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(FilmComment)   "If you look at the three of them, Ra's Al Ghul is almost a religious figure, The Joker is the anti-religious figure, the anti-structure anarchist. And then Bane comes in as a military dictator." Christopher Nolan finally explains his Batman movies   (filmcomment.com) divider line 72
    More: Interesting, batman movie, Joker, bane, Batman, David Goyer, military dictators, structure anarchist, Jonathan Nolan  
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4229 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 29 Nov 2012 at 11:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-29 02:28:09 PM

skepticultist: un4gvn666: Is it true that you don't use a second unit director, in effect shooting every frame yourself?

Yeah, I've never used a second unit director. Occasionally, we'd hire a splinter unit for a day or something and splinter off a couple of shots, but I went into Batman Begins saying to the studio, "Look, I don't understand how to peel things away from my script and say these aren't important enough for me to shoot them. Because to me, if they're not important enough for me to shoot them, they shouldn't be in the film in the first place."

I farking love this guy's philosophy.

Yeah, I was impressed by that too.

I don't always agree with Nolan's choices (letting Bale do the Bat Voice was dumb), but I really can't say there's much in terms of wasted screen time in his movies. And that's despite being pretty farking long movies.


I've actually changed my opinion on the Bat voice. At first, I thought it was goofy and wanted something closer to Kevin Conroy. It grew on me though, and I love it. I can't explain why, but it gets me pumped.

Also, I'll echo the sentiment on Nolan's screen time. Each of those movies is around 2 1/2 hours and yet I never felt bored in any of them.
 
2012-11-29 02:30:14 PM

Wayne 985: Read the threads when Skyfall first came out. They hated that too.


All I saw was outright jizzing over Skyfall. When I finally saw it, I was ready for the ultimate Bond film. Instead I got a paint by numbers plot, and bizarre third act that ground the film to a screeching halt.
 
2012-11-29 02:31:55 PM

theorellior: Nana's Vibrator: Be careful what you wish for. Most movies are made for kids. The interview itself hints around at Warner Bros. wanting more/bigger. That Nolan had the spine to maintain his scale is a testament to him and a warning to the next group that takes on these kinds of action films.

Batman *is* a kid's movie, basically live-action of the wish-fulfillment that gets teenage boys through their crappy days. There's nothing wrong with that, and it can be very enjoyable. But dressing these things up in gritty dark Philosophy 101 retreads is dumb and annoying.


I'll somewhat disagree: Yes, you can make a Batman kids movie and make it enjoyable. But there's also a big market (in Batman, other 'comic book hero' movies, and Star Wars, for example), for people who watched those kids movies years ago and actually do like to add a little more depth in the plot, characters, scenes, etc...and to a certain extent, maybe even a more realistic depiction of conflict/violence and more realistic consequences that stem from that.
 
2012-11-29 02:42:26 PM

Hebalo: All I saw was outright jizzing over Skyfall. When I finally saw it, I was ready for the ultimate Bond film. Instead I got a paint by numbers plot, and bizarre third act that ground the film to a screeching halt.


The problem there was that the ultimate fans (I think they call themselves afficionados or something) loved all of the call backs as subtle or apparent as they were. If you satisfy those who love the material then they'll scream from mountain tops how great it is, which elevates expectations for those who casually enjoy bond. I'm in that category and I saw it before hype so I was pretty damn happy with it. I can see your point of view though.
 
2012-11-29 02:57:37 PM

Brakefornobody: This Looks Fun: thecpt: jesus farking christ, am I the only one who liked the films? Not to mention how incredible TDK was. Appreciate the guy. Reading this is giving me depth on what he was trying to accomplish, so thank you subby.

I'm right here with you. Really enjoyed the films and this interview. I'm surprised by the comments as well.

Some people just want to watch the world burn.


Or, the internet equivalent, be hipster trolls.
 
2012-11-29 03:08:31 PM
I enjoyed the movies, but all of the villains were the same, no matter how Nolan tries to dress it up. They're ruthless, methodical, and very organized. I never followed how Joker was supposed to be an agent of chaos -- his bank robbery, prison escape, exploding hospital, and nearly-exploded ferries were incredibly ornate plans.

I enjoyed them all, though I felt the last one was weakest. I hated the reveal, though.
 
2012-11-29 03:13:40 PM

theorellior: Nana's Vibrator: Be careful what you wish for. Most movies are made for kids. The interview itself hints around at Warner Bros. wanting more/bigger. That Nolan had the spine to maintain his scale is a testament to him and a warning to the next group that takes on these kinds of action films.

Batman *is* a kid's movie, basically live-action of the wish-fulfillment that gets teenage boys through their crappy days. There's nothing wrong with that, and it can be very enjoyable. But dressing these things up in gritty dark Philosophy 101 retreads is dumb and annoying.


