^^i’ve ready plenty of Foucault and see nothing in his ideas that applies to The Dark Knight.
Also, i’ve never learned a thing from comic books.
Gee, thanks for your candor, Joks.
@Joks, well, I do, and I have. So… there we go. Don’t see anywhere to move from there.
My Foucault reference is a bit of a stretch, but I’m referring to his studies of madness, madhouses and prisons – in essence, the way socieities deal with their questionable fringe elements. And I don’t think Batman is all that clever in how he chooses to use his unprecedented resources to make the world a better place.
Now, the Caped Crusader… OK, here it is.
The Joker is caught. He’s stewing in Arkham. Harle is a criminal psychologist who becomes a disciple/lover? of Mr. J and frees him, or something along those lines. Batman has been a secret too long (and I think its retarded that nobody has guessed his identity by now), so this film MUST unmask him. To delay it any longer is not believeable. AND if he is unmasked, I’m sorry to say that will be the last Batman film. If Catwoman has a place in the story, it’s probably as another vigilante. Somebody Wayne can truly be with, not that idiot Gynnehal (Holmes was better). She was inspired by Batman – so she did Catwoman. It makes sense. I guess she would also have to have “means” (money). They fall in love and she helps save Bruce when he is tried at Arkham. See, Batman needs to get as deep as possible into these questions. Batman will have to give up his entire former life – probably fake his death- then use the Sons of the Batman to take his “Crusade” to the next level, which is where the “trilogy” will end. That’s how it should be! The question is, what exactly is Wayne crusading against..? See, this is where it becomes more difficult, this is where the huge questions about “how to eliminate crime” and “why our society produces criminals” come into play. Is it possible for things to change without “playing the game,” working from the inside? (like Dent) And if you’re working from the outside… and you’re against them… how can you not be a terrorist? That’s my ending for Batman. I should write it for Nolan cause he’ll fuck it up.
What I heard, and this may not be true, but Nolan’s original intentions for the next movie was for it to be called “The Trial of the Joker”, of which story can be pretty well inferred. I’d say go that route with Harlequin and Catwoman for these reasons, based on my vigilantism-reading of The Dark Knight above:
The first movie was (unsuccessfully, but still) about fear, the next about justice. I think Nolan is approaching the mad Bat route with his whole “We complete each other” stuff the Joker spouts, so I feel like the next movie being his “Trial” is all about memeology. The Joker in Arkham compels Harlequin towards insanity, but just like in the comics and some of the cartoons, Harlequin isn’t always and isn’t necessarily on The Joker’s side. She seems to ratchet back and forth between being a devotee/adherent to The Joker’s mindset to sometimes being pissed and angry with him and trying to get her own vengeance against him. So Harlequin appears and Gotham goes apeshit trying to figure out how to keep the madness from spreading while Batman is still being hunted down in the shadows, and then Catwoman appears. Nobody knows what HER deal is, what side she’s on, or anything like that (again, like the better comic book narratives involving the character). Besides, Catwoman sets off more anger and resentment towards Batman, further limiting his ability to act while Harlequin goes about causing more problems. The thing is, however, as Batman starts to consider the notion of a potential companion in Catwoman, Catwoman manages to royally fuck up everything and Harlequin simultaneously becomes disenchanted with The Joker as something in her plan doesn’t work out. So now Harlequin is organizing herself to destroy the Joker, which Batman has to prevent because he doesn’t believe in killing, Catwoman is starting to kill, which Batman has to prevent because he doesn’t believe in killing, and Gotham is not at all interested in trying to stop Harlequin or Catwoman because they basically lay all of the blame on Batman, except of course Comissioner Gordon, who’s hands are tied because nobody will follow his suggestion to focus on eliminating the new villians while everyone is giving him increasing pressure to give Batman up, which he cannot convince anyone to the truth of the matter of, which is that he can’t because he himself still doesn’t quite know.
The unveiling of Batman is an idea I haven’t considered but it might be a very interesting neutralizer to the reactive powders of Harlequin and Catwoman. At any rate, Harlequin is also a stand in towards the idea of a disciple and Catwoman is the true image of self-interest, not the Joker’s anarchic type but the Batman revenge type, further complicating and deconstructing the notion of justice and order in the Nolan Batman universe.
And by the end of this movie, no matter which way it goes, the Joker does get at least one line along the lines of, “And Arkham is beginning to fill up now. Hahahahahaha!” Or something more poetic or smart sounding, whatever, this is just an outline.
