Sunday, 20 January 2013

Turning a masterpiece into a guilty pleasure

Hi guys, welcome to Orygyn.

I've neglected this blog. I made a brief resurgence on YouTube in November and December, but recently I've neglected that too. It was the Christmas period and I've been busy but I can't give any promises about how active I'll be here or on YouTube in the immediate future. Anyway, let's get to the point.

There are many different comeback posts I could've made here. I'm not happy about having to do this one but it has to be done. There's a view on the internet sometimes expressed that if you don't like something: a person, a video, a song, or a film, that you have the option of not watching and not commenting on it. By it's very nature it wouldn't make sense to apply it to politics, but it gets applied a lot to art forms. As a general rule, this is a viewpoint which I take to heart and practice, mostly because other people's opinions on art almost never offend me. The "almost" can be removed for cases in which people are stating that they simply like or dislike some form of art, without making a more objective statement that uses the word "good" or "bad". There are points that I sometimes take issue with that I can ignore. The only thing that could really prompt a post like this is when a viewpoint that I take issue with is expressed repeatedly and, most importantly, mindlessly by many people.

Today, what I want to say is this: a question you have about a film which you can't answer is not a plot hole. The specific movie I have in mind here is The Dark Knight Rises. Let's start with the obligatory "what did I think of it". Answer: when I came out of the cinema, I was shaking. I couldn't actually walk straight. I've never liked any film as much as I liked this one. I hope this account of my reaction pre-emptively discourages any of those extremely annoying comments like "well, you didn't really like it THAT much, I'm sure if you gave it some thought there would be other films you liked more". Eh, no. I've seen The Dark Knight. I've seen The Godfather. I've seen Citizen Kane. I've seen many genuine classics and I can say with total honesty that the only thing that's even come close to giving me the same reaction were Inception, also by Christopher Nolan, and the anime series, Death Note, and Rises still wins.

Now having said all of that, if you didn't like the film, cool. If anything I WANT to hear what you didn't like about it, but in the end, the personal reaction is what matters. I would never view you as being stupid or possessing any negative trait because we disagree. And, best of all, I don't even expect that to be mutual: express your disbelief or questions about my intelligence all you want. Where it crosses a line is when people try to make me ashamed of liking it. I'm making this post because I can feel the process at work on what I've already said is my honest favourite film ever. You will never change my mind about this film, only I could conceivably do that to myself, but if you make me ashamed of liking it, I'll never forgive you. Worst of all are the reasons for not liking the film that are motivating this process.

When people criticise The Dark Knight Rises, the consensus I've seen is this. It's an enjoyable film but it leaves you asking questions. I didn't have this reaction. Mine was simply "I have to see that again". To understand the "questions" viewpoint, I had to see what questions they were stuck on. All of them, without exception could either be explained away with the slightest bit of imagination, demonstrate inconsistent viewing when compared to the other films in the trilogy, or, worst of all, were actually addressed in the film. It might not have explained the ins and outs, but it told you all you needed to know. Examples:

"The "magic" knee brace"

Or alternatively, the knee brace. It didn't do anything "magic" at all. It simply took some of the strain off of Bruce Wayne's battered, cartilage-free knee. When he kicked the wall down, that was his own strength, which he's had throughout the previous films.

"How did he get back to Gotham from Bane's prison?"

This is explained in the film. Lucius says to Bruce "Did you have a nice flight?" That and the fact that Bruce fixed the autopilot on "The Bat" is all you need to know.

"Why did he waste time burning a bat symbol onto the bridge?"

This is a film about false hope. Bane terrorises Gotham by holding them hostage but otherwise allowing them to take complete control of the city. The flaming bat signal symbolises real hope: Batman is back, and he's putting a stop to Bane. As a symbol of real hope to conflict with Bane's false hope, letting the world, Gotham and Bane know that he's back, this wasn't a waste of time.

That should give you an idea, and I'll gladly give my opinion on more of these so-called questions if anyone brings them up in the description (assuming of course anyone actually reads this).