The director’s films have often been accused of advocating right-wing politics and ideologies, but Snyder says that’s not his intention.
Zack Snyder denies that his films have a right-wing ideology. 2021 has been the year of Zack Snyder as it saw the release of two high-profile films from the director after a four-year hiatus. In March, fans finally got to see Zack Snyder’s Justice League premiere on HBO Max and now Snyder has released Army of the Dead on Netflix one week after its theatrical debut.
Snyder is a polarizing director with high praise and criticism on many levels. One frequent critique of the director’s body of work is the philosophical and political subtext of his films often leaning towards a right-wing angle. He depicts the Spartans in 300 as freedom fighters, yet this clashes with the text of the film, which shows them as a might-makes-right society, and both Ma and Pa Kent encourage Clark to put himself and the need to hide his identity before his duty to help others in Man of Steel. Snyder has even expressed interest in adapting Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead, a story revered in right-wing circles as it reflects a belief that individualism is superior to collectivism.
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Snyder, however, doesn’t see these elements in his films or in his own beliefs. In an interview with The Guardian where many of Snyder’s past collaborators got to ask him questions, actress Sarah Polly, who worked with Snyder on Dawn of the Dead, asked Snyder about where he stands politically and his thoughts on how people interpret right-wing messages in his film. Snyder denied having a right-wing agenda and defended himself by saying he votes Democrat. He said:
“I vote Democrat! I’m a true lover of individual rights. I’ve always been a super-strong advocate of women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose, and I’ve always been surrounded by powerful women. And, of course, I’m a huge advocate for the rights of all ethnicities and every walk of life. I would say I’m a pretty liberal guy. I want to make sure everyone’s heard and everyone feels included. I don’t have a rightwing political agenda. People see what they want to see. For me, that was not certainly the point.”
This isn’t the first time Snyder has expressed his political leanings before. He supported Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election and has spoken out against individuals who are seen as hate groups trying to spread misinformation and attacks on minority groups. Snyder has commented on how Sucker Punch is supposed to be a critique of male-empowerment fantasies. Recently, Snyder even confirmed that he pitched a sequel of 300 to Warner Bros. that would have focused on a gay romance.
While Snyder may not intend for any of his films to have a right-leaning message, sometimes the director’s authorial intent is not the final word of the conversation. An audience will take a message from a film the director may not have intended, and part of that could be due to certain choices in dialogue, visual references, or even just framing of a figure in the camera. What a director chooses to show an audience may have multiple levels of meaning, some of which the director did not intend. Zack Snyder is very careful with the images he portrays in films, and while many of them carry a deep symbolic meaning to him, it is entirely possible and valid that others interpret his films differently than what he intended.
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Source: The Guardian
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