24 July 2008

Why So Serious?

In today's Boston Globe, Ty Burr writes:

On Sunday I went to a memorial service in Mount Auburn Cemetery for the sister of a family friend. Afterward, as the group milled around drinking iced tea and eating finger food under a small tent next to the chapel, word got out among the teenagers and college kids that there was a movie critic present. One by one, they came up to me and asked the same question, with almost the same wording.

Is "The Dark Knight" the best movie of all time?
Burr goes on, but at that point my own responses were:
  • No. It's a very good superhero movie. But compared to The Bicycle Thief or From Here to Eternity or The General (to name just a few), it's an amplified thrill ride featuring two-dimensional characters.
  • At a memorial service? I hope the deceased was either a movie fan or a Batman fan. Otherwise, entertainment about a mass-murdering crazy man seems like the wrong topic for the occasion.
Burr has some interesting points on the rare combination of factors that--for some people--imbue this superhero movie with more emotional resonance than any other. Or, seemingly, than any other event of recent memory.
Go ahead and scoff at the analogy, boomers, but one of the kids at the memorial service likened the opening of "Dark Knight" to the JFK assassination and the Challenger disaster as quintessential where-were-you defining moments of his generation.
Good to know the kids are getting over that little "destruction of the World Trade Center" thing.

1 comment:

J. L. Bell said...

Not to mention the release of each of the last few Harry Potter novels.