Saturday, July 19, 2008

No Country for Mayhem

Denise and I saw Batman with our dear friends Jim and Jill (who specifically requested their immortalization in this blog entry). I could say that the Joker serves nicely as the face of postmodernity (notice how he hates narratives of any kind), but that would offend many, so I won't say that.

Instead, a one paragraph film contextualization and analysis: The Oscar-party nihilism of No Country for Old Men gave us the coin-flip killer; a serial murderer who not only "got here the same way the coin did," but gets away as well. The Dark Knight gives us the exact same trope, but places it in a somewhat coherent moral framework where such evil can, as it must, be defeated. Why do I feel like the American screen has been strangely cleansed?

update: A discerning analysis from Thomas S. Hibbs:
"...the film does not succumb to The Joker's vision. It is not nihilistic; it is instead about the lingering and seemingly ineradicable longing for justice and goodness that pervades the film. As Batman put it in the original film, 'Gotham is not beyond redemption.'"
At one point in the article Hibbs wisely calls it the Batman myth.