looking at superheroes - myth, pop culture, ideology...

Friday, June 30, 2006

The White Messiah from Krypton

Found this comment for Superman Returns on IMDB.

Superman-3, African Americans-0, 30 June 2006
Author: Christopher Priest from the United States

There is not one black person in even a single frame of this film. Not an extra, not a cameo, not anybody pushing a broom or driving a cab. This world, this antiseptic, Disneyland world, is a world of white people. A Republican fantasy where Ronald Reagan is still president and Newt Gingrich runs the House of Representatives. This is a thoroughly whitewashed universe of white people where blacks and other minorities may be a passing blur at best (and that's giving Singer the benefit of the doubt. Frankly, I did not see any black people and, yes, I was looking for them). Like President Bush's election campaigns, Superman Returns completely writes off black America, figuring, perhaps correctly, we wouldn't be interested in the film in the first place.

Superman Returns is a film that is not about us, that doesn't engage us, that doesn't speak to black America in any meaningful way. It insults my intelligence to suggest Director Singer or Warner Bros. executives didn't notice there were no blacks in the film, therefore I assume they did, in fact, notice, and decided it made no difference since we were likely not going to see it anyway.

Additionally, I became uncomfortable and then irritated by the ubiquitous messianic iconography so blatantly employed in Superman Returns. In journalism school, I was once taught that, if you're going to plagiarize something, the Bible is the best source for free material. Singer's ham-fisted attempts to fit Routh with a crown of thorns made me uncomfortable as I thought it was, first and foremost, bad writing, but also a long and clumsy way to go to hammer us with an awkward and somewhat offensive cliché. My mind started wandering out of the plot as, instead, I began debating with myself whether or not I should be offended by the cheap-shot messianic imagery heavily borrowed from The Passion of The Christ.

Out of 611 comments so far, only one has ranted about the ideology of Superman. Interesting, I guess.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pauline Kael's Superman review, 1979

from The New Yorker page.

Christopher Reeve, the young actor chosen to play the lead in “Superman,” is the best reason to see the movie. He has an open-faced deadpan style that’s just right for a hero. Reeve plays innocent but not dumb, and the combination of his Pop jawline and physique with his unassuming manner make him immediately likable. In this role, Reeve comes close to being a living equivalent of comic-strip art—that slang form of simplifie storytelling in which the visual and verba meanings can be totally absorbed at a glance But “Superman,” one of the two or three mos expensive movies ever made, and with th biggest event promotion yet, is a cheesy-looking film, with a John Williams “epic” score that transcends self-parody—cosmic fanfare keep coming when there’s nothing to celebrate The sound piercing your head tells you that yo should remember each name in the euphoric opening credits. That’s where the peak emotio in the film is: in the package.

“Superman” gives the impression of having been made in panic—in fear that “too much” imagination might endanger the film’s appeal to the literal-minded. With astronomic sums of money involved (though not in ways perceptible to viewers), the producers and the director, Richard Donner, must have been afraid even of style—afraid that it would function satirically, as a point of view (as it does in the James Bond pictures). Style, to them, probably meant the risk of camp, which might endanger the film’s appeal to the widest audience. Several modern directors (most notably Godard) have been influenced by the visual boldness of comic-strip art by the primary colors, unfurnished environments, and crisp, posterish sophistication—and the Pop artists who did blowups of comic-strip frames made us conscious of the formal intelligence in those cartoons, but “Superman” hasn’t been designed in terms of the conventions of Pop. It has no controlling vision; there’s so little consistency that each sequence might have had a different director and been color-processed in a different lab. Visually, it’s not much more than a 70-mm. version of a kiddie-matinée serial. “Superman” carries a dedication to its cinematographer, Geoffrey Unsworth, who died shortly after completing the production, but this poorly lighted and, for the most part, indifferently composed film is not a fitting tribute to the man who shot “Cabaret.”

