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They hadn't missed the point, they had been awakened to it. Unlike myself, who was revolted by the Joker's actions automatically - they laughed.

No, these people are not philosophically committed to the destruction of that which is valuable, but neither are they committed to it's preservation. If they were, they would have bothered to learn the true nature of evil and their revulsion to it automatized.

I think it was a simplistic reaction on their part, one that ignored or wasn't aware of the implications. They saw the absurdity, but didn't see the meaning behind it.

Revulsion or laughter is a response to one's own interpretation, and it's possible that on some level one could see the full philosophical meaning and laugh in contempt of the absurdity of it.

However, context applies, and my own reaction of terror was placed fully within the context of the film. In any serious work of fiction I enjoy suspending disbelief and temporarily giving myself to the filmmaker, especially in this case. Nolan proved something very worthwhile with Batman Begins, and I saw The Dark Knight twice this weekend - I'm confident that my suspension of disbelief was justified, and that my reaction to the Joker was proper within that context.

Further, it's true that in reality, the nihilist could follow the logic of his ideas and off himself as a demonstration. But I know of no one that ever accused nihilists of being logical. :dough:

Edited by Lemuel
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I consider Dark Knight the Empire Strikes Back of the Batman franchise. It is one of the best sequels ever (only a handful that I can think of is better: Terminator II, Aliens, Godfather II -- and ties with Empire).

That said, there are a couple of things I'd like to point out:

1. Bruce Wayne is not sacrificing himself for the greater good. He is sacrificing a "normal life" for his highest ideals -- a better Gotham. He is dedicating all of his will, power, and skill in order to create a world consistent with his values. In the first film he began is somewhat of a nihilist motivated by revenge. In the second film he began to understand what he wants and what he has to do. The movie is about his choice and its consequences.

2. As far as folks laughing at the Joker scene -- I chuckled also and muttered "daaymn..." when I saw that. If you've seen the movie Casino, there's a scene where Joe Pesci stabs a guy to death with a fountain pen -- I laughed during that scene too. I won't overtly psychologize, but these sort of scenes are absurd, violent, and intense, and laughing is a mechanism for releasing tension. You are shook on some levels by the complete and utter evilness and insanity of the Joker, but you also realize then that you are removed from the situation in the safety of your seat. So you laugh, perhaps in relief, because it normalizes your emotions. Obviously it wouldn't be funny if you were saw the situation in real life.

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I can't imagine that the director used these moments for pacing, Grames, at least not like you are talking about. If anything, as far as pacing goes they were used as the Joker himself is used: as the diametric opposite of Batman. Serious but good, joking but evil.

Actually I meant it in the same way as you. Alternating between tension and release, sadness and smiles, excitement and relaxation is an elementary technique of seduction, rhetoric, and film because it works to hold interest and ward off boredom. This is seen in The Dark Knight in scenes that alternate between Batman and Joker, and even following the same character we have Batman then Bruce Wayne, or terrifying Joker followed by prankster/ridiculous Joker.

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Obviously it wouldn't be funny if you were saw the situation in real life.

Precisely.

The Joker comes out of the hospital in drag with a silly walk and tries to finish the demolition, but the button won't work. Then when it finally does, he throws the button out of his hand like a hot potato and starts running as though he's frightened when he obviously isn't.

I am on a completely different wavelength from someone who doesn't think that's funny.

And more to your point, I wasn't laughing when I saw blown up towers on the news. I doubt most of the people laughing at the Joker were either.

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I think evil is portrayed perfectly in this movie. The joker is set out to destroy morality, and Harvey dent is his achievement in doing so. What the Joker wants is for people to decide that morality does not exsist, and thats exactly what Harvey Dent decides when he turns all this decisions to a flip of a coin. The Joker sets up situations of emergencies to destroy peoples moral codes. This is similar to moral dilemas you usually her about in philosophy 101. The goal of these dilemas is always to destroy any belief in the exsistence of morality. Objectivism address these moral dilemas very well in the Ethics of Emergencies. Though evil is portrayed very well, Batman is suppose to be the good, and suppose to have a philosophical answer to the joker. Unfortunally that is done very weakly. Mabye its because Wayne is still growing to fully understand Justice and morality, but I think its because the writers just don't know what they are talking about. In the end the good doesn't seem to be very self confident.

