’s performance in Twilight and Snow White & The Huntsman on here, but you know what, I think I hated R-Patz’ performance here more. And that speaks volumes! …
Sleepless in Seattle– Finale
“Are you Annie?”
“This is my dad… his name is Sam.”
“Hi Jonah… [sigh] Sam…”
I only love a handful of rom-coms and three of them are by Nora Ephron. Out of the three, I think Sleepless in Seattle my favorite, one that I can watch over and over. I can easily list all the things I love about this movie, but I’ll save that for Valentine’s Day. I picked this finale as this is the only time the two main protagonists actually meets and oh, what a meeting it was. It was such a satisfying ending to all that build-up throughout the film and it was as perfect as a romantic scene can be filmed without resorting to banal over-sentimentality. It’s got just the right amount of sweetness and plenty of adorable things, such as Sam’s son Jonah grinning ear-to-ear when he realized it’s the woman he wrote his letter to (and when the elevator closes). It’s as much a love story between a man and a woman as it’s a love story for a family, whose tragic loss seems too impossible to recover from. Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan at their loveliest, plus the music is just so enchanting!
Beauty & The Beast – There’s something there
There may be something there that wasn’t there before.
Since I just talked about Disney movies at the last Five for the Fifth, I wanted to include one that always makes my heart soar. The song is lovely and whimsical, and though it may not be the most memorable one of the entire movie, this scene is just adorable. It always puts a smile on my face every time I think of it [so I guess it would fit under the SMILE Breaking Emotions, too!]. It’s the ultimate unlikely friendship that blossomed into well, something more. You could say that Belle and The Beast are the most developed characters amongst other Disney *princess* movies as you really see the gradual progression of their relationship. The ballroom dance scene is perhaps what people remember most, but I picked this one as there’s an irresistible innocence about it and Belle’s expression as she realizes her feelings for the Beast is wonderful to behold. The scenery, song, etc. all make up for one lovely scene.
Superman: The Movie – Superman rescues Lois scene
I know it’s predictable that I put this on here given how much I loved Superman, but we are talking about a scene that I will love and adore until the end of time, so I can’t possibly exclude this one. Every time the rousing theme plays on as Lois quipped, ‘You’ve got me, who’s got you?’ I can’t help feeling nostalgic and giddy as the first time I saw this when I was a kid. This is why the Christopher Reeves will always be Superman in my heart, inimitable and unrivaled to this day.
There are SO many awesome things about this scene… the set-up, how Supes was introduced, the crowd’s reaction as he saw him fly [as well as the ‘that’s a bad outfit!’ quip the first time he’s seen in the red & blue suit] and of course, that iconic John Williams‘ theme song! It’s just brilliantly done by Richard Donner that is still the scene to beat even three decades later. This is what Man of Steel is lacking… at least one truly memorable scene featuring the Kryptonian hero that even if you remember nothing else about the film, you will always remember the one iconic scene. In the case of this one, it’s one I will always cherish for ever and ever, and one that never fails to fill my heart with joy.
What do you think of my picks? Which scenes would YOU pick for LOVE + HATE?
All right! The wait is almost over for me… After anticipating this for exactly two and a half years, precisely since January 2011 when Henry Cavill was first announced as our Kryptonian hero, the agonizing wait soon comes to an end. Years have turned to months, months to weeks, weeks to days… and now it’s just a matter of hours!!! 😛
Now, for my final countdown post, I thought I’d revisit some of my favorite scenes from previous Superman movies. I deliberately exclude the George Reeves’ TV series as well as Smallville and focus on the big screen adaptations. I’m starting with the 1978 Richard Donner movie (you’ll see which movie from Christopher Reeve’s canon that I skipped, ahah), so here goes!
1. Superman: The Movie – Superman meets Lois at the Daily Planet
I love scenes at the Daily Planet… It’s funny how hilariously goofy Clark Kent was and Jackie Cooper is so endearingly grumpy as Perry White. In one quick line, Mr. White explains how Clark got the job, “… he’s a reporter that not only has a snappy prose style, but is the fastest typist I have ever seen!”