The narrative immediacy of comic strips is what has such a magical effect on kids. The plot is socked to them, with exclamation points. And we go to “Superman” hoping for that kind of disreputable energy. But it isn’t there, and you can feel the anticipatory elation in the theatre draining out. Donner doesn’t draw us in and hold on to us; we’re with him only in brief patches—a few seconds each. The plotting is so hit or miss that the movie never seems to get started. It should, because there’s a marvellous, simplistic fantasy in the story of Superman: a superior being from another planet who is so strong that he can take care of the problems afflicting ours with his bare hands, but who must not reveal himself, and so goes among us in disguise as Clark Kent, a timid, clumsy, bespectacled reporter. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Cleveland teen-agers who developed the idea and began trying to market the strip in 1933 and finally succeeded in 1938, provided a metaphor for the troubles and conflicts of boy dreamers: hidden inside the fumbling, fear-ridden adolescent is the all-competent giant. The divided hero is both a ninety-seven-pound weakling and Charles Atlas, but, unlike human beings, with their hope that the clown will grow into the hero, Superman is split forever. He can perform miracles, but he remains frustrated: as Clark Kent, this lonely stranger cannot win the woman he loves—the girl reporter Lois Lane—because she is in love with Superman. (Like the Scarlet Pimpernel and a number of other mass-culture heroes, he is his own rival.) This tragicomic figure might have provided a great central character for a space-adventure picture—a supremely human non-human hero—if only the moviemakers had trusted the idea of Superman.

The story has been updated from the thirties to the seventies, but not modernized, not rethought—just plunked down in the seventies. In the era of Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, and Woody Allen—a time when people acknowledge the humor and good sense in cowardice—might not the girl reporter (Margot Kidder) find herself drawn to Clark Kent’s unsureness and feel some conflict in her swooning response to Superman? (She might even prefer Clark Kent.) And, in an era in which urban corruption and decay are deep and widespread, Superman’s confident identification with the forces of law and order, and his thinking that he’s cleaning up Metropolis (New York City) when he claps some burglars and thieves in jail, might be treated with a little irony. (It would be more fun to see him putting out a fire while kids threw stones at him, or arresting a mugger and being surrounded by an angry, booing crowd, or tackling the garbage problem.) The Superman who announces “I’m here to fight for truth, justice, and the American way” needs a little ribbing. But the film doesn’t bring any ambiguity into this portrait of an outsize F.B.I. man from space. It doesn’t risk new sources of comedy. It sticks to dumb jokes about spelling, and low-comedy scenes between Lex Luthor (Gene Hackman), the criminal mastermind who makes his home under Grand Central Station, and his bungling helper (Ned Beatty), with Luthor’s floozy (Valerie Perrine) looking on. You can see that Hackinan likes the idea of dressing up in what must be Liberace’s castoffs and playing a funny maniac, and when he has a halfway good line he scores his laugh. But he’s strenuously frivolous, like a guest villain on a late-sixties “Batman” show. Most of the time, he and Beatty are doing deliberately corny material—a kiddies’ version of the kind of burlesque routines that Roy Kinnear does in Richard Lester movies—and the director can’t seem to get the timing right.

Probably the moviemakers thought that the picture would sell on its special effects—Superman’s flying, and his rescues, and the disasters and cataclysms. The special effects are far from wizardly, though, and the editing often seems hurried and jerky just at the crucial moments. The biggest effects (such as Superman’s zipping up the San Andreas fault) are truncated—a couple of quick shots and out. In the early scenes on the planet Krypton, where the infant Superman lives, we’re acutely conscious of the lack of elegance in the design, because Krypton, which is supposed to be more advanced than Earth by thousands of years, has plastic-chandelier decor, like a Vegas lobby. There is only one truly elegant trick effect in the Krypton footage: three revolutionary “traitors” who are expelled from the planet become reflections trapped in a fifth-dimensional object that suggests a flying mirror. The conversation of the advanced beings on Krypton isn’t very stimulating, either. Mostly, it’s just the infant’s father, Jor-El (Marlon Brando), delivering ponderosities. Brando has begun to look like an Indian chief, and he confers a distinguished presence on his scenes. His magnificent head is topped with white hair, and he does a straightforward God the Father performance, with perhaps a trace of Claude Rains in his intonations. Jor-El packs his plump, bright-eyed infant off to Earth, in a little star-shaped spaceship, just before Krypton is destroyed. It’s a husky three-year-old with an impish expression who lands in a farming area, in a sequence of considerable charm. Glenn Ford is an inspired choice for Pa Kent, the farmer, who, with Ma Kent (Phyllis Thaxter), adopts the boy—Ford’s resources as an actor having contracted to the point where he has become a comic-strip version of the simple good American. Photographically, this farmland section, with almost motionless clouds hovering over wheat fields that stretch to infinity, and one or two looming figures, has a look that’s related to Pop enlargements, but it’s the enlargement of Wyeth or Peter Hurd. It doesn’t have the stylish crude strength of cartoons—its strength is softer, more genteel. Though visually striking, this section is weakened by a choice that makes almost no sense: instead of going directly from the child actor to Christopher Reeve and letting him play the eighteen-year-old Superman, the film introduces another actor (Jeff East), who doesn’t look like the little boy or like Reeve. This intermediate figure is very inexpressive, and something about him seems all wrong—is it just his pompadour, or is he wearing a false nose?

