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This Is Why Directors Don’t Talk Honestly About Their Films

This Is Why Directors Don’t Talk Honestly About Their Films (photo)

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You remember the childhood game Telephone? Internet blogs play it now.

What started as “Bryan Singer Looks Back at ‘Superman Returns,'” became “Bryan Singer: Why ‘Superman Returns’ Didn’t Work” and “‘Superman Returns’ Director Offers Mea Culpa,” and finally “Bryan Singer Apologizes For ‘Superman Returns.'”

Singer definitely didn’t apologize. He sort of offered a mea culpa, but really he was just having an unusually candid conversation of the sort people don’t have in interviews anymore because when they do, they wind up being taken out of context as “So and So Apologizes For Movie!” The conversation was with, where he was asked about the negative reaction to 2006’s “Superman Returns.” Here’s what Singer said:

“I think that ‘Superman Returns’ was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer. What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see ‘The Devil Wears Prada,’ which may have been something I wanted to address. But when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.’ And that’s what I did…”

Later, Singer goes so far as to say that he’s still proud of the film, and that that’s not always the case with him.

“There are a bunch of movies I’ve made where I’m, like, ‘Yuck, that was weak’ or ‘That could’ve been better,’ and I can see why. But with ‘Superman Returns’… If I could go back, I would have tightened the first act. Maybe open with the plane or something.”

So he acknowledges some missteps, but he definitely doesn’t say he regrets the movie or doesn’t like it (at least not as much as he does other unnamed films he’s made). He puts as much or more of the blame on audiences who were expecting a comic book movie in the vein of his “X-Men” pictures as on himself. Now you might argue that audiences’ expectations were totally reasonable in this case, but that’s an argument for another time.

Singer’s comments are undeniably newsworthy. But they’re not necessarily apologetic, and by framing them that way, you’re essentially punishing Singer for doing the thing that no one does in interviews anymore: talk honestly from the heart instead of from prepared soundbytes. If this “Bryan Singer Apologizes” thing catches on, as I’ve already seen it popping up on a few sites, then you can bet tomorrow there’s going to be a “Bryan Singer Says He’s Not Sorry For ‘Superman Returns'” and then he’s never going to talk about the film — or any of his films — on the record again.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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