Culture Warrior

Part of the appeal of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films is that the basic conceit informing their aesthetic seems so natural. Batman is one of few major superheroes that isn’t actually a super-hero. Batman mythology, then, lends itself to a degree of plausibility more than, say, Superman or Spider-Man, so why not manifest a vision of Batman that embraces this particular aspect that distinguishes this character from most superhero mythologies? But realism has not been a characteristic that unifies Batman’s many representations in the moving image. Through the eyes of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher, the Batman of tentpole studio filmmaking has occupied either a world of gothic architecture and shadowy noir, or one of schizophrenic camp. From 1989 to 1997, Batman was interpreted by visionary directors with potent aesthetic approaches, but approaches that did not necessarily aim to root the character within a landscape of exhaustive Nolanesque plausibility.


Boiling Point

I guess I’m feeling pretty violent these days, since last week I talked about how more people on TV needed to die and we’re revisiting the subject of death again this week. Though, with a slightly different slant – whereas previously I wanted more death, now I want that same amount of death, but slower. In television, everyone seems like they’re in a huge hurry to die. Granted, the world of make believe is at least as dangerous as the real one, in fact, it’s infinitely more so. In a regular day, most of us won’t contend with tornadoes, Megasnakes, Sharktopi, advanced alien civilizations, primitive monsters, serial killers, psycho killers, bank robbers or mutated man-beast hybrids. Sure, there are some exceptional days, but for the most part we don’t have as much to worry about. Regardless of what Last Action Hero says, I think we also have it safer, after all, we don’t just instantly drop dead at the slightest provocation.

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published: 12.17.2014
published: 12.15.2014
published: 12.12.2014
published: 12.05.2014

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