Brush up your French and learn about Marvel's difficult history

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Two years ago a pair of French directors released the story behind the Marvel juggernaut. But it’s only now really flourished to attention as Marvel Renaissance appeared at the Glasgow Film Festival.

The documentary explores what happened to take Marvel from a near-bankrupt comic book company into the massive entertainment powerhouse it is today. Spoiler alert: it took a lot more than a good Iron Man film.

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Produced for French television, Marvel Renaissance was put together by Philippe Guedj and Philippe Roure, but without the help of Marvel or the two men the documentary credits for the studio’s revival. A lot of outlets seem impressed by what they saw at the festival and the two Philippes have been doing a few interviews.

Here’s something from Daily Dot:

[I]n early 2012, we had a rendezvous with the people of Disney in France, because we thought it would be the logical start to introduce them to the project, tell them the story we wanted to tell, and ask them to take the message to their Marvel counterparts.

Very quickly it appeared that this would be completely impossible. I will remember all my life a phonecall that we made to Arun Singh, who at the time was the PR guy for Marvel on the East Coast. He was very polite, very friendly. But once we asked him if we could have an interview with Ike Perlmutter, suddenly: the wall. He would not even let me finish my question. As soon as he heard the name Ike Perlmutter, he said, that’s impossible. You will never meet him, you will never talk to him, he will never talk to you. And this very day, we should have guessed that the way Arun answered us was a hint that nothing would be OK with Marvel, and that Marvel would never help us.

In a Den of Geek interview they also noted the company’s closed culture:

One of the things that we definitely learned, that we should have known, is the cult of secrecy at Marvel. And it’s not a surprise, because Marvel is specifically known for its control freakism, and its obsession with secrecy. But then again, it’s the same with every corporation in America, so we should have guessed that when we wrote the first draft for the film. We should have guessed, but it came as a surprise. We really did not expect such a level of, I would say, not hostility but close to hostility.

Here’s the trailer, but no subtitles for the French parts:

Here’s a trailer with subtitles for the last part, but you’ll have to watch it at Vimeo.

 

Last Updated: March 15, 2016

James

A total movie glutton, nothing is too bad or too obscure to watch, unless it's something like The Human Centipede. If you enjoyed that, there is something wrong with you. But bless you anyway - even video nasties need love...

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