32 – Tornado Part 3 – Understanding Themes

coverblackCreative choices.  The tornado scene intended a “cave of questions” to organically shape Clark’s character, rather than 12-years in an actual literal cave.  Exploring why the alternatives of Jonathan living, saving a child, or dying of natural causes frustrate this intention.  How to find themes and how this scene fits-into and supports those themes.

“If you wanted and expected sameness, perfection, tradition, and safety… why in the world would you ever invite an alien immigrant into your life?  The alien immigrant represents something new, different, foreign, and challenging.”

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • Jonathan dying a hero or in a clearly unavoidable way issues
  • What the tornado teaches Clark better than the heart-attack
  • Nonlinear telling softens tragedy and sets the stakes for following acts
  • Interpretation beyond creator intent
  • The pain of birth is worth the potential
  • Organic is better than engineered
  • How the film shows multiple facets to every profession
  • Defying film formulas to set stakes
  • Japanese art of Kintsugi and its philosophy
  • How Superman and Batman approach brokenness differently
  • Remembering brokenness and restoration in religion
  • Should Superman be more unbreakable than Jesus?
  • The climate of angst that gave rise to Superman
  • How an immigrant hero in 1938 causes cognitive dissonance
  • Superman’s heritage of controversy and questions
  • Kintsugi applied to the tornado scene and Batman v. Superman

…and more!

A Thesis on Man of Steel | Reel Analysis
Bring On The Learning Revolution – Ken Robinson | TED
Introduction to Kintsugi | Unknown
Kintsugi: The Art of Embracing Damage | Nerdwriter1
Why Superman Will Never Be Cool | Cracked
Cognitive Dissonance | Wikipedia
Commentary! “Heart Broken” LIVE | This American Life
Dr. Horrible Commentary! “Heart Broken” | Joss Whedon

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!
Software Generated Transcript

Zod Fight Analysis: Oil Tanker Objections – Novice v. Veteran Expectations – Collateral Damage Assessment

Some critics seem really hung-up on Superman prioritizing 7.2 billion people over one side of a car park.  It seems ridiculous to have to get that granular and justify a single, instinctual heat-of-the-moment choice by a first-time combatant (just hours earlier a life-long pacifist) against a veteran soldier… but this keeps coming up! read more

Rambling: Directorial Impact

The Chair

Chris Moore was a co-producer on Good Will Hunting when several filmmakers were originally in consideration to direct, including: Kevin Smith, Mel Gibson, Michael Mann, and Steven Soderbergh. Ever since then, Moore was fascinated with the possibility of seeing those different visions with the same script. Moore, Affleck, and Damon would go on to produce Project Greenlight, a television series focusing on first-time filmmakers being given the chance to direct a feature film.

After three seasons, Moore would take that experience and finally crystallize his experiment into the reality competition television show, The Chair, which gave YouTuber Shane Dawson and NYU film school graduate Anna Martemucci each the opportunity to create movies based on same script by Dan Schoffer.

Consider and compare these two films based off the same initial script:

Project Greenlight

After a 10-year hiatus, Season 4 of Project Greenlight premiered this past Sunday and repeated this experiment with 13 different directors for 3-minute short films all with the same control- the identical script by the Farrlley Brothers (Dumb and Dumber, There’s Something About Mary, etc).  All 13 submissions are available in this playlist. However, if you only have time to watch a few, just in terms of sheer contrast, consider these:

A baseline similar to the writers’ sensibilities.

A starkly different approach.

A completely cartoonish take.

There’s nothing radical about the idea that “the director is important” but rarely do we get so explicit an illustration.

The many hats a director has to wear all come together into something completely different: The casting, the vision, the style, the technology, the interpretation, the cinematography, the edit, the  collaborators, the performances, the budget, the execution, etc.  allow productions to diverge dramatically before our eyes. Even having read the script, we can be completely surprised by the ultimate outcome! An actor, an editor, a composer’s score, etc. can all make something work beyond the four-corners of the page.

Consider that the next time you’re concerned about an allegation arising from only the script.

Really, this whole rambling is so I could write that line… but let me meander around in the hopes of finding a second point.


I enjoy Snyder’s style and am encouraged that we will have his films to provide the universe with a spine, it’s great that he’s so invested he wants to do this again and again, and fantastic that a director that everyone praises as collaborative is at the center of it… but I can’t wait to see the visions the other directors bring to the cinematic universe too.  They each have their own voice and contributions which make for a richer and more diverse whole.

I think it’s interesting that Snyder’s assisting with a Dorito’s Superbowl campaign that democratizes direction… commercials are essentially short films and Snyder and Jenkins got their start in commercials… and Ben Affleck’s passion project is a show which gives a young filmmaker an opportunity to make their first feature.  They’re actively giving back, understanding they’re in a position of uncommon privilege (Jenkins once said something like she had been given a brass ring to make any movie she wanted but never wanted or expected fame; and has consciously been selective… electing to do Wonder Woman suggests she’s willing to put up with fame and a big film to say something) inviting more into a world where there’s no clear path.

