I’m not a big fan of films and the cinema. Even less so when the hype surrounding a particular film means that suddenly, “normal” people can talk of nothing else except the latest offering from Hollywood. Gone are the important discussions about important things – politics, football, money, work – replaced instead by pseudo-knowledgeable comment about the directing ability of some Russian bloke whose name sounds like a sexually transmitted infection (or whatever) and his “meaningful cinematography”.
Why? Because it’s “cool” to “know” about such things this week.
The Dark Knight has done this to people. And, in case there wasn’t enough off-screen publicity for the film with Aussie actor Keith Ledger having thrown a seven during filming; conveniently, the star of the piece has to (allegedly) beat up his mother and sister, just so we’re aware that he’s in a film which you can currently buy tickets for.
The net result of these actions is even more hype over the film. The Grief Athletes who suddenly emerged as previously-unheard-of Heath Ledger fans when he died are now calling for him to win an Oscar for his performance.
And the nominations for Best Actor are:
Heath Ledger for Being A Rather Ordinary Actor
Heath Ledger for Overdosing Druggie
Heath Ledger for Joker in The Dark Knight Because He’s Dead, and
Cristiano Ronaldo for My Ankle Is Broken, Even Though He Didn’t Touch Me
Utterly pathetic. Because it actually doesn’t matter whether the film or the performances are any good or not. Not that you’re going to hear anyone dare to say that they’re rubbish anyway, because it’s simply not acceptable to criticise a überhyped movie like this.
Although leading South African film critic Barry Ronge enjoyed the film, he did pass comment on the radio that “the length made my bottom a bit sore”. I presume he was talking about the chronological enormity of the movie, and that he hadn’t accidently slipped into a dodgy massage parlour next door to the cinema.
So no, I haven’t seen The Dark Knight. And I won’t, because I don’t want to. You can’t make me.
For me, the best films are those which don’t get hyped out of all proportion. The ones whose storylines you don’t know in every last detail before you even go near the cinema. The ones where you can be honest about the ropey bits without fear of being shouted down for not being trendy or called insensitive just because some junkie topped himself in a hotel room while they were making it.
Yes, I’m aware that I’ll get comments and emails telling me how great the film is and how wonderful the “meaningful cinematography” is and so on.
But then, the same people said that about Harry Potter and The Matrix Trilogy and the new Star Wars films. Have you considered that maybe you were brainwashed into being wrong about them too?
Don’t tell me how it’s broken box office records etc etc. Popular doesn’t necessarily mean good: lest we forget, The Teletubbies had a number one hit in the UK with Teletubbies say Eh-Oh in 1997.
I wonder what we’ll be saying about The Dark Knight in 11 years time?