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Monday, July 30, 2012

Dark Knight Rises: defeat the occupiers

  I'm a movie buff. I enjoy all sorts of movies, even made by the BBC. Having seen the previous Batman movies, we trotted over to the local cinemas to catch the "Dark Knight Rises." A local policeman strolled the lobby, looking bored. This is the first time I've seen this;  I hope it's the last.
  The first thing to know about "Dark Knight" is that it's very long and could've been cut. Undoubtedly, the producers felt they have a good thing in the franchise and wanted to give the audience a real show; it's too long. But it is a real show.
  I specifically avoid violent flicks, especially the Saw movies, which somehow teenagers find redeeming. Ugh.
  Anyway there's a great review of Knight over at the WSJ. It's a pretty accurate critique of the movie, in appreciation of its capitalist themes.
  I really don't know how you could watch this movie and not think of the occupier movement. There are scenes in which the "99%" decides to pull the 1% from their homes, beat them and steal their wealth, all the time screaming that the city needs to be returned to the people of the streets.
  There are mock courtroom scenes in which they pass judgment on the 1%.
  Of course, returning the city to the occupiers is a disaster, naturally, especially to the marauders who roam the streets in search of "equity" and anything they can steal with impunity.
  Over and over, watching this movie reminds of current events, like the ACORN siege of bank executives' homes (remember the teenage boy caught home alone when ACORN arrived? Terrifying.). There really can't be any argument that Obama, through his attitude, policies and remark that he was the only thing standing between the executives and the pitchforks, encouraged his followers to behave this way. 
  From the WSJ:

"The Dark Knight Rises" is a stinging, relentless critique of that upside-down and ultimately indefensible worldview. And why not? Our chattering classes frequently tell us that art should speak truth to power and shock the bourgeoisie. It just never seems to occur to them that "the power"—and the modern Babbitts of the bourgeoisie—are themselves. 
Mr. Nolan's response to them—the perfectly cast, brilliantly choreographed conclusion to his Batman trilogy—is a sophisticated vision of the way economic systems actually work and don't work. The essence of that vision is encapsulated in two scenes that purposely echo one another.

  The violence in Knight isn't necessarily graphic; it's just depressing, disturbing and unremitting. There's one scene reminiscent of Fallujah that is truly horrifying. And this isn't a perfect movie; the arc is uneven and the audience does not have enough time to celebrate victory. Instead the viewer rides the thrills and chills of constant action. There should've been more cheers in this movie.
  Another disconcerting aspect is the choice of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, who achieves a sort of cathartic transformation. Though she's fine in the film, it's disconcerting that she (a millionaire) marched on the streets of NY, wearing a face scarf, a bodyguard and a sign that read " Blackboards not bullets."
  As Klavan says at WSJ, do these people not realize they ARE the 1%? 
  Do people like Hathaway not realize they would be the first to be pulled from their NYC penthouse apartments?
  How could Hathaway make this film at the same time marching with the occupiers?
  If this is not an example of cognitive dissonance, there is no such thing.
  She is just one of many, apparently, who do not realize they are protesting....themselves.
  But overall this is an intriguing honest movie. I don't think I've ever seen anything, anything like it ever.
  Did Nolan know what he was making?
  I don't see how he didn't.
  Occupiers are occupiers, whether they picture themselves associated with the evil Bane or not.
  It's an amazing film.

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