Week 7 Notes 2.20-2.24 Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:35 AM Feb 17th - 20th Module Iconography of Superheroes Batman Begins (2005) • Directed by Christopher Nolan ○ Reboot = retelling of origin focused on psychology of Bruce & drive to be Superman ○ Audience emotionally care • If you want to learn more check out goods in transit are included in a purchaser's inventory:
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Characters ○ Batman/Bruce Wayne ▪ Orphan billionaire; Batman = justice for parents; "Dark Knight" ○ Ra's al Ghul ▪ Trained Bruce in League of Shadows; kill criminals & sacrifice innocent ○ Scarecrow/Jonathan Craine ▪ Pychopharm; Arkham Asylum; help create fear toxins ○ Alfred Pennyworth ▪ Bruce's butler; raised Bruce; moral advice ○ Lucius Fox ▪ Weapons & tech for Batman ○ James (Jim) Gordon ▪ Honest officer; bend rules for Batman ○ Rachel Dawes ▪ Assistant DA; Bruce's childhood friend & love-interest ○ Carmine Falcone ▪ Head of mob; works with Ra's & Scarecrow; help smuggle toxins in • Reception Revenge v. Justice in film ○ Positive; realistic, search for father figure, overcome fear; revenge v. justice ○ O'Neil praise: reboot understood character; best to date Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud • Icon = image representing person, place, thing or idea ○ Symbols & Icons of Language, Science & Communication ▪ Invisible ideas, concepts & philosophies ▪ Appearance doesn’t affect meaning ○ Pictures ▪ resemble subject ▪ Meaning is fluid; differ from "real life" • Anthromorphism = humanlike animals/objects I'm Not Fooled by That Cheap Disguise, William Urricio & Roberta Pearson • Traits of Batman ○ Wealth(heir to fortune), physical prowess, obsessed, not crazy, deductive ability, celibate • Events ○ Origin story/ why fight crime ○ Action(ongoing crime fighting) defines Batman • Characters ○ Robin, Gordon, Joker, Two-Face • Setting Gotham/Urban Compare Batman in Nolan's film & Urrichio/Pearson traits Humanities Page 1 ○ Gotham/Urban • Iconography ○ Cape & cowl, logo, gauntlets, extensions (bat-a-rang) Feb 20th Lecture Anthromorphism = giving nonhuman thing human qualities • Batman as ICON ○ Comic portrayals (drawings) of superhero = spectrum from realistic to basic ▪ Basic drawing = you can picture yourself as superhero; realistic drawing = difficult because drawing is too specific ▪ Bale's portrayal of Batman v. Affleck's ○ What traits & characteristics does Batman possess? ▪ Brooker: myth, brand, cannon Our definition: serious, stoic, urgency/deliberate, greatest detective, worried, no ▪ smile/happiness ▪ Urrichio & Pearson = 5 categories: wealth, physical prowess, not insane, obsessed, detective, celibate Traits (relating to Batman Begins) • Wealth ○ Hotel scene (I'll buy the hotel) ○ More real/True self: Bruce Wayne v. Batman (idea/symbol; can't be corrupted) ▪ What is Batman an idea/symbol of? Vigilante or hero? • Physical Prowess ○ Training in mountains ○ Supa fit man • Detective ○ Solve releasing of toxins in air ○ Solve microwave emitter stolen • Celibate ○ Should ending with Rachel be changed? ○ Not celibate by choice, but by Rachel's decision ○ Has a romantic interest • Some qualities are consistent & go across the spectrum of myth, brand & cannon (like wealth; Bruce is always wealthy), but other's don't (like celibacy; sometimes Bruce is celibate, sometimes he has a love-interest & acts on his interest) Setting • Gotham/Urban area Recurrent Events • Fight villains, Trauma Recurrent Characters • Joker, Alfred, Gordon Iconography • Cowl, cape, boots, symbol, costume in general, gadgets Setting, Recurrent Events/Characters & Iconography all go across spectrum of myth, brand & cannon Feb 22nd - 24th Module The Dark Knight (2008) • Directed by Christopher Nolan ○ Higher Nolan recognition due to Batman Begins ○ Wider political issues (9/11) ○ Nolan downplayed in posters & trailer, but responded to in authorship role ○ Superhero genre transformed ○ Initially Batman three-part, but not a trilogy; Dark Knight = Bruce deeper into Batman Humanities Page 2 Batman ○ 2nd movie to break $500M in North America • Characters ○ Batman/Bruce Wayne ▪ "Dark Knight" ○ Joker ▪ Chaos; no clear past ○ Two Face/Harvey Dent Joker = broken grotesque ▪ "White Knight;" DA fight criminals legally; transformed into villain; chance is his only "morality" ○ Alfred Pennyworth ▪ Bruce's butler; raised Bruce; moral advisor & father figure ○ Lucius Fox ▪ Weapons & tech for Batman; CEO of Wayne Enterprises ○ Coleman Reese ▪ Accountant at Wayne's Enterprises; threatens to reveal Batman ○ James (Jim) Gordon ▪ Honest officer; bend rules for Batman ○ Detective Ana Ramirez & Detective Wuertz ▪ Corrupt officers ○ Rachel Dawes ▪ Assistant DA; Bruce's childhood friend & love-interest ○ Salvatore Maroni ▪ New Falcone head (Falcone sent to Arkham Asylum) ○ Gambol ▪ Mob boss killed by Joker ○ Lau ▪ Mob accountant Rabelais & His World, Mikhail Bakhtin Joker attempt anarchy; Gotham already overrun w/ crime • Serious ceremonies coexisted with humorous, parodic ones • Clowns mimicked serious, "official" rituals ○ Ex: Feast of Fools (medieval), Topsy Turvy Day (The Hunchback of Notre Dame) ○ Parodying doubles • Parodying double in Batman's villains & vice versa Carnival is temporary; Joker & Harvey/Two Face? Batman price to restore order? • Carnival is temporary; if normal, villains would be heroes; norm must be restored • Carnival figure pushed in corners & isolated; clowns = tragic & isolated Feb 22nd Lecture Batman role & power in Gotham - Portrayal in Batman Begins - Bakhtin - parodying double (villains = mirror reflection) ○ Vigilante/hero ○ Revenge/justice ○ Ra's wanted to end crime like Batman, just in a worse way - 3 levels = myth, brand & cannon ○ Brand = specific to film/studio (ex: Warner Bros portrayal) Vigilante • Commissioner Loeb: Batman is outside the law; people can't just take the law into their own hands Police view; no help; stop progress Humanities Page 3 ○ Police view; no help; stop progress ○ Police is corrupt & criminal own: bribes, Falcone can shoot in front of cop ▪ Batman HAS to be outside to fight the corruption ○ "Do I look like a cop?" -IP; batman tactics • Car chase attempt to save Rachel ○ innocent life? Not selfless because he cares for her? Hero • Identity ○ Code = When law fails, Batman has his own code ○ Symbol = Progression • Bruce & Gordon "Now we're two;" few honest men in corrupt society • Ra's = traditional vigilante; above law, eliminate crime, restore balance ○ "You destroyed my house & left me for dead. Now your turn" ; balance ○ Difference from Batman = willingness to kill ▪ Myth variation; cannon ▪ Fine line b/n "won't kill & won't save" ▪ Most good for most people ○ Coogan definition of Superhero = protect innocent ▪ Ra's isn't innocent ○ Initially Batman/Bruce followed Ra's: took law in hand, eye for an eye, kill Chill (parent's murderer) ; vigilante • Batman's life = recurrent events; Urrichio & Pearson Batman as Icon/Symbol = higher philosophical purpose; justice; more than man; an idea; incorruptible (Coogan's mission?) Conversation with Rachel outside of Hotel dictates his choices Feb 24th Lecture *Office hours = describe PowerPoints* *A Mirror for the Bat: Evil Citizens of Gotham City, Part 1* Feast of Fools = limited (not forever) • Outsiders are King for a day ○ Clown = inversion of social order ○ Meaning is created in relationships • Law : Merrymaking ○ Batman (code) : Joker (chaos) ○ Not fighting forces; exchange of power ○ Similarities > differences ○ Parodying double; possibility for overlap ○ "you complete me" - Joker Bakhtin Dialogism • Scripter/Author • Myth/Brand/Cannon • Carnival Gotham is corrupt before Joker • Examples Maroni owns banks Humanities Page 4 ○ Maroni owns banks ○ Lao (accountant); police ○ Sneak a gun into court (from Batman Begins) • Joker is after both Batman & the Mob ○ "better class of criminals" than Mob ○ Joker & Batman have higher mission ○ Invert truth (greatest schemer) ○ Broken grotesque • Mob (code) : Joker (chaos) • Harvey (law) : Joker (chaos) • Inversion, not polar opposites ▪ temporary ▪ Batman needs to overcome; return to normal order Humanities Page 5 Glen Weldon. "The Caped Crusader" Wednesday, February 22, 2017 4:35 AM Weldon • Dawn of the Dark Knight ○ Batman Begins finished = what next? ○ 1st film approach = vague, three part not trilogy ▪ Bruce Wayne sees Batman as finite (5 yr plan then leave, a gig) ▪ Bruce deeper in Batman; raise extreme behavior (Joker) ▪ Bruce permanently close Batman ○ Batman Begins = light tweaking; trilogy = overhaul of Batman elements ▪ Temporary Batman = violation of 1939 oath "spend rest of life warring crime" ▪ Walk away = superhero --> everyday; clear motive; human psych; acceptable ▪ Powerful drive (crusade) = believable but much smaller; hyperrealism & believability removes iconic power ▪ Raise stakes; Dark Knight = learn original plan (5 yr) doesn't work (enormity of task) • Grim & Gritty ○ Setting ▪ Batman Begins = stripped down, antidecorative, utilitarian □ Praise = keep it up □ Natural: arctic, caverns ▪ Dark Knight = cityscapes, cold & sleek, modern, Chicago ○ Character arc ▪ No emotional journey promoting change for Batman □ Further accept position ▪ Harvey Dent = "White Knight;" True protagonist □ Path to tragedy & destruction □ Corrupted by Joker □ Batman attempt to preserve rep by cover up ▪ Joker = smaller & more terrifying; no showboating □ True psychopath; violent & unpredictable terrorist; casual evil □ Ra's = calculating & intellectual □ Not establish villain; origin/motivation cliché ◆ 2 origins = apocryphal ◆ Nerd outrage □ Effect on Batman: why needed & mission □ Clown makeup = spark homophobics ◆ Heath Ledger Brokeback --> "gay Joker" • Clown Prince ○ Prinicipal Photography (Rory's First Kiss) began Apr 2007 Chicago --> Nov 2007 Hong Kong ○ Location shots & elaborate stunts ▪ New car: Batpod = motorcycle • So Serious ○ Clearest marker of genre Humanities Page 1