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December 19, 2011

The Dark Knight Rises Trailer

Nolan seems to have -- presciently? -- crafted a movie questioning private property and its distribution.

This doesn't necessarily means it leans left (thought it might); he explored tough questions about liberty and privacy vs. security and safety in the Dark Knight.

I have to say, though, that I didn't love The Dark Knight, largely because he seemed to be making a movie about a political issue using Batman, The Joker, and Two-Face as props to ask various questions about the issue, and seemed less interested the characters of Batman et al.

His filmmaking style is cerebral and very formalistically dialectical. In every movie he sets up a tension between one thing and the other, using characters as avatars of that thing. In Batman Begins, it was fear/insanity(Scarecrow) versus self-mastery/self-control (Batman) and vengeance (R'as) versus justice (again Batman). In The Dark Knight it was order and state control (albeit -- a quasi-state control imposed by a vigilante) versus chaos and anarchy.

The Dark Knight actually got absurdly formalist, depicting Two-Face as a synthesis of thesis Batman and antithesis Joker. Come on. There's nothing wrong with adding some intellectual themes into a movie but please don't push them into the foreground. Subtext shouldn't become text.

He's got good points, too, but where he falls down it's because he's overintellectualizing something that really isn't intellectual.

Based on what I see here, Catwoman is being shoehorned into the role of Economic Anarchist, someone who has a philosophical objection to private property. She says to Wayne, "When it's all over, you'll wonder how you all could have thought you could live so large while leaving so little for everyone else."

Catwoman has never, AFAIK, been depicted as a revolutionary, or as having some philosophical commitment to bringing down the capitalist system. What she is is a thief who, while she's not stealing from the very rich, likes mixing socially with the very rich.

She's always been a bit comical in her larceny -- she's shameless about it. She just likes stealing. Maybe she actually considers herself an elite capitalist with he skill set of "taking the capital of others."

But I never got the vibe that she wanted to end private property, or lead the poor in a revolution against the rich. She likes the rich. (And, she likes stealing their money.) Without the rich, she wouldn't be rich herself.

This is what annoys me about Nolan-- jamming square-peg human beings into the round holes of his pretty scheme of dialectical inquiry.

I'm not seeing movies for this. I'm particularly no seeing Batman movies for this. I might see a minor, low-budget European movie where the main characters stand in for philosophical questions, but I'm looking for a Batman movie to be a Batman movie.

Even if I were seeing a movie for this -- that's not Catwoman.

digg this
posted by Ace at 01:27 PM

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