2. Superman: The Movie – “You’ve Got Me? Who’s… who’s got you?”
This is perhaps my most favoritest of ALL the Superman movies combined. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it and I never, ever not get teary-eyed watching it. Believe it or not, I still get sweaty palmed watching Lois hanging down from the chopper, I really think if I had vertigo I won’t be able to get through this scene! But the moment Supes stepped out of the revolving door — with that memorable quip ‘Say Jim! Whoo! That’s a bad out-fit! – and our hero soaring to the sky along with John Williams’ rousing score, I turn into this giddy fangirl and starts cheering like the crowd beneath him in the movie!
3. Superman: The Movie – The interview and taking flight with Lois
I’m forever jealous with Lois Lane. Yes, I know she’s not real, but boy, what girl wouldn’t want to be swept off her feet [literally or figuratively] and Lois gets to experience both, whilst still retain her career-woman status in the process! These two clips are basically the same scene, starting with Lois interviewing Superman, which leads to the two of them taking flight. That whole ‘Can You Read My Mind?‘ bit is so decidedly schmaltzy, but I fall for it every single time … [sigh]
4. Superman II: Superman saves Lois [again] in a Parisian elevator
Lois and peril goes together like, well, Supes and his red cape! I actually like this clip as it shows Clark Kent transforming into Superman in the alley on his way to save Lois. There’s always something so magical about the transformation which of course then leads to the flying sequence. I mean THIS is why we watch a Superman movie, the one superhero who can effortlessly take to the sky anytime and anywhere he wishes… and of course Chris Reeve always look so darn graceful doing it!
5. Superman II: Lois finds out Clark’s identity
So she’s the best reporter of the Daily Planet (and perhaps even in the entire NYC), but it took her THIS long to find out Clark is Superman? Ahah. I have to admit though, this scene mesmerizes me as there’s something so magnetic about Superman taking off his glasses whilst still dressed as Clark Kent. Chris Reeve still looked ever-so-fetching in a grandpa sweater! I When Lois says, ‘I’m in love with you…’ I always yell at the screen, ‘Yeah, so is every girl in Metropolis! Get in line!’ Except, Lois never even has to be in a line. Lucky, lucky girl!
Note: I couldn’t find the exact scene, but you can watch it up until 0:43. The entire clip is a mash-up spoof that’s actually pretty darn hilarious, ahah.
6. Superman II: “General, Would You Care To Step Outside?”
Yes, Terrence Stamp’s Zod looked like a lost member of the Bee Gees with his shiny Disco outfit. But with his cold, steely eyes, he made the character iconic, even if it lacks menace the more times I watch it. I mean, what’s with this obsession with people kneeling before him? I also love the part when Lex Luthor sighed ‘Superman, thank God’ ahah.
7. Superman II: Superman finally ‘kneels’ before Zod
There’s nothing like a good pay back, and Supes does it in style. Mind over muscle, Lex. Chris Reeve looks positively glorious in this scene, but it’s Zod’s groan in agony that sticks in my mind. Ouch man, that looks painful!!
8. Superman III: Clark vs. Superman Fight
Ok, I’ve got to admit I LOVE this scene as I find Chris Reeve so unbelievably sexy sporting disheveled hair and five o’clock shadow [yowza!!] The whole suit is made darker as well which made him even more This is really the only reason to watch Superman III and it really shows the acting chops of the Juilliard-trained actor in tackling the dual role effectively. But yeah, I kinda enjoyed seeing Supes being bad 😉
9. Superman Returns: Epic plane rescue
Despite everything that was wrong with Superman Returns, I didn’t hate the movie. In fact, there are parts that I did enjoy and this first scene of Superman first rescue after being gone for five years is pretty epic. Certainly the effects have improved a lot since twenty years prior [though some of the CGI scenes look too obvious], but it’s the sense of electrifying heroism that always gets me. I always get caught up in the crowd cheering for a hero’s welcome, and of course, the rather flirtatious way Supes greets Lois turns me to mush as well.
