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Here's a dilemma for you, Scott. On the one hand, I totally agree with what you're saying (in general) about the film's politics, although I think the representations of Bane's army are very confused, and do sometimes intentionally echo the Occupy movement -- other times the Taliban, and still other times various incidents from the Terror during the French Revolution. I don't know whether Nolan thinks Occupy is like the Taliban, or whether he thinks al-Qaeda is like The French Revolution, or what. Even if the film suggests that Bane's populist rhetoric is hollow, it's not sophisticated enough to mourn the lack of real populism, because the only people it really cares about are police officers. Furthermore, Catwoman's best moment, her whispering "there's a storm coming," is totally Occupy-esque, forcing the concern that even if this isn't a depiction of the current moment, it might be an idiotic "warning" about "what could happen" if Occupy gets too big. Honestly, I doubt such issues are worth untangling. The worst thing about The Dark Knight was all the political overtones; while the political overtones of Batman Begins are somewhat less annoying, they're also not profound. They precisely echo plotlines I remember from Dungeons & Dragons, with Liam Neeson as a version of the True Neutral character alignment. The only thing that was ever profound about this series was its psychological insight: into fear in the first film, and into chaotic/anarchic impulses in the second. Bane doesn't represent any sort of comparably interesting principle; he's basically just a political figure. (Catwoman, on the other hand, is very interesting, but doesn't get enough screen time.) Not only does this make the film tedious and overlong, it somewhat ruins the whole series for me. I just don't think Nolan is in command of his symbols, however good he may become at staging them.
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Here's what I wrote over at The Kugelmass Episodes: Scott’s posted his take on the episode...It’s great, in that we somehow manage to cover almost none of the same material, and it’s also great because Scott has an uncanny ability to recreate and explain the theory behind the direction. His analysis of Sally’s perspective is a tour-de-force. I guess I would say that the episode still feels smart to me, but it doesn’t feel glamorous, and Mad Men needs to be both. Otherwise it can’t get away with its crimes against our modern sensibilities. You make a great case for Sally as the surprise protagonist of the show. The problem is that she's never going to be old enough to write copy (at least, not more than once or twice in special episodes), and the show's depiction of the creative process has always been, for me at least, a big part of its appeal. Did you read Sloane Crosley's piece in Esquire? It's mostly plot summary, but she does point out that maybe Sally's gaze is a desiring one. The rest of my post is here. Still no clue how to make this here TypePad recognize trackbacks.
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Mar 26, 2012