Thoughts & life experiences of a Chicago area graphic artist

22 August 2012

Bat Expectations



Bat Expectations
Originally uploaded by O. Douglas Jennings


While watching Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises I began to notice oddly familiar plot points. The storming of Gotham prison, the revolt against the ruling elite, the sham courts and summary death sentences were not taken from comics I had read, but from assigned reading in High School Sophomore English class. What no reviewers, neither friends or media critics up until then had mentioned to me was Christopher Nolan's inspiration for the movie's storyline: Charles Dicken's classic novel A Tale of Two Cities.

After the movie, I googled the words "Nolan, Dickens" and one or two articles (one linked above). But when I mentioned it to friends (most who saw the movie had not read Dicken's book) , they had not picked up on the literary allusion. I also began to ponder how, in fact, the Batman story is perfectly and undeniably Dickensian. Dickens' stories are all about orphans like Oliver Twist, Pip, (like young Bruce Wane), and cruel environments like Industrial Age, Victorian London, Revolutionary Paris (and Gotham City). I could go on but I predict that when TDKR comes out on DVD, there will be a lot of High School English Classes showing it for it's literary value.

In a related theme, Director Mike Newell who bought us movies Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire and Prince of Persia is has finished his version of Dickens' Great Expectations. The movie trailer is stunning. Since Nolan has renewed my consciousness about Dickens' terrific stories, I'm as stoked to see it as I was to see The Dark Knight Rises.

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