How I wasted $6.25: “Last night, on a whim, Jani and I went to a late-night showing of the new Batman film. Some of my favorite people in all the world liked it. But I left vowing not to go back to the movies for the foreseeable future.”


  1. First off: $6.25??? I want to live in whatever country he lives in! That is amazing. The student discount here is a lean $10 even.

    Second off: “It comes down to a lie of human idealization being passed off on the public because they’re supposed to be better off thinking the lie. That violates everything I believe.”

    I’m curious what he believes and how this is strong enough to be a violation.

    To me, the lie in the Dark Knight that several of the CAPC-linked articles have harped on is like telling the not-pretty girl that she looks pretty today even though what you really mean is that on a sliding scale, she looks pretty as compared with yesterday—not that she looks actually and honestly pretty.

    It may be that such a lie is also a complete violation of what he believes. Maybe I’m just too great a liar to understand what he’s all about.

    The Danes last blog post..20080807

  2. I think I interpreted the “lie” the same way as this writer did, but the idea that humanity can only continue to function if it acts as if people are innately good is extremely interesting to me, particularly when you look at the modern atheist/humanist movement which argues that people need to act humanely despite the fact that “humane” is whatever “humans” do. In other words, we need to act out the “lie” that humans are moral or else humankind will fall into chaos. In a similar way, the city needed to believe in the goodness of Harvey Dent.

    I can only speak for myself, but I took a lot way from the film. In fact, it impacted me just as much, if not more, than No Country and There Will Be Blood.

    Back when I lived in CA my wife and I could hit a matinee for $6.25. Are you going to the theater at night?

  3. I forgot to mention that The Dark Knight and WALL-E actually renewed my faith in film. Before these two came out I honestly believed that the film industry was on life support and that only a handful of decent films had been made after the 90s.

  4. Yeah, I think The Dark Knight had quite a bit more depth to it than There Will Be Blood, which had essentially one note (which it hammered well).

    As far as pretending that people are gonna do good unless they show evidence that they’ll do bad… I’m not sure if I can view such a psychology as being all that bad. Really, it seems pretty pragmatic. It’s like, despite the fact that I know how desperately badly people around here drive, I still take to the streets daily. Despite the fact that most people are self-centered, I still carry on conversations as if people care about what I’m talking about. Really, it’s just part of the societal contract.

    Or at least it seems so to me.

    Imagine what would become of Gotham if it were not encouraged to believe the lie. If they believe the only thing keeping their city from criminal rule is a vigilante mentally unstable enough to wear a latex cowl and jump off buildings in the name of quote-unquote justice, just how is that going to keep them from mass panic? I suppose mass panic and probably rioting might not be bad from a certain perspective. It could be cathartic and the end result might be better than what they started with. But the Batman bets otherwise.

    And despite the fact that he’s not all there, I tend to agree with him.

    It’s like you don’t necessarily tell your daughter that there’s a good chance that by the time she’s thirty she’ll have been sexually assaulted. You perpetrate this fantasy for her sake. So that she won’t live in paranoia, wondering when its going to be her turn, all the while distrusting all men simply because she can’t know from which quarter her attacker will come. It takes a certain (and rare) kind of individual to be able to look honestly at life and not fall apart. To press truth on a populous absolutely just strikes me as cruel and unwise.

    As for the matinee, that’s $9 around here. And it’s not like I ever have time to hit the movies before 9pm anyway…

    And you’re right. There have only been a handful of decent movies since 1999. But that’s always been the case. Excellence is rare simply because its so good. Still, here’s a list of 22 Movies in the Two Thousand Aughts that I Thought Proved that Film Excellence Was Still Possible:

    Amélie (Le Fableaux Destin d’Amélie Poulain)
    Before Sunset
    Big Fish
    Dogtown & Z-Boys
    He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not (À la folie… pas du tout)
    High Fidelity
    In the Mood for Love (Dut Yeung Nin Wa)
    Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    Lost in Translation
    O Brother Where Art Thou
    Punch Drunk Love
    Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)
    Spring Summer Fall Winter…and Spring
    The Devil’s Backbone (El Espinazo del Diablo)
    The Fog of War
    The Princess and the Warrior (Der Krieger und die Kaiserin)
    The Vertical Ray of the Sun (Mua he chieu thang dung)
    Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles)
    Waking Life

    And yeah, I realize that eleven of those are foreign and two are documentaries… *sigh*

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