Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dark Knight - Aftermath

I recently read an article that claimed that The Dark Knight “has become one of the most mistake-ridden films of the year so far” with movie-goers catching 16 mistakes in it. Granted, some of these film flubs are minor, such as hair being out of place from one shot to the next. Some, such as an extra S.W.A.T. truck appearing during a chase scene, are more major. All that said, the cold showers I took after seeing the movie are kicking in. I still love the movie, but I’m starting to view it in another light.

Essentially, after all is said and done, I still prefer TDK over Batman Begins. However, that is for one major reason – The Joker. Had The Joker not been so devilishly fun to watch, had Heath Ledger not been so completely immersed in the character, I am not sure I would have enjoyed the film as much as the one that preceded it. The biggest difference to me between the films is that, in Begins, I felt as though Christopher Nolan was really targeting a few key themes, which were explored in depth. In Dark Knight, there was so much going on that a lot of potentially interesting themes were lost or superficially explored at best. For example, when Bruce Wayne says that he’s “seen the man [he] would have to become” to defeat the Joker, I recall thinking that I’d not seen it. Had that line been absent, I’m not sure I would have come away with a feeling of Batman’s internal struggle. Sure, he was torn by what ramifications Batman’s existence has had on Gotham (criminals, copy cat vigilantes), but the darkness he felt growing inside him eluded me.

Another point that snagged me *SPOILER ALERT* was the Gordon “death”. There’s really little way that Gordon, the police, Batman, or The Joker could have planned that incident. More so than anything in Begins, this beat seemed something thrown in purely for the audience, something that did not further the plot in any particular (or plausible) way. *END SPOLIER*

What I’m getting at – and it’s odd, because Onyx, who can barley name a bat-gadget to save his life – was defending the film against me – the Dark Knight of Queens, NY – is that, overall, I think the movie had more poorly explained plot gimmicks and superficial thematic explorations than Batman Begins did. However, Joker reigned supreme in The Dark Knight, and, due in no small part to Heath Ledger’s performance, the movie was much more exhilarating and entertaining than Begins. Of course, I’ll still see it again in theatres and buy it as soon as it comes out (not to mention the poster and t-shirt I’ll probably pick out online this weekend). I’m just being a knit-picky fan (and former film student).

But *FINAL SPOLIER* how the hell was Eric Roberts standing in the hospital scene, when his character was dropped four stories just nights before?

Wonderful Life

I've realized recently that since graduation, my days can be divided into three types:

A) In which I write nothing. I don't even pretend I'm thinking about my script. These days I cook, I clean, I go running, I hang out with friends, I watch TV, I go to the library or read in the park, I remember to eat fruits and vegetables, I consider getting a pot of lavender or a cat. I am a normal, functioning human who is generally happy.

B) In which I write. Or at least I say I'm going to write. In reality I usually only accomplish one or two pages, five if it's a super good day. Most of the time is actually spent in self hatred, pretending to write, getting distracted by TV or the internet, and punishing myself by doing dishes.

C) In which I WRITE. These are the days I really. Fucking. Write. I don't eat, I don't drink, I hardly go to the bathroom, I don't pick up my phone, cups of half-drank tea or water surround me. Usually with consecutive days like these, I can pound out a script from anywhere between a month to a week. During this time I don't sleep: I pass out, and dream unsettling dreams.

The past few days have been C), and I finally finished my rewrite, as according to my angry vow that I will complete it within a month. I mainly sustain off of left overs during this time. On Tuesday, it wasn't until I got up to get another cup of water, did the warning signs finally reach my brain, and I realize that the food has gone sour. By then I finished half the bowl without noticing. Scenes after scenes are bulldozed through. Chunks of script are ripped out and new characters/scenes put in place. And around 11:30, I finished the script (which, might be total crap filled with spelling mistakes, but I refuse to think about it right now). By then my brain has been rendered into a lump of tofu. Electrically charged, but with no higher function than bean curd. My apartment is a mess. The dishes are piling out of the sink. I haven't ran for a while and adrenaline is at an all time low (although in the past I've been able to get adrenaline rushes from writing). I needed to vacuum. I REALLY needed to do my laundry. I can smell my trash rotting in the kitchen. I realized that I didn't pick up my grandmother's calls three times in a row.

It's funny, but I never thought I had to choose between living healthily like a normal person, or writing and feeling like there's meaning to my life. During days which I don't write, it never ceases to amaze me how much time I have to do so many things. Is that what normal people feel like? To have HOURS after work doing whatever they please? At times I feel that somehow I can REALLY WRITE and carve out an hour or two to make sure my living standards have not gone subhuman, but so far no luck. It seems that I either go all the way or not at all.

Perhaps, in a few years time, I'd be able to achieve a balance.