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I think this "these people wouldn't laugh at such horrors in real life" distinction which a few have made is flawed. Of course they wouldn't laugh at the Joker's actions in real life; the Joker doesn't exist in real life.

When "Joker-like" actions take place in real life they are much harder to understand because unlike in the world of make believe, those who take them appear to have, as I said, some semblance of reason purpose, structure, and value. Even if that motivation is perverted at it's base, it is not easily apparent to the average person experiencing it. In fact, it is rarely apparent to the perpetrator himself!

Instead, they look for reasons why the person acted. The actor took the drugs because it is part of the life of a movie star. The person cuts himself because he wants attention. The Islamic totalitarians attacked the United States because of it's meddling in the Middle East. This is the "real life" equivalent of treating the Joker as if he actually has a sense of humor.

The Joker, ironically, has no sense of humor. In regards to him, because everything is funny, nothing is funny. Trying to be funny - appearing light-hearted himself - is his means of survival. When a sympathetic character, even in a serious film, has a light hearted moment, the audience laughs because they know he is the type of man capable of true, legitimate humor (eg: Bat Man's witicisms). After nearly two hours of being exposed to the treachery of the Joker, I for one found it impossible to seperate the sight of him in drag from the rest of his role long enough to find it even remotely light-hearted. Him wearing a dress seemed so incidental to what was going on that I almost didn't notice it. When I did notice it, I expected it.

The purpose of engaging oneself in a work of art is not to "get lost" in a place where one can be free to observe his emotional associations with impugnity from judgement. As if his reactions were that of some disembodied entity which said nothing about his real character. Of course, one shouldn't fake it and deny what he is feeling, but he should still evaluate himself because of it. The value of a work of art comes from the fact that it crystalizes the ideas those emotions refer to; either directly, or in this case, by implication. If someone has the idea that not every element of a character in a film needs to refer to that character's theme, then of course they will laugh when they see one which appears not to. It confirms their conviction and brings them pleasure. When someone, having learned some film school verbiage, is able to decide that the viewing of a film is an opportunity for "anything goes" in the realm of emotional meaning, of course they will laugh when they should shudder. It wouldn't matter either way. Do you see how this, itself, is "Joker-like"?

To point out that directors use seduction techniques which fluctuate between severity and humor in order to draw an otherwise ambivalent audience in is not an explanation. The speeches of dictators fluctuate between terror and flattery to keep their subjects enthralled. The question I raise is what does it say about the audience that such techniques work?

I'd like to ad that by writing this I am not intending to insult those who I disagree with. Possessing an emotional disorganization is not something to be ashamed of. It is not a moral failure until and unless one becomes aware of it yet chooses to do nothing to correct it. Chooses to continue to hide behind one's rationalizations for it.

Edited by nochrieaz
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...and I appreciated frequent shots of Gotham throughout.

Heath Ledger's performance as Joker was something to marvel.

I guessed I would feel sorry for Ledger's death after this movie, and I was right.

Though the movie ends positively...I was expecting something more positive, but I'm not disappointed.

I really appreciated the cityscapes too...beautiful, both Gotham and Hong Kong.

If Ledger is not at least nominated for an Oscar, I don't know what it takes to get a nomination. (Not that I like any of those stupid award shows.) His performance was outstanding and I can think of few other actors who have played a villain so well. He stole the show. (Although when Bruce Wayne was at dinner with Harry Dent and their female companions near the beginning, Christian Bale was one of the most beautiful men I've ever seen. :lol: )

I had only seen a few other Heath Ledger movies, but after seeing this one, I felt bad also that he was dead and we could not enjoy such talent for many more years to come.