-Enough to maintain the status quo – making the violence morally redemptive for the audience-
That’s the Hollywood ending, yeah. But even then, there’s still this:
I don’t think that Catwoman can exist in Nolan’s Batman universe without specifically being donning her costume because of Batman. It’s simply unfeasible that superheroes “just pop up” – they would have to be directly created by the first crazy superhero, which Nolan tackled reasonably well in TDK. You know, one thing nobody has really considered… don’t fucking dress her up in anything. Catwoman is just a nickname. She’s simply another vigilnate. See, now we’re getting somewhere.
That whole outline you gave – is that coming from you, or source material? Cause its good. It sounds like the way things should go. Except – yes, the unveiling MUST HAPPEN. Batman IS NOT sustainable! Bruce Wayne must face The Judgment (I’m really big on that). Your outline is very good, but what I feel it lacks is a considerably larger scope… things need to get, maybe, global. Bruce Wayne (despite rarely leaving Gotham) is a prominent international figure and a powerful corporate entity. That sort of reputation… isn’t easy to live with. And since Wayne is clearly so devoted to his crusade, his life as a “billionaire playboy” is clearly less important and expendable. At least I think the only way the Batman mythos is interesting is if he takes it so seriously that it becomes a crusade. I mean what’s the alternative? He puts down the suit, gets married, settles down? Becomes a lawyer and fights that way? No sir. He’s a madman and he needs a crusade. The Joker will start to respect him much more!
Quite a shame about Heath.
Sigh. Look at me. I’m so lame!
The outline I gave is my idea based off of an amalgam of several different Batman narratives I’m familiar with.
I LOVE the idea of Batman going global. Afterall, we’re no longer in the world where The World is Saved by saving just one city from a madman—we’ve got globalism and global terrorism to deal with now. What a friggin’ sweet idea.
Too bad you don’t have time. We could write the script together. Screw Nolan, we could make some version of it somehow.
Haha. I don’t know if it’s possible for me to collaborate with another writer, but it’s always worth trying :) “Screw Nolan,” you say, I like your style! Yes time is a problem for me… I’m always overwhelmed with possibilities. Well, Polaris, we’re talking about it now, and there’s no reason two people can’t keep talking… so if you’d like to brainstorm, I’ll do my best to respond… but at some point I may start bitching about how much time I’m spending on the internet :) But less bitching would exist if one felt productive… Too bad a Batman script like this is simply unsellable. It would be like writing a Bond film. “I’ve got a Bond script that’s extraordinary.” “Well that’s just terrific. We have one that’s awful and that’s in production right now.”
If this excites you, I should tell you about my idea to reboot (and drastically improve) the Matrix story. There’s a lot of wasted potential there.
I haven’t yet seen The Searchers (I know, shoot me). But as for the first two, bear in mind that those are films without heroes. Using violence to maintain a status quo only applies to “cinematic heroes”… To ACTUALLY have this discussion, one must introduce…
I’ll think about if essentially writing a “fan video” for Batman is really worth the time. Meanwhile, I must go to sleep now. I am interested in hearing your Matrix reboot idea, and I’ll trade you my Alien: End Game idea.
“Also, i’ve never learned a thing from comic books.”
you must have skipped the Archie series
-two, bear in mind that those are films without heroes.-
Yeah, the point (as it relates specifically to Batman) is that Nolan shied away from going as anti-hero as the comics books went, so any really darkness in the films is completely superficial. Although he hints at an antiheroic escalation reading in the dialogue of Dark Night:
Bruce Wayne: Targeting me won’t get their money back. I knew the mob wouldn’t go down without a fight, but this is different. They crossed the line.
Alfred Pennyworth: You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn’t fully understand.
Bruce Wayne: Criminals aren’t complicated, Alfred. Just have to figure out what he’s after.
Alfred Pennyworth: With respect, sir, perhaps this is a man that you don’t fully understand.
. . . the action of the film never bears it out, so it’s left as a dissonance. Nolan can’t bring himself to look into the abyss, so instead of any real insight, we get moral platitudes: “some men just want to watch the world burn.” Really? If what’s driving our enemies is, to use Coleridge’s phrase, motiveless malignity, than there’s no sense in stopping to understand them, and we can just move on to the torture/imprisonment/killing with our sense of moral superiority more or less in tact. Never mind the smell of napalm and any details that seem particularly unpleasent can always be redacted.
You are referring to superhero comics, of course. It’s a medium, not a genre.
