During the pinnacle summer of 2008 I saw Dark Knight twice in eight hours. I then proceeded to see it six more times during that same summer. So yeah I kind of liked it (what’s this guy’s problem?)
This film was so good and I was having so much fun that summer that I assumed time would simply stop there. I felt I had reached the apex of my existence and life really couldn’t get any better. I was in graduate school, partying harder than ever somehow, I was a freeman after breaking up with my long time girlfriend, and yet in spite of all these wondrous good times and memories (you never forget… being told about the next morning), time continued moving forward. Which at the time was a major bummer.
Thankfully I had this film to lead my path into the future.
This movie rocked me to the core. I had previously seen Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and thought it was damned decent. There were some parts that came off a bit hokey and silly to me but this film was still head and shoulders above any other superhero movie. But even still I can’t say I had very high hopes for this movie. I was thinking mid level tops.
My best friend Michael Dennis saw the Thursday midnight showing which he invited me to but I declined citing an acute drinking problem. When those two and a half magical hours were over he was positively speechless. I remember at first being skeptical. I was like “really? That was the best movie you’ve ever seen in your life? Better than “Empire Strikes Back”? Better than “Indiana Jones”? Better than every other comic book movie combined times a million? Alright fine I’ll see it.”
I believe it was Saturday morning when we finally had this conversation. I being the productive partier had set my alarm for the crack of noon. We set off immediately to the theater to witness this “Truly Amazing Film”.
The film starts and right out the gate I can tell this movie is different. Instead of building up to something we are put right in the middle of this CRAZY heist scene where all the criminals are wearing clown masks. You can tell something is not right from the get go. After each section is cleared the proceeding guy up the ladder kills the other guy who just finished his job. How has a movie never done that before? I thought. “One less share!”
It continues until the glorious positively orgasmic reveal of Heath Ledger’s The Joker. Now up to this point and a few years prior I had been highly skeptical of Heath Ledger playing the Joker. To me The Joker was a skinny high pitched psychopath and with Ledger’s wide handsome face and deep manly voice it just didn’t seem possible for that to work out. Boy was I happy to eat my words. Ledger’s Joker worked impossibly well. He took the character I knew and loved and “brought him down to our level”. He made The Joker real.
I know this is offensive but I can’t help but think the level of depravity, insanity and psychopathy of this character had an effect on Ledger’s mental health which caused him to not be able to sleep which then caused him to mix medications and accidentally overdose. It’s truly tragic and tears me up inside. I feel, just like so many great artists before him, he had so much more brilliance to share. Also after finally taking an acting class I’ve come to the conclusion that Method Acting is downright dangerous ie To play a crazy unstable character you become crazy and unstable in real life so you don’t even need to act!
Then the movie continues building and building around this perfectly captured and expressed villain. Amazing set piece after amazing set piece not only inspired me to pursue film with renewed piss and vinegar but to literally move to Chicago and live there (because that’s where it was filmed).
This movie has had and continues to have a GIGANTIC impact on me in not only my artistic merits but my geographical position as well. This film moved me… to a bigger city called Chicago! And I couldn’t be happier with that inspired direction.
And if you choose where to live based on your favorite film than come on down to the Staged Reading of my Psychedelic Cyberpunk Film Noir screenplay “Mum Knows Best” on Sunday August 9th from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at the Annoyance Theatre & Bar https://www.facebook.com/events/875860632494808/ because we’ll help you move.