I really wasn't expecting too positive an ending. Many traumatic things happened and I figured the internal struggle Batman was going through would carry over into the next film. (It was obvious to me there would be a third film, so I expected loose ends.)

Ledger's Joker was absolutely terrifying. That the audience laughed at him at several points made me think they missed the point.

There was laughter in my audience as well, which I found inexplicable unless it was knee-jerk. I couldn't tell, though it happened four or five times.

I didn't miss the point and I laughed (perhaps knee-jerk is a good description), but it was a nervous laugh accompanied by, "oh my gawd!" and a grimace. It was like the nervous, involuntary laughter in Pulp Fiction when the gun, rested on the back of the car seat, accidentally goes off and blows that guy's head all over the back of the car while they're driving down the road. The set up and commentary are humorous, so you can't help but laugh even when you don't want to or know you shouldn't. As someone stated earlier in the thread, if it were a real life scenario you were witnessing, no one would laugh. (Just as no characters laughed in either movie during those scenes, except perhaps The Joker.)

I consider Dark Knight the Empire Strikes Back of the Batman franchise.

I agree.

Overall, I was thoroughly entertained and it was well worth the $5 matinée price. (I would have been happy to pay full price for this film.) I am looking forward to the third installment.

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I really appreciated the cityscapes too...beautiful, both Gotham and Hong Kong.

If Ledger is not at least nominated for an Oscar, I don't know what it takes to get a nomination. (Not that I like any of those stupid award shows.) His performance was outstanding and I can think of few other actors who have played a villain so well. He stole the show. (Although when Bruce Wayne was at dinner with Harry Dent and their female companions near the beginning, Christian Bale was one of the most beautiful men I've ever seen. :P )

I'm going to sound totally gay by saying this but, I think Christian Bale is extremely good looking too.

I really wasn't expecting too positive an ending. Many traumatic things happened and I figured the internal struggle Batman was going through would carry over into the next film. (It was obvious to me there would be a third film, so I expected loose ends.)

Yeah, I didn't like the ending, but after musing on it for awhile I've come to realize it's more of a trajedy and one that might be resolved later, like if Harvey Dent comes back.

I didn't miss the point and I laughed (perhaps knee-jerk is a good description), but it was a nervous laugh accompanied by, "oh my gawd!" and a grimace. It was like the nervous, involuntary laughter in Pulp Fiction when the gun, rested on the back of the car seat, accidentally goes off and blows that guy's head all over the back of the car while they're driving down the road. The set up and commentary are humorous, so you can't help but laugh even when you don't want to or know you shouldn't. As someone stated earlier in the thread, if it were a real life scenario you were witnessing, no one would laugh. (Just as no characters laughed in either movie during those scenes, except perhaps The Joker.)

Yeah, I laughed like that too. Like the "Holy crap, you're friggin crazy!" laugh. Like the pencil scene, instead of just stabbing the guy, he made a "magic trick" out of it. And the scene in the hospital when he mets Two-Face, the awkwardness is what made it funny.

Overall, I was thoroughly entertained and it was well worth the $5 matinée price. (I would have been happy to pay full price for this film.) I am looking forward to the third installment.

Everyone seems to agree on a third installment... so who do you guys think is going to be in it? I'm thinking since Nolan is using the more believable characters we might see Black Mask, Hush, The Riddler, and Catwoman.

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The Joker, ironically, has no sense of humor. In regards to him, because everything is funny, nothing is funny. Trying to be funny - appearing light-hearted himself - is his means of survival. When a sympathetic character, even in a serious film, has a light hearted moment, the audience laughs because they know he is the type of man capable of true, legitimate humor (eg: Bat Man's witicisms). After nearly two hours of being exposed to the treachery of the Joker, I for one found it impossible to seperate the sight of him in drag from the rest of his role long enough to find it even remotely light-hearted. Him wearing a dress seemed so incidental to what was going on that I almost didn't notice it. When I did notice it, I expected it.