Part of the appeal that has made Superman last so long is surely in the quasi-religious feelings that children develop about him: he’s the savior myth of their very own subculture. Although this film tries to supply an element of mysticism (the box-office lesson of “Star Wars” and the Force has been learned), it’s Superman in the form of the joyless interim actor who goes to the North Pole to commune with his psychically still alive father. Jor-El informs him of his mystical mission to serve “collective humanity,” and Brando shows a gleam of amusement as he instructs the youth in the capacity for goodness of the people on Earth, and says, “For this reason above all—their capacity for good—I have sent them you, my only son.” The sequence takes place at the Fortress of Solitude, which constitutes itself out of the ice for Superman. This should he the magical heart of the film, and surely a building that materializes out of ice might do so with occult symmetry? But the mystic fortress looks like a crystal wigwam that is being put up by a stoned backpacker.

The film rallies when Reeve takes over—especially when he gets out of the drably staged scenes at the offices of the Daily Planet, gets into his red cape and blue tights, flies over Metropolis, and performs a string of miracles. Yet after the first graceful feat, in which he saves Lois Lane, who has fallen from a helicopter that crashed on a skyscraper, and then steadies the falling chopper (with the injured pilot inside) and gently lifts it to safety, the other miracles don’t have enough tension to he memorable: each one wipes out our memory of the one before. And the insufferable shimmering metallic music—as congratulatory as a laugh track—smudges them together. When Superman takes his beloved up for a joyride in the sky, the cutting works against the soaring romanticism that we’re meant to feel, and, with Lois reciting Leslie Bricusse lyrics to convey her poetic emotions, even the magic of two lovers flying hand in hand over New York City is banalized. Lois Lane has always been one of the more boring figures in popular mythology: she exists to get into trouble. Margot Kidder tries to do something with this thankless part, but she’s harsh-voiced, and comes across as nervous and jumpy; she seems all wrong in relation to Reeve, who outclasses her. He’s so gentlemanly that her lewdness makes one cringe. (We aren’t given a clue to what our hero sees in Lois Lane. It might have been more modern fun if he hadn’t been particularly struck by her until she’d rejected his cowardly Clark Kent side for his Superman side—if, like any other poor cluck, he wanted to be loved for his weakness.)

“Superman” doesn’t have enough conviction or courage to be solidly square and dumb; it keeps pushing smarmy big emotions at us—but half-heartedly. It has a sour, scared undertone. And you can’t help being aware that this is the sort of movie that increases the cynicism and sense of futility among actors. In order to sell the film as star-studded, a great many famous performers were signed up and then stuck in among the plastic bric-a-brac of Krypton; performers who get solo screen credits, with the full blast of trumpets and timpani, turn out to have walk-ons. Susannah York is up there as the infant Superman’s mother, but, though Krypton is very advanced, this mother seems to have no part in the decision to send her baby to Earth. York has no part of any kind; she stares at the camera and moves her mouth as if she’d got a bit of food stuck in a back tooth. Of all the actors gathered here—all acting in different styles—she, maybe, by her placid distaste, communicates with us most directly.

Enjoy Superman Returns.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

lost souls on ninemsn, the sydney film festival and a superhero for a day

I came across this and was moved: Idaho girl becomes superhero for a day.

Logging out of Hotmail. I saw in the news headlines something about Peter Pan's Wendy being Pornographic. It was destined to happen, sooner or later. The controversy over Alan Moore's Lost Souls has reached Australia. God bless that man.

I've been working my way through Sandman: Brief Lives.

