Corte Madera Chronicles

A group blog; a place to share photos, thoughts, stupid shit we find on the internet, whatever. Hopefully we'll get at least one post per day from someone, and not so many posts that it's too overwhelming. Have fun!

Friday, June 17, 2005


In 'Batman Begins,' Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is urged by his mysterious mentor - part spiritual adviser, part ninja master - to behead an enemy who is at his mercy. When Bruce refuses, he is on his way to becoming the heroic Batman, complete with a black mask and cape. In 'Revenge of the Sith,' Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is urged by his mysterious mentor to chop off the head of his enemy, Count Chocula - sorry, that's Count Dooku - and does. That is his crucial turn toward the dark side, and soon he's the villainous Darth Vader, complete with a black mask and cape to call his own. The films' conflicts are not simply about good guys and bad guys, or even good versus evil, always the elements of broadly framed fantasies. With spiritual overtones, and an emphasis on an eternal struggle between equally matched forces of darkness and light, the films suggest a kind of pop-culture Manichaeism. And as crowd-pleasing movies so often do, they reflect what's in the air, a climate in which the president speaks in terms of good and evil, and religion is increasingly part of the country's social and political conversation.
When "Night Watch" was released in Russia last year, it quickly became the highest-grossing film in that country's history. It's hard to predict how an action-fantasy with subtitles will do here, but its eternal battle between good and evil is simple to translate, and its language is familiar from statements like this: "We are in a conflict between good and evil, and America will call evil by its name." Those words weren't spoken on the planet Tatooine, but by President Bush at West Point in 2002 (considering the lag time of movies, practically yesterday). By now, whether the real-life rhetoric of good and evil reminds us of the movies, or the other way around, is probably impossible to guess.


At 11:39 AM, Blogger Lorrimer said...

I saw a preview for Night Watch and it looks fucking intense.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger shakescene said...

All these damn manichean illusions...


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