Nolan’s best film is The Dark Knight. Which really isn’t saying much.
Personally, Following is my least favorite film from Nolan. Don’t get me wrong, it is a great movie no doubt, but you can tell by watching it that they were severely limited by their budget (or lack of). It felt like ideas got watered down and restricted and I felt that the film suffered because of it. It is worth watching, however. I think the rest of his films are better though, they’re much more fluid and expertly put together.
I am glad that the reviews for this film are glowing, it makes me that much more excited for this film. Granted, I won’t believe that ANY movie is “better than Kubrick” until I watch it. It would be hilarious though if we all went to see it and it turns out that the critics were right, it is the best movie ever made. But of course, no one here would admit that, this is Mubi we’re talking about after all ; )
You said it: platitudes. Nolan excels. This is precisely why he is pretentious – he pretends to sound more intelligent than he is. All he does is muse and wax malarky. Again – taking himself far too seriously (which is why no-fun Bale was such perfect casting and why somebody like Ledger stood out so much, somebody who only had fun).
This is why I would be extremely dubious about the quality of Inception (if I cared enough to develop an opinion about it): Nolan does a dream-based psycho-thriller. I can already feel my eyes rolling into the back of my skull. At some point Michael Caine will stroll into a room and sagaciously mutter: “Every… person… has a purpose.” or “Every… dream… must end. Now, wake up!”
If you ever decide to explore the world of comic books, there is no need to start with Watchmen. Comics criticism is in it’s infancy so there are a lot of overstatements about quality like the one that gives this thread it’s title out there. Watchmen is a good read and the layouts are justifiably praised for using the medium in ways that are unique to it, but there are now quite a few comics that would appeal more to your tastes (based on your profile). Some of these works came out before, or at the same time as Watchmen but, naturally, the media mostly ignored them.
One exception is Art Spiegelman’s Maus, which won the Pulitzer Prize for literature. It too is somewhat overpraised, due to it’s subject matter, but it is still miles more relevant to your life and mine than Watchmen.
I know this may come across as the usual “it’s popular so it sucks” spiel, but the medium itself is still basically in it’s infancy as far as creating anything adults can relate to. Again, i’m not saying it’s terrible but there is much more interesting work out there, even by it’s author.
I’m familiar with Maus and the “next-level” world of graphic novels. This should be a DEAD giveaway: when I was younger, I very much liked Jhonen Vasquez’s Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and Squee (though didn’t give a minute to Invader Zim). That’s… about it. I also bought Jodorowsky’s graphic novel, The Incal, to see if its quality was like his films – and I never found it very interesting, really.. Let’s take things yet another step up! From graphic novel to Undefined Art Book: my favorite, Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonte!
Interesting! What do you think of the woodcut novels of Lynn Ward or Frans Masereel?
I too read Johnny the Homicidal Maniac and other Jhonen Vasquez silliness. It was… silly. I still like it, but boy, was THAT a comic book taken way to seriously back in the day! (And I like Invader Zim, but my friends tend to watch it so often that I need long breaks between it).
I have not read Maus but I’ve read Persepolis. My recommendation of Watchmen has entirely to do with Miasma’s comment on the ending of the movie, the idea of which is done better in the book though the execution is a little… weirder.
Not familiar with them, but I’m looking at them now and I think they’re gorgeous :) Hooray learning experiences.
Anyone out there see it yet? Thoughts? Does he really change storytelling as we know it?
…and was it really ever considered impossible to do so in the first place?
I will be seeing it on Sunday. I was going to see it today but I have to wake up at 3am tomorrow for an early shoot.
Change storytelling? Don’t know about that (but somehow I doubt it). As for story structure, Inception is spinning one of the oldest, the one with the hero and the labyrinth. Maybe it’s a supertwisty version, but that’s basically what it is.
And no, like most people on the planet so far, I haven’t seen it.
That goes both ways. I am unclear on your intention towards either end, but in general people here are criticizing the critic for ignoring a vast history of storytelling changes and experimentation, while also claiming in advance that it’s unlikely that Nolan actually did. It is, indeed, true that it is possible to change the way we see storytelling in cinema. It is ALSO possible, however unlikely, that Nolan can do it.
Hmmm….what movies have I admired for changing the way I viewed storytelling?
Surely you were not inherently knowledgeable of the many ways in which stories, ideas, emotions, and other things are presented cinematically until discovering several key movies, auteurs, and film movements that led you into other possible ways of viewing “storytelling”?