Sunday, August 24, 2008
I thought it would be pretty cool to check this shit out in IMAX, and I was right, even if only a small amount of the movie is actually in IMAX.
I'm thinking that Christopher Nolan's talent is in his ability to flesh out and make plausible a completely implausible world. Very little of this film or The Prestige can really apply to our actual lives, but they feel real and authoritative. I'm not sure there's much relevance in a real world sense, but I'm also not sure that art requires that. It's pretty cool how he explores the emotional and ethical depths of a reality that doesn't exist.
Now, The Dark Knight is topical and relevant in certain respects, in how it may pose ideas of terrorism and surveillance and some of those issues. But mostly it's about the psychological and moral duel between Batman and the Joker, two characters who could not exist in our world and do not really serve as an accurate metaphor for anything either. I don't mean that as a criticism. In fact, I think it fucking rules that they've created this moral and psychological depth for two outlandish characters, that they've made a patently false world seem like a fully realized world.
I especially like the idea that the very existence of Batman would create the need for a person like the Joker. And I'm greatly intrigued by the Joker trying to make a philosophical statement with his crimes, although at times he does seem like he must be a big fan of the Saw movies or something, or maybe he's like Anton Chirgurh.
One of my favorite touches in the movie is that, in true noir fashion, characters are constantly compromising or redefining their values. Batman, Gordon, Harvey Dent, Fox, even Alfred all make choices in the moral grey area, and I'm not always convinced they make the right choice. No one seems to stick to their values... no one except, of course, the Joker, who understands exactly what he is and what he stands for. Few movie villains have been this self-aware or this philosophical.