Stop. If there's one superhero movie that should be dark and gritty it's farking Batman. Don't blame Nolan for other filmmakers wanting to do the same thing with other characters.
 
2012-11-29 03:24:21 PM

Nana's Vibrator: But there's also a big market (in Batman, other 'comic book hero' movies, and Star Wars, for example), for people who watched those kids movies years ago and actually do like to add a little more depth in the plot, characters, scenes, etc...and to a certain extent, maybe even a more realistic depiction of conflict/violence and more realistic consequences that stem from that.


For me, Nolan is the exact director who can't do those things--flesh the characters out, make them human. His films are an intellectual enterprise that revolve around the act of filmmaking, and the characters are secondary. His most successful film, Memento, basically worked because he was focused almost entirely on the gimmick and didn't bother to try to humanize the characters. Noland doesn't do characters. They're cutouts that inhabit his dioramas and set pieces.

browntimmy: Stop. If there's one superhero movie that should be dark and gritty it's farking Batman. Don't blame Nolan for other filmmakers wanting to do the same thing with other characters.


Nolan's idea of dark and gritty is sepia filters and a growly voice. His vision, IMHO, sucks.
 
2012-11-29 03:33:33 PM

Nana's Vibrator: Be careful what you wish for. Most movies are made for kids.


So? A lot of the things 'For Kids' are damn good. And sometimes are better than the things made 'For Adults'.

(see: Batman: The Animated Series.)
 
2012-11-29 03:36:16 PM

theorellior: Noland doesn't do characters. They're cutouts that inhabit his dioramas and set pieces.


See, now that's just dumb and untrue. Of course he "does characters". BRuce Wayne has emotions, drives, needs that affect his behaviour. Alfred was a great character, we empathize with him and his situation. The Joker is a mystery to us, but he's true to the rules of the character.
 
2012-11-29 03:42:23 PM
FTFA: I've never liked films that go part of the way there and then take an improbable leap.

You mean like Bruce Wayne's leap without a rope?
 
2012-11-29 03:42:51 PM
I can explain them to, they start out with a mediocre action flick, a second movie that deteriorates badly with the single worst depiction of the Joker ever, and end up with a final movie that makes you wonder why you wasted $12.

/Not a troll it is an honest opinion
//Yes I think Heath Ledgers Joker sucked dead donkey balls and I have expressed this opinion for many several years now.
///Let us hope the next reboot is better, maybe done in the style of Batman the Brave and the Bold.
 
2012-11-29 03:47:44 PM
In many threads I get the feeling that I'm not a big enough nerd for this site.
 
2012-11-29 04:01:03 PM
I actually think that the Batman trilogy is much smarter than it's given credit for. The major themes of the movies all tend to revolve around post-9/11 issues in America. They all involve acts of terrorism and the response to a new, more connected world. The first dealt with shadow organizations and the resistance toward extremism. The second was about contending with an enemy whose philosophy is incomprehensible but whose methods are ruthless and unpredictable. There was also a commentary on surveillance and the limits to which a society is willing to go to in order to try to stamp out a violent ideology that will ultimately prevail, even as we continue to fight it. The third film seemed to be about the ways that wealth has settled down following a catastrophic event (the Joker's violent acts) and the fact that no matter what, "civil society," will always be vulnerable.

I'd love to write an essay or book, or something about the post-9/11 themes that run throughout the movies, as I'm sure there's more. I do think Nolan deserves some credit for these stories. Yes, on the one hand they are dumb action entertainment for the masses, but they have a strong core that consists of real dilemmas that we face in the Twenty-First Century. And they're not bad as a character study of one man who tries to influence the tides of change that have occurred. The problems of violence and terrorism are nothing new, but they've taken on different dimensions in our present moment. I think Nolan was wise to take on such topics and that he handled them considerably well.

/*shrug* Just my two pennies.
//I also enjoyed the films as straightforward action, so count me among the masses to whom the studio sought to sell tickets. I saw all three in theaters and had a blast.
 
2012-11-29 04:13:19 PM
In TDKR, after about 10 mins of listening to Bane talk all I could picture was Sean Connery speaking through a traffic cone. It took me a couple of times through the movie before I could get over it.
 
2012-11-29 04:18:39 PM

Springy23: I actually think that the Batman trilogy is much smarter than it's given credit for. The major themes of the movies all tend to revolve around post-9/11 issues in America. They all involve acts of terrorism and the response to a new, more connected world. The first dealt with shadow organizations and the resistance toward extremism. The second was about contending with an enemy whose philosophy is incomprehensible but whose methods are ruthless and unpredictable. There was also a commentary on surveillance and the limits to which a society is willing to go to in order to try to stamp out a violent ideology that will ultimately prevail, even as we continue to fight it. The third film seemed to be about the ways that wealth has settled down following a catastrophic event (the Joker's violent acts) and the fact that no matter what, "civil society," will always be vulnerable.

