A sampling of topics from my e-mail and IM conversations of the last seven days:
- the Joker as the Übermensch
- Gotham = Baghdad
- “Is Batman a Jack Bauer-like Republican vigilante figure, who takes the hatred of the world upon himself to do the necessary work of getting rid of terrorism, or a slightly-more-liberal figure who represents the moral gray zones surrounding every good action?” [quoting my friend Eleanor here without permission]
- “I was just watching Les Miserables… here was the symptom of postmodernity if there ever was one — a musical phenomenon that hit the world globally as the… faith in revolution declined. Now that there ain’t large metanarratives, all we’re left with is Harvey Dent…” [quoting my friend Kiko here, also without permission]
- Alfred as servant and father figure
- the burning of currency and postmodern chaos
- Bruce Wayne is to Harvey Dent what the Batman is to the Joker — or a different configuration altogether?
- Does power still lie in the hands of “the people” (including, paradoxically, the incarcerated), and do they ultimately correct the extralegal excesses of the state?
- The Dark Knight, the new iPhone, queues, obsessive consumer mentality, and the demise of national ritual, secular and otherwise
- IMAX and the aesthetics of scale
- Christopher Nolan quoting Michael Caine in Entertainment Weekly: “Superman is the way America sees itself, but Batman is the way the world sees America.”
- and Tina Turner’s “We Don’t Need Another Hero”
I haven’t responded yet to Gladys’ comments, on female identification and Wanted — it’s over at my American Pop entry — but more food for thought: according to EW, 48 percent of the audience at The Dark Knight were women. (I can hear your answer already, though: “Christian Bale, duh.”)