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19.07.2012

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richard lopez

fascinating analysis of the trailer. for the second film of the trilogy, the DARK KNIGHT, nolan spliced in shards of class struggle within the workings of the crime syndicate and the formless destructive powers of the joker.

still, i have a feeling that most who watch this latest movie will not see it but for the summer blockbuster it is.

i have my doubts about these films anyway as films. i'm seeing it on saturday.

at any rate, nolan's visions do seem to be images of our time of late-capitalism. that things are winding down and entropy is gaining on us.

john

Let me know what you think, Richard. Of the movie, I mean, and whether the trailer, in order to draw people in, has distorted the film as a whole - or whether it's actually the haiku version of the whole thing.

As for "nolan spliced in shards of class struggle within the workings of the crime syndicate and the formless destructive powers of the joker" do you think that there's any chance once could see the crime syndicate as a paranoiacally distorted version of a competing capitalist enterprise such as the cartels, etc? And that Batman, in crushing it, is still acting in the interest of Wayne Enterprises and other members of the ruling neoliberal power bloc?

richard lopez

i saw the joker as mr hyde to the cartels' dr jeckyl. desire achieves formlessness and therefor the center would not hold. the joker was anti-capitalist in the most formal sense. he cared not for the structure of the markests. nor did he think of himself as being against structure itself. he was violent negation. a black hole.

but there is a scene in the end where you can see that the joker was energized to the point of mania when he thought the batman would do violence, the kind of violence of which he practiced. at that moment they are equals.

i thought of the cartels not as a distortion of wayne enterprises but an extenstion of wayne enterprises. they are
still in the end businessmen. like the who said, 'meet the new boss/same as the old boss'.

i do have to commend nolan for broaching such subjects within a comic-book film.

such bravery is one of the reasons why i champion A CHILDREN OF MEN. perhaps some fo the imagery is dated in that film but the filmmaker, cuaron, populates his visions of a dystopian future with knowledge of our present day.

john

Thanks, Richard. So: the Joker as "capitalism's other." Perhaps his violent negation is a "return of the repressed", meaning he's what the so-called invisible hand actually does, not bring order, which is what the capitalists would like it to do but wreak a kind of mindless havoc. From what you say he's not capitalism, he's maybe "the market" - completely amoral. But, hell, it's a comix movie, not a directly and anti-capitalist text. I don't want to overread too much.

richard lopez

that is the danger of contextualizing anything, john, by reading too much into stuff. but our abilities to find form and structure is what makes our human minds absolutely marvelous. and dangerous.

the joker as the market which is completely amoral, yes, but i would say that the joker is 'anti-anti' so it would be hard for a full defination of his mind and actions without contradictory data. recall that the scene where he takes over the cartels, then steals their money, only to burn that money as it was piled in a large warehouse with the cartels' money sitting bound and gagged on top of that burning pile. the joker's actions were contradictory and utterly without meaning.

it is clear that christopher nolan does indeed mean to put our current socio-economic turmoils within his batman films. there is a danger to overread the work, i i guess, as in the latest movie it is difficult to pin meaning to the filmmaker. is nolan for the occuppiers or is he tackling the difficulties of the 1percent with sympathy?

it was difficult to tell while watching the movie. there are a couple of scenes that mirror the horrors of the reign of terror of the french revolution complete with revulsion directed at the revolutionaries hell-bent on committing evil. but then there are several scenes where wall street get its comeuppance with verve bordering on delight.


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