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09/17/2014 06:43 pm ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

Producer Ted Hope Explains How Superhero Movies Define America To Viewers Abroad

In many ways, superhero flicks have come to define commercial American film in the last several years, but veteran producer Ted Hope thinks they're selling a distorted picture of U.S. culture.

Hope discussed the problem with superhero movies during a conversation with HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri on Wednesday about his book Hope for Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions. In it, he writes:

I was particularly drawn to this notion that superheroes are these pop-culture representations of masculinity that distance men from their identity. People complain about the tyranny of supermodels on young girls' self-images, but what about a muscle-bound person with superpowers on top of it?

The issue, Hope explained, is that "film has always been America's greatest export," but audiences who observe the U.S. through commercial movies see a culture that is "based on escapism."

"You look at the tentpole, franchise story worlds that are coming out of the studios now in the superhero realm, and there's no reality whatsoever," he said. "You've got to think, when you look at all the wars that we've been involved in, the way that we sell consumer goods, people look at that and see that same sort of association."

Catch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Ted Hope here.

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