Tomorrow I have a rest day. (Sleep and movies and sleep again). After that its back into writing beekeeper and pre-production. Should write tomorrow. Probably will.

Went to the Dendy Awards at the Sydney Film Festival yesterday. They were all great movies. I loved Stranded, with Emma Lung and Emily Browning. Deserves every award it gets, and the director should make a feature film. There was a short film, 'Fish', that was great too. Short, simple, effective. The mangled, grotesque fish and the maggot-ed arm were great in the intimate character drama.

Coffee is great.

I'm trying to develop some thoughts into an idea into a short film for next semester. In an absent minded way (Beekeeper is being shot soon), its coming together. Superhero, of course. I like the image of a Superhero in the 1950s, smoking in a television advertisement. Superman in the 40s vs. Superman today vs. Superman tomorrow. Same character, changing social ideologies. Anyway. Thats not even an idea yet. Its an image.

I'll do a quick wrap up of the films I saw at the Sydney Film Festival.
Note: Le Cercle Rouge and Le Samourai were sold out. I doubt if I will ever see them. If I see them before the year's end, its been a damn good year.

An Inconvinient Truth: Frightening, powerful and intelligent. Al Gore does a speech about how fucked up the world is, how no one wants to change anything, and how a lot of polar bears are going to drown if there is no ice. (10/10)
Little Miss Sunshine: Tragically funny. Great ensemble drama in a well written comedy about a fucked up family, fucked up car, fucked up contest, fucked up dreams in a fucked up world. There is so much joy in it though. Will probably be the best comedy of this year... (10/10)
Pusher 3: Really want to see Pusher 1 and 2 now. This 'day in the life' film of a minor drug lord was really interesting. The kind of violence that hostel should have been, but wasn't. It had a dogme-esque feel to it. Great acting. (9/10)
Gravehopping: Off beat, quiet, random. About the strangeness, tragedy and joy of life. Loved it. (10/10)
CRAZY: French Canadian movie about a teen in the 70s coming to terms with his sexuality. Mythic storytelling! Ziggy Stardust as Christ! Interesting moments. Last third drifted off a bit... Worth checking out. (8/10)
The War Within: Pushy, poorly written and acted. Interesting concept, but I didn't like it. Had some good moments, but overall... 9/11 told from a terrorists POV. American indie filmmakers pretending to feel what a terrorist feels, from within a Western paradigm. Come on. (4/10)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Myth of Superman pt. 3

Superman is examined as a mythical figure in this CNN article (Jesus Christ Superman, June 14 2006) . I guess this is a mainstream take on the whole thing.

Not everybody welcomes the Superman-Jesus comparisons.
"It's a misrecognition," said Amy Pedersen, who is writing her doctoral thesis in art history at the University of California, Los Angeles, on superhero comic books.
Pedersen said Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, who introduced Superman in 1938 in a comic book, were Jews who were inspired by the Old Testament story of Moses and the supernatural golem character from Jewish folklore. (Author Michael Chabon made much of these similarities in his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.")
The Christian allusions are recent innovations that compromise the integrity of the Superman myth, she said.
"This does not need to be a consistent cultural form from its beginning to its present, but something has to be maintained," Pedersen said. "Superman Returns" director Bryan Singer said the notion of Superman as a messianic figure is simply another case of contemporary storytelling borrowing from ancient motifs.
Singer, who is Jewish, said his neighbors' Christianity played a powerful role in the community where he grew up.
"These allegories are part of how you're raised. They find their way into your work," he said. "They become ingrained in your storytelling, in the same way that the origin story of Superman is very much the story of Moses."

I read on a blog somewhere that seeing Superman as a Christ like figure is problematic, because more people will go to the Church. The author sees the Jesus-ness (is it a word? it is now) of Superman as ideologically hidden. Problematic.

"My concern is that in a time where an aggressive Christian right is looking for new ways to reach young people, one of America’s most positive icons threatens to be hijacked. The more Superman resembles Christ, the more Christ resembles Superman. For some young people this may be the kind of link they need to buy into a cult of ignorance."

Cult of ignorance? What? Superman has as much in common with Jesus Christ as do hundreds of other modern icons. Simba in the Lion King. Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs. Neo in the Matrix. Large in Garden State. Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks. Luke Skywalker in Star Wars. Frodo. Wolverine. It is storytelling. It is retelling one, grand narrative that helps us all understand what this world is, what life is, who we are. What is right and wrong.