Light-hearted? There different kinds of humor and ways to laugh. Bruce Wayne, Alfred and Lucius Fox have some light-hearted dialogue, where they diminish the magnitude of their problems. Nothing the Joker does is light-hearted. The humor associated with the Joker is mocking, absurd, destructive.

I found myself laughing along with the Joker only when it was destructive of something that deserved to be torn down. For example, thieves killing each other out of greed is funny, that performance was reductio ad absurdum made concrete. The Joker humiliating a thug with a pencil is funny. The Joker undermining his own terrifying reputation by putting on a nurses uniform and red wig is funny. On the other hand, during the interrogation scene the Joker's maniacal triumphant laughter while Batman beats the shit out of him is not funny, it is horrifying.

So in a way I agree with you, in that I didn't find anything light-hearted in the Joker's humor either. But I would disagree that the Joker could not be funny at times, because humor doesn't always have to be light-hearted.

To point out that directors use seduction techniques which fluctuate between severity and humor in order to draw an otherwise ambivalent audience in is not an explanation. The speeches of dictators fluctuate between terror and flattery to keep their subjects enthralled. The question I raise is what does it say about the audience that such techniques work?

It says that that audience is human. After all, emotional responses are automatic. Relying upon emotional responses as guides to action is where the danger lies. A person who can see through demogoguery as it happens is intelligent and well integrated, but not necessarily more moral than a man who shakes off the spell only after the rally is over.

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1. Bruce Wayne is not sacrificing himself for the greater good. He is sacrificing a "normal life" for his highest ideals -- a better Gotham. He is dedicating all of his will, power, and skill in order to create a world consistent with his values. In the first film he began is somewhat of a nihilist motivated by revenge. In the second film he began to understand what he wants and what he has to do. The movie is about his choice and its consequences.

Excellent point, I'm glad this was brought up. Wayne / Batman is using the term 'sacrifice' in the appropriate manner, a prioritization of values, and not the giving up of a higher value for a lesser one. Heck if I had the resources of Wayne, I'd probably do the same thing. He does not like the way Gotham / the world is, and uses his mind and abilities to try to promulgate his values. Or - "The world you desire can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it's yours. -Ayn Rand"

I would also add that this proper prioritization of values is no better concretized then when the Joker forces Wayne to decide between the woman he loves and the person he believes to be the best hope for saving Gotham, without hesistation he chooses the woman he loves.

Contrast this with the Spiderman comic scene where the Green Goblin forces parker to choose between a cable car of kids, and the woman he loves, Spiderman chooses the kids, and the woman he loves dies, solidifying a pyschological wedge in his mend between his greatest strengths and abilities, and his highest values, because his abilities are now the means to which he feels obliged to betray his own highest values and thus they are seen as a curse. (This was changed in the movie so that Spiderman saves both)

Although I found this a thoroughly good movie, one of the best I've seen for it's intensity and seriousness, I found the 'fall of Dent' entirely unconvincing. It did not seem at all consistent with the charachter Nolan had defined throughout the movie.

Edited by Matus1976
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Everyone seems to agree on a third installment... so who do you guys think is going to be in it? I'm thinking since Nolan is using the more believable characters we might see Black Mask, Hush, The Riddler, and Catwoman.
I'm also thinking Catwoman. The biggest clue is Fox's comment about Batman's new suit: "No, not dogs that big. But cats..." Also, Batman will be tortured about his attraction to Catwoman because of his recent loss (and, of course, her criminal status), not to mention that he will need a new love interest anyway.

Hush couldn't be in it, because Robin would also need to be (right?). [EDIT:] And please, please make there be no Robin.

Edited by JASKN
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Grames,

The humor associated with the Joker IS mocking, absurd, and destructive. That's exactly why it isn't funny. The Joker did not humiliate that thug, he murdered him in cold blood. Sure, the guy didn't deserve praise for being a mobster - a clever, "Bat Manesque" insult would have been funny - but unexpected, excruciatingly painful death? Only the Joker could find that funny. You knew nothing about that individual other than the fact that he was in the mafia. Was he a high-priced hit man or just some low level operative tasked with cracking open parking meters? You have no idea; and neither did the Joker - yet both laughed at his execution. It was a mocking of not only life as such, but due process, justice, and the rule of law.

