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Wonder Woman, Love, and Loss

Might a superhero's greatest power be love?

The Wonder Woman movie is out and it's pretty everything I hoped it would be. If you happen to look any of the short films I've directed or the books and stories I've written, you'll notice I often like stories with leading female characters that have big goals and are driven. Wonder Woman made me feel right at home.

It is also great to see that film is doing so well in the box office given that female-lead massive-budget superhero movies are not the norm. Even more unique is finally having such a tent-pole film directed by a woman. I'm glad to see the film bring in the kind of movie it is as that sends a clear message to the Hollywood studio system that there is an audience out here ready and eager to see such films and filmmakers. And it's not only women.

I got to see Wonder Woman on opening weekend and shoot the first episode of the new web series I'm producing for Stories by the River. The series is called Only a Movie and is all about discussing the important themes, ideas, and questions brought up in new movies. You can learn more about how this new series took shape by reading one of my previous blog posts here. The first episode just hit YouTube on Monday and you can see the whole thing below. Just be aware that we assume that viewers have seen the film and are ready to dive into discussing it in detail, so there are spoilers.

In particular, I'm really struck by how love and loss drive Diana to become the hero she's capable of being. This is more than senseless action. This is the kind of thoughtful grand-scale storytelling that every comic book movie aims to be but most fail to achieve so elegantly and compellingly. Diana is pulled out of her world and into a journey of self-discovery. It's the Hero's Journey with a distinctly feminine perspective. For more on my thoughts on the film, be sure to watch the video below.

If you haven't seen Wonder Woman yet, this is one summer blockbuster I can definitively endorse. I hope you'll go see it for yourself and join the discussion on the Stories by the River YouTube channel.

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