Friday, May 1, 2009

Double Bill: The Dark Knight and The Ten Commandments

The Dark Knight: an action picture about philosophy and guilt. Deep down, we're fascinated by Batman, Harvey Dent and the Joker because they are blunt instruments, driven by rigid value systems and a shared need to impress those systems upon society. Obsession feeds on the insides of these men, swelling up as their outsides grow thin and cracked around it. They are unholy, or at least unwhole--and all are victims of the past.
The Ten Commandments goes deep, too. Cecil B. DeMille's first crack at the tale of Exodus begins with Moses already old and resolute. Opposing his destiny is the Pharoah, whose position seems no less reasonable than Moses' own. DeMille then shifts to the 1920s, telling the story of two brothers: Dan, a venal and charismatic architect, and John, a narrow minded but principled carpenter. As Dan's wealth and fame grow, his personal battles with John take on public significance. The only thing that keeps them together is their bible-thumping mother, and she's a fanatic.
Harvey and Bruce face a man without conscience; Dan and John face a woman with too much. The results are the same.

No comments:

Post a Comment