I don't think that Superman being a Christ figure will win the church any more followers. The important thing to note is that the bible is a form of tribal mythology, that over time has been made historical, authoritative 'fact' through normalisation.

Also worth a look is this essay, Batman Crucified: Religion and Modern Superhero Comic Books. Its PDF, its not too long, and its fucking awesome. It looks at constructions of the heroic icon from within a religious paradigm.

Sydney Morning Herald has an article, "Is Superman the new Messiah?" (June 21, 2006). Similar stuff to whats above, but more local.

More soon.

The Myth of Superman pt. 2

Article at the Journal of Religion and Film titled 'Superman as Christ-Figure: The American Pop Culture Movie Messiah'. Its an academic examination of mythical parallels between Superman and the Christ figure.

Divine Mission

[24] Superman came from the planet Krypton, which in Greek means “hidden, secret,”38 just like the mythic location of Heaven. It also “sounds like “Tikkum olam” a Hebrew concept of restoring [correcting] the world’s wrongs.”39 This theme was reinforced by Jor-El in the Arctic Fortress of Solitude when he told Kal-El that his destiny and duty was to help right the wrongs of a troubled Earth. Similarly, Jesus was an off-world visitor of unspecified location who came to Earth to right cosmic wrongs with a God-inspired message of love. He left the planet with an expectation of a Second Coming, and a religio-political agenda that advocated God above Rome using the coin of love. Within S2, this Messianic “return” expectation was partially fulfilled near the end of the film when Superman apologised to the US President for being away so long. Thus implying “that Jesus has never been indifferent to our sorrows but that urgent reasons of his own have kept him away.”40

[25] Superman is the invincible crusader devoted to “truth, justice, and the American way.” Not for his own self-glorification, but acting like Jesus who claimed: “I seek not mine own glory” (John 8:50). Indeed, Superman was the guardian of Earth, its tireless servant who resisted many temptations and was therefore loved and adored by the people because of it. This resonated with the Apostle Paul’s claim of Christ’s humility who “took upon him the form of a servant” (Phil. 2:7), and generated millions of followers worldwide as a consequence of his self-imposed servitude.

The article goes through twenty notable instances where the pop-culture myth of Superman intersects with Christian myth. Is Superman our messiah? A God-among men in this time of fear, corruption and capitalism? Perhaps. Personally, if there was a real Superman it'd be something of a cross between 'The Superman', Booster Gold and David Bowie in The Man Who Fell To Earth.

The Superman/Christ parallel is something that was incorporated into the 1978 film deliberately. Director Richard Donner was aware of the narrative similarity between the texts. What I find interesting, is in the way the Superman/Christ myth has no closure. Since the 1940s, Superman stories have told us about his heroic feats. They have been popularised by comic books, serials, movies, television programs, costume parties, jokes, music. In the grand narrative of Superman, there is no death. The story goes on. Like Jesus, prior to the crucifixion/rebirth, the story of Superman is about a God living among men, using his supernatural powers to change the world of mere mortals into a better place.

In the early 1990s, DC Comics killed off Superman. It was the death. He would not exist after this.
He came back not long after. I guess that finishes off the narrative arc. The resurrection of the hero.

how to make a million in hollywood

joseph campbell's ten commandments

Joseph Campbell's Ten Commandments
for Reading Myth

1. Read myths with the eyes of wonder:
the myths transparent to their universal meaning,
their meaning transparent to its mysterious source.

2. Read myths in the present tense: Eternity is now.

3. Read myths in the first person plural: the Gods and Goddesses
of ancient mythology still live within you.

4. Any myth worth its salt exerts a powerful magnetism. Notice
the images and stories that you are drawn to and repelled by.
Investigate the field of associated images and stories.

5. Look for patterns; don't get lost in the details.
What is needed is not more specialized scholarship,
but more interdisciplinary vision. Make connections;
break old patterns of parochial thought.

6. Resacralize the secular:
even a dollar bill reveals the imprint of Eternity.

7. If God is everywhere, then myths can be generated anywhere,
anytime, by anything. Don't let your Romantic aversion to
science blind you to the Buddha in the computer chip.