10. Superman Returns: “Lois, will you come with me?”
I’ve actually already did a spotlight of this very scene back in 2010, but seeing it again last night made me realize how much I love it. Now, I’m actually not too fond of Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane, I mean she just isn’t believable as a Pulitzer-winning journalist, and she lacks the spunk needed for the character. But, this flying scene is just so beautifully-shot, aided by John Ottman’s excellent score inspired by the John Williams’ original.
“You wrote the world doesn’t need a savior, but everyday I hear people crying for one.”
I love how that single line sums up just what Superman is all about and his love for humanity. The ‘almost kiss’ part gets me every time, perhaps one of the most emotional scenes of the whole film for me.
Superman II: The duel with General Zod
The whole fight scene in downtown Metropolis is so darn entertaining. It’s decidedly much more lighthearted in tone than all the action we’ve seen in the Man of Steel trailers, but it’s just a hoot to watch. Who doesn’t love seeing Zod being swung around and thrown into a giant Coke neon billboard!! 😀
Superman II: Clark’s diner scene retribution
This is actually one of my hubby’s favorite scenes, so I figure I should include it somehow. Even though it’s a ‘revenge’ scene, it’s not mean-spirited. I mean Supes could’ve done a heck of a lot more damage to that jerk-off truck driver if he were a mean guy, ahah. The scene cuts off but if you remember, Clark gives some money to the diner owner for the damage he’s caused. What a sweetheart 😀
Superman Returns: The Bullet Stopping Scene
People complain there are so few great action scenes in this movie and that might be so, but I think this very scene is pretty darn cool. It’s hilarious how the doofus baddie just didn’t get how indestructible Supes is. I mean if a string of bullets bounce off him like air bubbles, what makes him think it wouldn’t also bounce off his eye ball?!
She offered moi a chance to participate in the endeavor since we’re both big fans of the progenitor for the modern comic superhero film, Superman: The Movie. Here is my contribution.
“Ever since ancient times, humanity has sought to use stories to explain the world in which it lives. Just as ancient man used stories of gods and monsters to explain the world, modern man uses stories of godlike heroes and monstrous villains to do the same. Comic books are modern mythology, in that they are modern man’s method of explaining the world around them through the fantastical.”
In just twenty four days (well 21 days for me :D), THE most anticipated movie of the year will arrive in theaters. There have been few movie events in the past decade, but for me, THIS would count as the one of the biggest one to date. In preparation for Man of Steel, I’ll be posting various Superman-related posts in the next three weeks. Stay tuned for posts from Michael @ It Rains… You Get Wet, Terrence @ The Focused Filmographerand Bubbawheat @ Flights, Tights and Movie Nights in the coming days and weeks!
Superman and Me
I have been a fan of Superman all my life. It’s perhaps not a surprise to most of you if you’ve been following my blog for some time. A throng of superheroes have come and gone in the last three decades since I saw Superman: The Movie for the first time. In fact, the number of comic-based films have quadruppled in the last ten years and there’s no end in sight, but for me, the Kryptonian hero shall always be my favorite.
If you ask me why that it, I don’t know where to start really. I mean, I was far to young to know the cultural or social allegory of the time, that the hero was created in the context of the Great Depression in the early 30s by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. After all, I was in preschool when the movie was released. But somehow, it appealed to me and was way more indelible than any other movie I had seen in my youth and perhaps since.
I wish I could find it, but I remember seeing a photo of me in my family album dressed in a Superman outfit that my mother must’ve bought me. One of my aunts who was living with my family at the time often told me how much I was so in love with Superman that I wore that suit often and I had gone to the theater a few times to see it. Now I don’t remember that part, but I definitely remember renting Superman I and II repeatedly when I was a teenager.
This is the first movie I saw a the theater… and I think I’ve gone more than once. I remember my uncle finally buying me the VHS as I kept renting it over and over again. This is probably what makes me love the superhero genre, so even if the technology looks dated now, it’s got all the ingredients that makes this one stand the test of time: the perfect actor to play Superman, a rousing score and epic, memorable scenes that truly made us believe that yes, a man can fly!
Of course the ‘flying’ thing is truly a fantastical element in and of itself. The first time I saw Superman fly, in the iconic chopper rescue scene that never fails to render me awestruck and teary-eyed, there’s such a huge rush and excitement. Even in so-so Superman movies and shows, the moment his feet leaves the ground and wooosh!!! Up, up and away he soars to the sky, it always leave me giddy like a school girl.