While our directors are incredibly diverse in their personal lives, filmmaking origins, career paths, politics, religion, family life, age, etc.- meaning our Justice League of directors reflect that same kind of diverse-individuals working towards a common goal found in our fictional Justice League- I think we’ll get the best of both worlds: unique executions of their individual visions but also a coherent universe (you know, like the comic books!).  Why?  The filmography of our known directors share a certain intensity (one which George Miller’s Fury Road would align with nicely).


These are passionate, serious, intense filmmakers… from the plots of their films to their process. Snyder’s participation in the now-famous “300 Workout” is legendary and his films tend towards a dark irony without happy endings. Ayer wrangled the mad and method LaBeouf and reportedly looked after the mental health of his Suicide Squad actors by providing a psychotherapist, not to mention his earlier films. Jenkins found herself diving deep into the minds of convicts and killers and Wan is responsible for a modern horror renaissance. Affleck’s thillers are routinely praised as tense and gripping. This is nothing new or surprising, we already knew this was the direction Warner Brothers was aiming for, but we can see that intention in the selection of those directors. The films will vary in subject matter, the fantastic, their humor, the role of magic, the period and setting, and more… but they’ll be unified by the intensity of their filmmakers and the common shared universe.

31 – Tornado Part 2 – Present – Judgment

coverblackJudgment.  How emergency decision-making works; Judging those decisions with justice, fairness, and reason.  Compassion, empathy, grace, understanding, open-mindedness, and the willingness & imagination to entertain other perspectives definitely helps… but we systematically analyze the unconscious processes that account for fast, intuitive decisions with science and real-life examples.

Primarily a diegetic analysis, we use seven questions as our framework:

  1. Why didn’t Martha let Hank out?
  2. Why did they go for the overpass?
  3. Why go back for Hank?
  4. Why didn’t Jonathan send Clark?
  5. Why didn’t Clark act?
  6. Why did Jonathan hold up his hand?
  7. Why did Clark abide by that?

Answers, insights, and commentary on:

  • The wisdom of knowing that you don’t know and uncertainty
  • The Dunning-Kruger Effect and the Impostor Effect
  • Cognitive biases like hindsight bias, anchoring effect, priming, risk aversion, etc.
  • Deliberate and elemental analysis for fair judgments
  • Reasonable Person Standard with the same knowledge, experience, and circumstances
  • Why don’t we use a perfect person or optimal behavior standard?
  • The Emergency Doctrine
  • The Myth of Overpass Safety in 1997
  • Neuroscience behind why we love our dogs
  • The tragic tale of Tubby and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge
  • Flaws with incomplete utilitarian analysis
  • Hesitation with moral dilemmas regardless of the math
  • Clark as an unemancipated 17-year-old minor

…and more!

Science & Psychology of Fast Intuitive Decision-Making, Cognitive Bias:
Thinking, Fast and Slow | Daniel Kahneman
How You Really Make Decisions | BBC Horizon
Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
| Malcolm Gladwell
Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics | Richard Thaler

Can You Solve This? 2, 4, 8 | Veritasium
The Dunning Kruger Effect | Wikipedia
Killing Babies, Saving The World | RadioLab
Cognition: How Your Mind Can Amaze & Betray You | Crash Course
Highway Overpasses as Tornado Shelters | National Weather Service
Oklahoma’s Deadliest Tornadoes | PBS Nova
The Power of Myth | Joseph Campbell
Galloping Gertie | 99% Invisible
Cognitive Bias Song | Brad Wray

Web: ManOfSteelAnswers.com
Twitter: @mosanswers
Subscribe: iTunes / RSS / Stitcher / YouTube http://feeds.feedburner.com/ManOfSteelAnswers
Proud member of the Superman Podcast Network!
Software Generated Transcript

Randomly Related Slightly Salient Stuff 6

Happy anniversary!  Hard to believe it’s been a year, time flies!  Batman v. Superman is just around the corner and soon we’ll be getting news about the other DC projects.  Getting used to the schedule of a new semester, so no episode this week.

Here’s some RRSSS content for this week:

  • Is Superman the most powerful superhero?
  • Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, & Spaghetti Sauce – variety means more happiness overall
  • Gladwell: The Pitfalls of Market Research – criticism is unreliable
  • Choice Blindness – justifying disdain
  • Gladwell: Expert Overconfidence – How Zod lost
  • Can We Expand Our Consciousness with Neuroprosthetics? – MOS science consultant
  • Physics of Superheroes – Watchmen science consultant
  • First Biological Laser from Human Cells and Jellyfish Protein – dawn of heat-vision
  • 5 Wealthiest People On The Planet Under 35 – Lex Luthor
  • Vulture’s Secret History of Television: Superhero TV

read more