One Reply to “Christopher Nolan”

  1. Comment by Kent Jones 07.19.08 @ 1:01 pm

    Just saw THE DARK KNIGHT. It seems to me that big-budget movies of the blockbuster variety avail themselves freely of whatever is floating around the culture. Their creators are like scavengers, using their cultural resonance detectors to find material and strategically deposit it throughout the story. The result is that it skews in different moral directions at different times, occasionally in many directions at once. Sometimes this is done clumsily (INDEPENDENCE DAY, WAR OF THE WORLDS), sometimes more deftly. This seemed to me extremely deft. Not to mention extraordinarily intense and upsetting. I guess it will intensify feelings of fear and paranoia that are already there, but whether or not it offers some implicit endorsement of Bush-era ethics, consciously or unconsciously, is impossible to measure. I think one could make an equally good case for it as pro or anti or both. On the other hand, the business with the two detonators and the people on the boats wasn‘t bad.

    For me, the limitation of the movie is not ideological. Ledger is so good, and so genuinely unnerving (Eckhart isn’t too far behind), and a lot of the imagery so powerful, that it kind of reaches an uncomfortable limit point, where gravity and superheroics butt up against each other. For instance, a lot of the violence is pretty painful. But Batman slaps, kicks and stomps the Joker within an inch of his life, without doing any discernible damage.

    I think I’d see it again. And I must say, I have absolutely no idea what David Denby was talking about when he wrote that the action sequences go by so quickly you can’t see what’s happening. He must have been flashing back to HANCOCK. The sequence in DARK KNIGHT where they almost take out the mayor is very good, and the battle between the truck and the police wagon outclasses that weird jungle chase in INDIANA JONES by a country mile.

    Craig, thanks for mentioning STRANGER’S RETURN and ME AND MY GAL.

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