He chose goodness
I know a lot of people think Superman is boring because well, he’s such a goody goody, a model of piety that even Lois made fun of him when he asked Perry White to transfer half of his Daily Planet salary to his earthly mom Martha Kent in Smallville. “Anymore at home like you?” She asked. “Uh, no, not really.” Clark replies. No, there isn’t of course, well, not one from a planet called Krypton anyway.
The Biblical allegory of Superman as a Christ-figure is more than obvious. JK Muir’s splendidly-perceptive review of Superman: The Movie said it best:
… Superman: The Movie lyrically captures the mythic, spiritual nature of the long-lived Superman legend… Jor-El (Marlon Brando), an Elder God-figure, sends his only son (a Jesus Christ surrogate…) to Earth to walk (and fly…) amongst humanity. Immaculate white and gleaming, Krypton is a visualization of an extra-terrestrial “Heaven,” a world far in advance of our own. But just as Heaven faced an insurrection in the form of Lucifer, so does Krypton quell an insurrectionist named Zod… one who is cast to a Hell-like dimension (The Phantom Zone) for his crimes…
Ok so God the Father and his Heavenly realm was never in any danger so it’s not like He sent Christ as a ‘refuge’ for His Son, but the pronounced parallel is Kal-El’s love for humanity. So to me, the fact that the Kryptonian luminary epitomizes GOOD doesn’t make him boring at all. In fact, it makes him utterly fascinating as he’s such a rarity… a being who’s SUPER because he not only epitomizes perfection on the outside with his external powers, he also represents inner goodness we all aspire to. Superman has all this power at his disposal, and really, he could practically do anything he wanted. After all, what does he owe us earthlings anyway? Nothing. We can’t expect him to protect nor save us as we don’t even deserve it, but yet, he takes it upon himself to be our savior.
He’s not without his share of tragedies, after all he not only lost his parents but his entire home world of Krypton, if that’s not ‘excess baggage’ I don’t know what is. But yet he doesn’t wallow in self pity and spend his days sulking or rebelling against his adoptive parents because he feels ‘entitled.’ I love how Mr. Muir puts it:
A real hero can still choose to take to the skies instead of lurking in the shadows, or seething in the dark of night.
I may not be able to relate to Superman with all his superpowers but power is a relative term and each of us has a certain degree of power and the choice to use that power for evil or for good. So in that sense, I can surely aspire for greatness, to be inspired by his heroism and altruistic notion. Superman has always been about hope and I’m sure glad Man of Steel will be so as well. As you’ve seen at the end of the second trailer, Superman tells Lois that the ‘S’ on his chest means hope. So long as there’s tragedy and misfortune in our world, hope shall never go out of style. …
The Ultimate Immigrant
Now, later on, as I move to the United States to go to college, I soon identify with the Man of Steel because he too is an immigrant. No, I didn’t come from a dying planet like Krypton nor did I have adoptive parents in the US, but the idea of feeling alienated and an outsider in the community I live in is something I definitely identify with. Reversely, I was born in a Metropolitan City (Jakarta) and came to live in a small town in the US (St. Cloud, about 1 hr away from Minneapolis), but just like Clark Kent, I too have long come to love my ‘adopted’ country.
Superman is very much an American, but he’s also very much an alien. As they were raised by Eastern European Jewish immigrants, Siegel and Shuster perhaps also struggled with issues of immigration and assimilation as Clark/Superman does on earth. But through his struggles of concealing his identity and living a dual life – like many immigrants trying to fit in — Superman rise above all that and choose to be a champion for humanity, a citizen and protector of the entire planet Earth, not just United States. …
Wanting to be Lois Lane
If there was a movie character I wish I could be for a day (or even weeks), it’d be Lois Lane. I mean, she’s a cool career woman with a spunky personality. She was the best reporter at the Daily Planet and lives in a swanky apartment in NYC even Carrie Bradshaw would envy. As if that weren’t enough, she doesn’t only get to interview Superman, she becomes the only woman who captures his heart.
