It feels as though the movie industry—and perhaps America as a whole—is still reeling from the massacre that took place in Aurora, Colo., during a screening of The Dark Knight Rises July 20. And some wonder whether the movie itself might’ve been partly to blame.
OK, so I\’ve been waiting for Christopher Nolan\’s third Batman movie since, oh, August 2008. But this week it finally comes to the big screen, and we can all see just how The Dark Knight Rises will polish off this powerful, resonant and geekishly hip trilogy.
The big question folks are asking is whether Batman will even survive to the credits. We\’ve seen plenty of hints suggesting he might not, and this 13-minute behind-the-scenes short doesn\’t give me a lot of peace of mind on the matter.
I hope Batman doesn\’t die. But if, heaven forbid, he does, there\’s a certain spiritual poignance to the movie\’s title. A hero falling, yet rising. For Christians, that has a familiar ring to it.
\”Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,\” we read in the book of John, and even if Batman doesn\’t wind up sacrificing everything for the people of Gotham City, we see in the film above he\’s more than willing to do so. And we see, held out to Batman, the possibility of redemption: \”Sometimes, a man rises from the darkness,\” we hear Alfred tell Bruce Wayne. To me, there\’s a lot of hope in that sentence. If Batman is, as I suggest in God on the Streets of Gotham, really a flawed hero–not as much a Messiah figure as he is more like one of us, but nevertheless called by God for His purposes–there\’s a suggestion that there\’s a light in the darkness, hope when all hope seems gone. That\’s a powerful message.
\”What we’re constructing here is a very elemental conflict between good and evil,\” Nolan tells us. We\’ll find out soon just what this conflict looks like, and whether I should start penciling out notes for a little God on the Street of Gotham addendum.
Today, the modern movie superhero is a wreck. He (and it\’s still almost always a he) must be touched by a form of madness in order to get to the point where he dons a suit. The Superman in Superman: The Movie, by comparison, just does it. One scene, a teenager is sifting through his late Kryptonian father\’s archives. The next, a fully-grown man is decked out in a cape, uniform and trunks, as ready as he\’ll ever be to fight for truth, justice and the American way. … He\’s a hero, plain and simple. Let the battle with the bad guy begin.
I\’ve been doing some radio interviews to promote my book, and I\’m pretty astounded with how weird those interviews can be. It has nothing to do with the folks interviewing me, and everything to do with me–particularly when I\’m speaking for radio or television. I\’m concentrating so much on speaking for a certain length of time (not too short, not too long) that I sometimes forget halfway through my answer what I\’m actually saying. And then, when I finally stop speaking, I think to myself, \”so, what did I just say? Did I actually string together any coherent sentences together at all? Did I even use any nouns?\”
So it\’s nice when I read back and interview and I discover that, yes, I am able to piece together a reasonable sentence under circumstances. Such was the case with my interview with Christian Toto, movie guru for Big Hollywood and a good friend. I thought I\’d link to it here, just in case you\’re interested. Hope you enjoy.