I want to clarify my use of the term "light-hearted" because I don't think you understood my intended meaning. I am saying that ALL humor is essentially light-hearted. That the object of the laughter - be it a competent man's moment of incompetence, or a petty criminal's petty pretentions - is light-hearted because it is not important. All humor mocks the unimportant. I fail to see how the Joker's "magic trick" or his dressing in drag deviates from what is important about his character (let alone it's important impact upon Gotham). These things are intimately tied up in his true character as a sociopathic murderer and the destroyer of a hospital. Neither joke "undermined" his reputation - he's the Joker!

As for your point about emotional seduction: I don't see how "a man who shakes off the spell only after the rally is over" describes anything in reality. How would this happen? This would require a prolonged, profound reeducation in order to see through the myriad of faulty premises underlying the dictator's rally. To be susceptible to them, unless one is an adolescent or a mental retard, requires a history of active evasion before the rally even begins. The man who is impervious to them is that way because he has chosen to see the truth; a morally superior choice.

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I would also add that this proper prioritization of values is no better concretized then when the Joker forces Wayne to decide between the woman he loves and the person he believes to be the best hope for saving Gotham, without hesistation he chooses the woman he loves.

The movie moves so fast, I thought that he chooses to save the person he believes to be the best hope for Gotham. Nevertheless, I came to the same conclusion that you did: that this was not a sacrifice. If I'm correct - if he intended to save Harvey Dent - then my reasoning for why this is so is more complicated than a desire to see superficial elements of John Galt's predicament in Bruce Wayne, but I still believe it's sound. This is the root of my major complaint with the film: that they became confused by this complication and labeled Bat Man's best actions a sacrifice (ie: he became "The Dark Knight"). My thinking is that Wayne determined that to him - because of his exceptional virtues, abilities, and resources - a "normal life" was to be Bat Man in perpetuity. That Rachael unwittingly helped him realize this when she said to him "don't let me become your only chance at a normal life." The trade off of giving up the love of a woman for the confidence of being the master of justice in Gotham seemed personally profitable to him. I think that he thought that Rachael would have understood this and, because she in her own way was equally as heroic, would have been accepting of her death if it meant Bruce's "survival" (In the sense of finally becoming who he truly is: Bat Man).

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(I'm going to post a lot about The Dark Knight. I'm going to write about this specific film treatment, Christopher Nolan's Bruce Wayne/Batman as depicted in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. I do not address Tim Burton's Batman, not the old TV show or the animated series, or even the comics. I'm not familiar with it all, and there are differences.)

Batman is highly principled in defending his city from criminality and lawlessness. He does not act out of a sense of duty or altruism, he has a passion for justice firmly and plausibly grounded in his personal childhood experience. Batman is not a vigilante, despite the fact that he is so described in the movie.

The definition of vigilante is a member of a volunteer committee organized to suppress and punish crime summarily (as when the processes of law are viewed as inadequate); broadly : a self-appointed doer of justice. The Wikipedia version of vigilante is "a vigilante is a person who ignores due process of law and enacts their own form of justice in response to a perception of insufficient response by the authorities." Both of these sources agree that a vigilante dispenses justice and punishment, but that is exactly what Batman never does. Batman doesn't fine, imprison or kill the criminals he apprehends, he packages them up and turns them over to the police, sometimes also with the evidence of their crime if needed for a conviction. Batman is a rogue cop, a citizen making citizen arrests, but he never arrogates to himself a right to the retaliatory use of force if retaliatory force is understood as punishment.

