Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Frank Miller Redux

In my now-defunct (in fact, never really funct) other blog, last year, I wrote about Frank Miller's upcoming screen adaptation of Will Eisner's THE SPIRIT:

Anybody who could look at SIN CITY - whatever you think of it - and go "Him! That's the guy I want to make The Spirit!" is deeply misguided. Miller writes overwrought pulp about sociopathic caricatures of masculinity in trenchcoats who torture. And there's a place for that, but it's not in the pages of THE SPIRIT. I can see it now. The Spirit's going to drink hard and beat up criminals for information. Ellen Dolan's going to be the madonna and Sand Saref is going to be the whore. Ebony White, apparently, isn't in it at all.

Well, I was pointed by Lux to the official site the other day (check out that URL. Wow.) and it's even worse than I thought. Here's our cast of characters:

ELLEN DOLAN (Sarah Paulson), the whip-smart girl-next-door; SILKEN FLOSS (Scarlett Johansson), a punk secretary and frigid vixen; PLASTER OF PARIS (Paz Vega), a murderous French nightclub dancer; LORELEI (Jaime King), a phantom siren; and MORGENSTERN (Stana Katic), a sexy young cop.

Sort of gave up on that last one, didn't you, Frank? Better bloggers than me have pointed out that in Eisner's original comics, Silken Floss held two PhDs; "punk secretary and frigid vixen" is a bit of a demotion. And what's with the graphics on the site looking exactly like SIN CITY? Guys, I think people are going to notice if you just re-do the last film with different character names.

You'll be delighted to know that The Goddamn Frank Miller himself keeps a blog on the site, showcasing exactly why the ladies love him:

The director's job is, first and foremost, to be the warship's captain: to remain ruthless in his destination, while ready for what shoals and unforeseen opportunities present themselves. But to never, not ever, let anything stand in the way of the warship's purpose.

Phwoar. Take me, Frank.

But first, tell us about the movie.

One character presented a particular problem (no, it wasn't Ebony White - I saw no reason to try to update that ugly, best-forgotten stereotype of an earlier age, and never considered doing so).

Okay, Ebony's original portrayal in the comic was kind of problematic - he had big red lips and spoke like a minstrel. For that, though, he was an unusually prominent, positive and active black character at the time. And, you know how you update the character? Just don't have him act like a stereotype. Just let the Spirit's sidekick be a regular black kid! Darwyn Cooke did it perfectly well in his SPIRIT run recently, there's absolutely no reason it couldn't have been done here. In the name of anti-racism, Miller has removed the only sympathetic black character! Congratulations!

What makes this perfect is, right up there, "that ugly, best-forgotten stereotype". We all know how much Frank Miller hates him some stereotypes. Just ask frigid vixen Silken Floss!

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