August 09, 2008



Nick: “I wonder whether we have trouble—aesthetically, not necessarily morally—with The Joker. Maybe he just bores us. He’s as predictable as any nihilist. His are the moves of the 12-year-old who discovers the get-out-of-jail-free card that is “Just kidding!” When words aren’t required to mean what they mean, it's draining. Characters pull out the rug: tedious and cowardly.

Batman is the ultimate mark, so obedient to Justice that he won’t knock the fucker off. Batman has to believe what The Joker says if he holds others to what they say. The whole premise of Batman vs. Joker is too blunt, which might be why I liked Tim Burton’s Batman more. Burton kept his movie away from the ideological battle between the two, and made it more about ideology itself: people really desperately want something to believe in, and The Joker’s system is more gratifying. Batman’s is the better choice but no fun at all.”

Me: “Is either value system (if either position deserves being called that) ever fleshed-out? And? Christian Bale wears on a fella. His only apparent character move is that Batman, too, will turn out to be morally fucked, which isn’t that interesting. Somebody in the movie needs to have some nooks and crannies and “dark” doesn’t get you there. “Dark” has become another get-out-of-movie-making free card, just like the “romantic” sequence in movies where a love story is established in simply by presenting a montage of ice cream cones and pillow fights under a sensitive acoustic jam. As an aesthetic, “dark” doesn’t (and can’t) automatically create tension and make moral choices complicated. It just means that everyone will turn out to be possibly or probably bad to the bone, which isn’t much of a revelation, or an engine.

I liked Michael Keaton as Batman.”

Posted by Sasha at August 9, 2008 02:15 AM | TrackBack