8. Know your tribe! Myths never arise in a vacuum;
they are the connective tissue of the social body
which enjoys synergistic relations with
dreams (private myths) and rituals (the enactment of myth).

9. Expand your horizons! Any mythology worth remembering
will be global in scope. The earth is our home
and humankind is our family.

10. Read between the lines! Literalism kills;
Imagination quickens.

from the monomyth webpage: well worth a look

bees, beekeeping and apiary

The Beekeeper is a short revisionist superhero film that I'm directing. I also wrote it. It is an examination of contemporary morality, the role of law, innate human desire for violence, revenge versus justice, the interior landscape of a troubled individual, the nature of reformation. It covers alot, by being minimalist. Its a meaty and interesting script, lots of stuff to explore.

Yesterday I had my first experience with casting, and first time dealing with 'real actors' on a production. Probably one of the most interesting days of my life. Seeing actors work with a script, bring something unseen to the table. Its a bizarre and strange sensation to see something that was just an idea in your head - words you wrote on a page - be transformed into reality. This reality is sometimes 'method acting'. Or it could be people just reading lines. Or it could be a transformation into the written character. Each of these happened yesterday.

We looked at about 12 people, taking up all day. Some were american (strange for a 'westy' character, but hey, lets try it.). One lady was 'methodic'. She taught acting, was very Shakespeare. She needed to psychologically understand the location, the space of the room, in order to be the character. Strange, when the character is a woman who walks to a postbox, sees nothing, and walks back. They come up with these huge, sprawling backstories - maybe the woman lost her husband in a war and is now dependent on her children, who she has not seen, and on a pension, which she is not comfortable with receiving. (its pretty weird).

Personally, I like to watch miminalist films. I'll watch anything at all, but I really have a love for filmmakers who can create a meditative pace with a film, challenge and frustrate audiences, change their outlook. Its really hard to do in movies. Be devoid of cinema to tell a cinematic story. The two actors we settled on for the Ellard role and the Female role were minimal. They were slow. They had a painful pace. But watching them you were mesmerised, like a child staring at ants he lit on fire with a magnifying glass. Theres a beauty in the reality, in the realism, that comes from a place I didnt know existed. Acting is more than reading lines, its more than just understanding the script. Its a form of creation and destruction. Make a character while tearing it apart. It is a fake reality.

Our crew is great. We have a location for the film, that at this stage, seems available to shoot, and perfect for the script. Rhiannon, producer, has done a painful lot of work on this. Frustrating, i'm sure. Putting up with a whole lot of anxiety and wank from the 'auteur'. Shes done a great job, and hasnt shot me in the head just yet.

The script, draft five, is going to be tinkered with again. There are a few things (with thanks to screenwriting tutor matthew gear) that need adjusting. writing is the key to a good film. after all, what are movies but filmed stories? its difficult writing, but i feel like i've got a whole lot out of the process through the frustration. i love it. i hate it. i love it.

so, the 'superhero volumes' are underway. Volume 3: The Beekeeper, will be shot in two and a half weeks. In a month's time it will be done. After this it will be in festivals. Maybe it will be good. Maybe it won't. Its been a very difficult film to make, especially at this level, but I still think that it could be a very interesting, challenging piece.

I also want to finish editing Volume 1: Sparrowhawk, sometime. Its in the can, just need a faster editing machine to get through all the footage. Volume 2: Camouflage Man is available for viewing. I like camouflage man. Its ridiculous, amateurish, short and cheap but hey... come on... its a funny idea...

And so, the production plunges forward. I'm sure there are hundreds of things that have happened in the last 3 or 4 weeks that were really interesting and funny and would make good anecdotes but I guess they've gone in the vault and hidden forever. So fuck you for asking. I'm tired.

Until the next time we meet, jurassic park.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

NPR: Are 'X-Men' Mutant Issues a Mirror on Society

NPR has a feature on X Men which may be of interest:

Day to Day, May 30, 2006 · For the first time, mutants have a choice -- they can retain their uniqueness, though it isolates and alienates them, or give up their powers and become human. That's the ad line from the marketing material for the new film X-Men: The Last Stand. Mike Pesca looks at how "mutantism" in the movie represents real-life issues ranging from dwarfism to deafness to sexual orientation.

Are 'X-Men' Mutant Issues a Mirror on Society? Give it a listen. More soon.