Published on March 3, 2014
The Dark Knight What are the key themes and messages explored by this film? Why are these themes and messages important to American Society in 2008
• • • • • • • What do you think are the key themes/messages explored in this film? Terrorism Heroism Love Revenge Death Control and Power Law Order and Chaos
Heroism • What does it mean according to this film to be a Hero? Batman Harvey Dent • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Saves people Captures the bad guys Dark and broody Outlaw Outsider Vigilante Quiet Uses force usually Living two lives Symbol for the law Sensible Good-looking All American White Knight Good Citizen Confident Use his brain/intelligence to win Transparent
Other Heroes in the Film? • Gordon – he tries to get the Joker, fakes own death to protect family, took a bullet for the new Mayor. He lets Joker escape, lets old Mayor die, doesn’t look like a hero. • Rachel - stands up to Joker, tries to negotiate with Lau, telling Batman what to do, intelligent. She dies, doesn’t look like a hero, love triangle issues.
Social Climate in United States 2008 • Huge recession – job losses, unemployment, poverty, stocks dropped, global decline • Raids in Iraq, homophobic murder (small scale), small scale murders • OJ Simpson goes to jail (held someone at gunpoint) • Presidential election – Obama wins, head of state Hilary Clinton, John McCain/Sarah Palin lose) • Elliot Spritzer (governor of NY) prostitution scandal • Black Monday – big six of wall street downturn • Virginia Mass Shootings – large scale terrorist act
Heroism • • • • • • • • • • • Why does America need heroes at the moment? Need role models like Obama Crime rates high Gov NY should be a role model but is dumb and sleeping with hookers Guns are everywhere People are scared Are men the only heroes? No? Hilary Clinton became a hero for women Who should our heroes be? Anyone? Smart, have a goal, accept their weaknesses, ethics, whoever we look up to – individuals may like different heroes Heroes as role model for the rest of society.
Doing what is right and good for America • Fighting against evil • Personal Sacrifice (Batman, Corrupt Cops, Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon, the judge) • Doing what is right for society even if it is bad for individuals • But how far should this go? (Batman interrogating the Joker, Batman using phones to ‘spy’ on the world) • Links to American context
Law, Order and Chaos • • • • • Order/Civilisation is good (Batman, the police) Chaos is bad (Joker/ Corrupt cops) The One Rule Good Vs Evil But the criminals on the boat seem to be the ones who are most civilised… do we underestimate the criminals and think they are part of the chaos?
What themes are explored in these scenes? • • • • • • • Harvey Dent and Bruce Wayne at Dinner 19:18 Power, Love, Heroism Bruce and Alfred talking about the war lord in Burma 53:47 Chaos, terrorism Harvey Dent and the Press conference 1:10:45 Fear, Heroism, Sacrifice, terrorism The Two Boats deciding on whether or not to push the button 1:59:16 • Righteousness, Chaos, Fear, Terrorism • The very end where Batman takes the blame 2:20:00 • Justice, sacrifice, fear, heroism, terrorism
1. The Dark Knight What are the key themes and messages explored by this film? Why are these themes and messages important to American Society in 2008
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