I'd love to write an essay or book, or something about the post-9/11 themes that run throughout the movies, as I'm sure there's more. I do think Nolan deserves some credit for these stories. Yes, on the one hand they are dumb action entertainment for the masses, but they have a strong core that consists of real dilemmas that we face in the Twenty-First Century. And they're not bad as a character study of one man who tries to influence the tides of change that have occurred. The problems of violence and terrorism are nothing new, but they've taken on different dimensions in our present moment. I think Nolan was wise to take on such topics and that he handled them considerably well.

/*shrug* Just my two pennies.
//I also enjoyed the films as straightforward action, so count me among the masses to whom the studio sought to sell tickets. I saw all three in theaters and had a blast.


This is one of the ways I watch the series. I've had people laugh in my face about it, but there was a good cracked article that summarized common points of view for this theory. Scroll down to #2

A lot of people try not to apply thought or interpret different than how they're supposed to. A nice thing about this movie is you can be entertained if you do, and entertained if you don't.
 
2012-11-29 06:21:07 PM

Trocadero: I think the thing is that directors, being humans and all, make mistakes, and they usually makes similar mistakes multiple times. Spielberg's bad films always end 30-45 minutes after they should, Scorsese's bad films always double down on a quirky camera gag or cram too much Rolling Stones where it doesn't belong, etc. Nolan has his style, and it works almost all of the time. But Rises definitely showcased his weaknesses more than his talents. In Dark Knight, he stuck to his strengths and minimized his weaknesses, just like any director's great films. But Rises he tried to do too much, and I think he stretched himself thin. He still can't write/direct actresses worth a damn. Ann Hathaway should win an Oscar for making the first interesting female character in a Nolan film since Insomnia.


ha! My favorite part of Dark Knight was when Rachel died
 
2012-11-29 06:34:14 PM
I wish someone would ask him

"Ledger doesn't die, what film do you make?"

Because it was horribly obvious that he wanted to use Joker in the third. I liked DKR, even though it had it's flaws. But I find myself wondering what the movie he had planned to make was.
 
2012-11-29 07:05:32 PM

Fonaibung: I enjoyed the movies, but all of the villains were the same, no matter how Nolan tries to dress it up. They're ruthless, methodical, and very organized. I never followed how Joker was supposed to be an agent of chaos -- his bank robbery, prison escape, exploding hospital, and nearly-exploded ferries were incredibly ornate plans.


I wasn't sure if that speech was intended to be honest or if it was part of the Joker's bigger plan to corrupt Harvey and return Gotham to pre-Batman days
 
2012-11-29 07:29:45 PM
Did he ever explain why he allowed Bale to use that stupid voice? Thats the one reason I cant watch DKR, Bale killed it. Ledger did rock as The Joker, though. But Bale just sucked to the point of killing the movies for me
 
2012-11-29 09:04:57 PM

moothemagiccow: Trocadero: I think the thing is that directors, being humans and all, make mistakes, and they usually makes similar mistakes multiple times. Spielberg's bad films always end 30-45 minutes after they should, Scorsese's bad films always double down on a quirky camera gag or cram too much Rolling Stones where it doesn't belong, etc. Nolan has his style, and it works almost all of the time. But Rises definitely showcased his weaknesses more than his talents. In Dark Knight, he stuck to his strengths and minimized his weaknesses, just like any director's great films. But Rises he tried to do too much, and I think he stretched himself thin. He still can't write/direct actresses worth a damn. Ann Hathaway should win an Oscar for making the first interesting female character in a Nolan film since Insomnia.

ha! My favorite part of Dark Knight was when Rachel died


It's a shame Katie Holmes didn't play Rachel again. Whatserface was just terrible.
 
2012-11-29 11:50:06 PM

Fonaibung: I enjoyed the movies, but all of the villains were the same, no matter how Nolan tries to dress it up. They're ruthless, methodical, and very organized. I never followed how Joker was supposed to be an agent of chaos -- his bank robbery, prison escape, exploding hospital, and nearly-exploded ferries were incredibly ornate plans.

I enjoyed them all, though I felt the last one was weakest. I hated the reveal, though.


The goal was chaos, to turn the city up-side down. You don't just wake up and be random and expect a change like that, it takes a plan, a solid plan, probably several with contingencies. You get some nutter that doesn't have a plan, and you don't have much of a villain.
 
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