Growing up, I had always wanted to be a journalist. Yes I even enrolled in a Mass Communications major and was intent on pursuing that degree with a focus in journalism. Well, after a few classes, I realized it’s not for me (I got into Advertising & Graphic Design) instead, but that goes to show how much the character from the Superman comics resonated with me.
It’s in the genes
Seems that my connection with Superman have began even before I was born. Back in 1974, my late father produced and wrote Rama, Superman Indonesia (perhaps the first Indonesian superhero movie ever – at least as far as I know). I actually have never seen the film on the big screen, the only token I have of that movie is this photo of the movie poster (I knew my dad used to do some poster illustrations too but I’m not sure if he did this one).
Now, even though it has the word ‘Superman’ in it, the story is quite different as it’s actually closer to The Greatest American Hero as a young paperboy named Andi is given a magic necklace by an old man he helped, which could transform him into a superhero. Veteran Indonesian actor August Melasz played Rama in one of his earliest roles. According to the Indo Wiki, the film can’t ever be Internationally-marketed due to copyright infringement of the use of the word ‘Superman’ [sigh]
Now if you’re curious about and wants to see a super cheesy, SFX-free superhero movie ( I mean, the entire movie’s production cost probably only amounts to Man of Steel‘s catering budget for a day, ahah!), someone actually uploaded the entire movie on Youtube! …
When the actor and the character meets
My admiration for Christopher Reeve, who shall always be my favorite Superman, pretty much set the bar in terms of my Hollywood crushes. I’m glad I was able to separate fantasy from reality though as Superman is, in Lois’ own words, a tough act to follow 😉 But when it comes to movie star crushes, I guess Reeve sets the bar high. You never forget your first one, they say, and Reeve was my first ever crush. But not only that, he’s the ONLY actor I’ve written a fan letter to in my entire life, and he’d also be the last. I was in my Junior High, I finally did it with the encouragement from my late mother who also helped me write it in English. It took nearly a year to receive a reply, but I ended up getting not one, but two autographed photos from him (arrived separately).
Later in his life, Mr. Reeve himself suffered a personal tragedy when he was thrown from a horse in an equestrian competition in May 1995. He became a quadriplegic due to his spinal cord injury. I remember crying when I heard the news. But in the nine years that he lived with such an extreme physical disability, he became a champion for people with disabilities through the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. He was a hero even when he couldn’t walk, let alone fly, but then again, inner strength and courage is what truly makes a hero.
Speaking of actors playing Superman, I also had a premonition in regards to Henry Cavill. Back in 2002 when I saw The Count of Monte Cristo on the big screen, I distinctly remember whispering to my hubby when I saw the then 18-year-old Cavill came on screen that he could play Superman when he grows up. Now a decade later, imagine my delight when I first heard he was indeed cast!
Interestingly enough, the actor playing his father in that film, Jim Caviezel, was also considered by Bryan Singer to play Superman in Superman Returns. But reportedly, Singer was hesitant to cast Caviezel as he had just played the ultimate Savior in The Passion of the Christ.
It’s been a while since I’m THIS giddy with anticipation the way I am with Man of Steel. I was stoked for Superman Returns seven years ago, but nowhere near at this level. So I’ll end this post with this awesome featurette that talks about the characterization of who Superman as a ‘conflicted, lonely and lost person’ and ‘the most powerful but also the most vulnerable.’ I’m liking these themes here, which makes the message about hope all the more compelling.
Well lookie here!! Turns out that the latest Man of Steel trailer titled Fate of Your Planet was out the same time I posted this.
Oh boy, is it ever intense!! It made me reflect on just how much Supes truly love people of earth and how much is at stake against a ruthless enemy like Zod and Faora…
For every human you save we will kill a million more. – Faora
OMG! That quote made me shudder! I think it’s wise that they save the most action-packed trailer to last, starting with a more dramatic and emotive one first. This convinces me more that the movie’s gonna have a good balance of being action-packed and packs an emotional punch!
BRING! IT! ON!
Hope I still have your attention after all my personal rambling, ahah.
What are your thoughts about Superman and/or Man of Steel? Let’s hear it!