Wednesday, July 25, 2012

From 2008
"Pitched at the divide between art and industry, poetry and entertainment..." but not steadily.
The moral chaos and narrative confusion of Hong Kong cinema. Both memorable and forgettable, shallow and rich. The shot of The Joker leaning out the car window feeling the wind on his face really is a moment of "pure cinema," of silent, filmic, poetry. The naturalism in the hospital scene of The Joker and Harvey Dent, Two Face, is unnerving: the two characters simultaneously grotesque cartoons and fully human, the rage so obviously specific and personal.

Terminator II was a sort of collective artwork. Hollywood qua Hollywood and America, occasionally produce a kind of one-off epic cinema. The Dark Knight is smaller, intimate by comparison, and stranger. 
 
You could call Heath Ledger's performance "Stuart's Revenge," (compare the voices) but Franken's character is a cartoon. Cartoon villains show no fear until their last moments. Mostly they die cowards. Ledger's Joker is terrified throughout, but conquers fear by running towards it without stopping. To call him "evil" is to make him a cartoon when the film does the reverse. The Joker is played as human in the depths of psychosis and only from there as our dream. Seeing the touches of skin where the makeup is smeared off his forehead makes the terror that much greater. And as at least one critic has noted Aaron Eckhart's Two Face, goes even deeper.
see also here,
and here.

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