A Dark Night for the….well, You Get It

 Oscars noms out, hard to care seeing as the Academy has long been a pusher of lazy, middle-of-the-road prestige films. (I mean, Crash is a Best Picture winner; I’ve always had the pet theory that members of the Academy – average age, 87 – were trying to get themselves shut down so they could spend more time playing canasta and shaking their canes at teenagers exposing their ankles in public – kind of like suicide by cop, except much more dispiriting. Have you seen Crash? It’s Racism for Dummies, Cinematic Foreshadowing for Dummies, Angelic Supporting Characters who Flirt With Tragedy Accompanied by Sickly Sweet Scores for Dummies all rolled into one.)

One of the rare moments of subtlety in Crash (2005)

One of the rare moments of subtlety in Crash (2005)

So this is an expression of my complete and utter indifference – except….I’m sometimes a petty participant in culture, because I’m over the moon that The Dark Knight missed out on a nomination. The rise of the uber-fanboy is one of the side effects of the internet that has you sometimes wish for a supervirus to wipe everything clean (shades of Fight Club, another uber-fanboy film that I happen to love. But you know, I’m not a dick about it). TDK is one of the most incoherent (note to fanboys: this is not the same thing as incomprehensible or confusing, I do have a functioning brain, I did understand what was going on), overwrought, preachy, on-the-nose action films around, with the characters walking around speaking in declarations and the action scences looking as if they had been cut in a blender.

Christopher Nolan, whose Memento I love, but whose everything else has left me cold, is no action director. He has no real sense of geography and choreography in his camera placement and editing, with wide shots, close-ups, mid-shots alternating with random camera placements. I couldn’t wait for the action scenes in TDK to finish. Unfortunately, once they did finish, we then had a string of scenes where the characters pontificated on the THEMES OF THE FILM (all-caps to represent the subtle representation of said THEMES in the FILM), and so I couldn’t wait until stuff started blowing up again. A vicious circle only alleviated a little by Ledger, doing his own thing, servicing a character who, while representing chaos and anarchy, has some of the most elaborately pre-planned escapades around (I guess even psycho anarchists need to storyboard their great social commentary).

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