“Humor is the only test of gravity, and gravity of humor; for a subject which will not bear raillery is suspicious, and a jest which will not bear serious examination is false wit.” – Aristotle
“When we stop resisting what we don’t want to feel and embrace the state that we are in, we move through whatever it is so much faster and find our way back to truth and clarity.” – Michael Eisen
“I love sleep. My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?” – Ernest Hemingway
“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” – Augustine of Hippo
First off, I’d like to point out that I’m an avid comic book reader. While Batman wasn’t necessarily my favorite character (Spider-Man was), I took a shine to some of his most prolific stories. Three of them were used in the plot of The Dark Knight Rises: Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, Knightfall (Bane’s debut), and No Man’s Land. The latter two were Bat Universe spanning events so Nolan‘s masterful use of them in one movie is marvelous. The franchise itself has new life…
Don’t get me wrong, Tim Burton hasn’t been rendered invalid; Michael Keaton is still the first actor to bring a proper Batman to the Silver Screen; and Jack Nicholson‘s Joker stands among the best comic book villains ever. However, blind loyalty to one franchise over another is inane in this comic book fan’s opinion. If you like Burton’s interpretation, I understand perfectly; I do too. But it doesn’t mean you have to absolutely dislike Nolan’s or dedicate whole blogs/articles to sandbagging whichever one you abhor. Respect each view as an evolution of the character, not a detriment.
With that said, I want to focus on the literary and contextual strengths of Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. I don’t think it is necessarily superior but it did pay more attention to detail and did not fill the holes with camp or take too many liberties (with the material). The last line may irk comic book purists but face it: movie portrayals are never going to be exactly what the comic/graphic novel displays; the medium, casting, resources, and artistic vision will always be deciding factors. Now onto the meat of my review…
‘A’ Caliber Casting:
Nolan’s casting decisions were easily a welcome change in how seriously comic book movies should be taken. Each role was given to an Academy Award Winning or Nominated Actor/Actress or otherwise accomplished in their own right; also to those who he had previously worked with, comfort level established. Ultimately, each part was conveyed in a realistic manner, each character was fallible albeit relatable to the audience, even the villains (who weren’t grandiose or flat). In turn, this cast brought us (the audience) into the story without much of a fight. I’m not saying other films have not done this (Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Thor, for example) but not to this degree.
Dark Rises Trilogy mirrors Monomyth:
Any writer or reader who has read Joseph Campbell’s ‘A Hero’s Journey‘ or seen notable 80’s trilogies such as Star Wars or Indiana Jones (Kingdom of The Crystal Skull doesn’t count), has seen its structure and knows its effectiveness.
Here’s the structure: http://library.thinkquest.org/05aug/00212/monomyth.html
Stage 1: Departure = Batman Begins
Stage 2: Initiation = The Dark Knight
Stage 3: Return = The Dark Knight Rises
These elements made every nuance succinct and purposeful.
Foreshadowing as a cog:
foreshadowing – the act of providing vague advance indications; representing beforehand; the act of predicting (as by reasoning about the future)
While I won’t telegraph each line or instance the literary element was utilized, I will indicate its importance. Nolan told his audience plot points and the climax before it even happened and… it still worked.
Bye for now, KS.
“If the writing is honest, it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.” – Tennessee Williams
Dreamt of a woman,
she doesn’t exist,
unless prescience behooves,
as my nostrils tingle,
sweet smells fill them,
like a meadow of lilacs,
no breeze just warmth,
as silky skin flows beneath me,
incandescent hairs glean in sunlight’s trust,
longing in caresses and shares,
a cornucopia of shaking heads,
crushed by her tenderness,
all I can see,
in this fairy tale,
makes more possible…
“You’ve got to know your limitations. I don’t know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren’t too many limitations, if I did it my way.” – Johnny Cash
Easier said than done, Mr. Cash. But I won’t hide behind excuses…in fact, I’m in sheer amazement that I am where I am. My thoughts aren’t built on despair or sadness; they are driven towards progress, an ultimate solution. Cut through the BS and I’m still here.
I’m choosing to look at the past seven months (mainly) as a lesson in humility; a summary of right and wrong. After my latest employment debacle, a friend of mine told me to think of this time as a vacation. In truth, I had difficulty getting my head around the premise; then those gears in my wheelhouse settled down and I realized how much I needed the break.
Crises linger especially when you (in this case, me) don’t work through them. I’ve found that life has a certain flow and if haste or impatience set in, it can easily be ruined. In lieu of madness, I lost perspective.
Today, I think I have regained some inner peace. Whatever the next job, the next girl, or the next chance, I have to be ready…and graceful. Living outside of oneself is not a benefit; it may be easy for a while but eventually the shine wears off. Be yourself.
One last note, limitations aren’t only hints of imperfection, mistakes possible, but intricacies which make you…well, you.
Bye for now, KS.