I think that what some people in the movie are actually condemning in Batman's 'vigilantism' is a perceived stand against moral relativism; Batman judges which people need to be captured and in moral relativism people, especially people not in an official uniform, should not judge other people. Batman's fight for justice in Gotham inspires people to reject the passivity of moral relativism, and the rejection of moral relativism is exactly the issue highlighted by the two ferries which the Joker put into a variation of a "Prisoner's Dilemma".

The one thing he has done which was potentially problematic was kidnapping Mr. Lau from Hong Kong. However, China is a tyranny and has no extradition treaties, making it a criminal haven. Batman may well have provoked an international incident, but this is not automatically an immoral act. The Batman inhabits that space between the moral and the legal. Where a uniformed policeman is understood as an agent of the law, a suited up Batman is a personification of the moral. The law is supposed to serve a moral purpose and should be subordinate to moral considerations, so Batman is free to act where the law is not.

Edited by Grames
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The movie moves so fast, I thought that he chooses to save the person he believes to be the best hope for Gotham.

Batman tells Gordon he is going to save Rachel, but ends up with Dent. What happened?

It was only between the 2nd and 3rd times I saw the movie that it hit me: the Joker lied about the addresses so that not only did Batman have to make an ugly choice but he lost his first choice anyway. The Joker is so breathtakingly evil and deceitful it is hard to comprehend in a single viewing.

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That's what I got, right away. You can see it coming by the way the scene is edited. That the Joker swapped the addresses was so perfectly in line with the character that I expected the same kind of hidden switcheroo during the Prisoner's Dilemma sequence. And there's no evidence that he didn't switch those, too.

~Q

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I'm going to sound totally gay by saying this but, I think Christian Bale is extremely good looking too.

Yeah, I didn't like the ending, but after musing on it for awhile I've come to realize it's more of a trajedy and one that might be resolved later, like if Harvey Dent comes back.

Yeah, I laughed like that too. Like the "Holy crap, you're friggin crazy!" laugh. Like the pencil scene, instead of just stabbing the guy, he made a "magic trick" out of it. And the scene in the hospital when he mets Two-Face, the awkwardness is what made it funny.

Everyone seems to agree on a third installment... so who do you guys think is going to be in it? I'm thinking since Nolan is using the more believable characters we might see Black Mask, Hush, The Riddler, and Catwoman.

I am hoping for Black Mask, as he fits the crime-noir style Nolan has put in place, and I'd like to see a good interpretation of a new villain, not just a repeat, though Catwoman could fit in as Bruce's new love interest. I just hope it isn't something ridiculous like Clay Face or Killer Croc.

As for the ongoing argument about the sadistic humor of the Joker, it is not funny from The Joker's perspective. No one is taking it from there. No one here wants to shove a pencil through someone's eye and call it magic. Laughter is evoked from more than humor, just as tears come out at more times than when you are sad or hurt.

And the hospital scene is more humorous, because of the situation. Joker in drag, looking kind of irked that all of a sudden his bombs aren't working and acting as if it were just something like your computer not turning on automatically. You laugh because you're shocked by such a portrayal of apathy at human death. Even suicide bombers hesitate before pulling the chord. Joker doesn't think twice, and it makes you chuckle because it's so absurd. We are laughing at evil.

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Lemeul,

You bring up an interesting issue which I also have been thinking about. In reading your discussion of, I think I have found my answer. In the theatre I was in, people also laughed when

the Joker impaled that man's eye on the pencil. They also laughed when he nonchalantly walked out the hospital he had just set to explode.

My initial reaction to this laughter was terror, but I forced myself to believe that these fellow viewers, as you said, just missed the point. That they don't understand the true nature of evil on a philosophical level and I do, and so to them an exposition of it is so ridiculous, so impossible, that they laugh at it.

But then I realized that my explanation is exactly what I thought they were doing by laughing! I thought that my conceptual explanation was equivalent to their emotional reaction. I felt terror from their laughter, and so I immediately said "no, it couldn't be that I'm sitting here in a theatre full of nihilists" and so I decided that they had decided "no, it couldn't be that the joker refers to anything in reality" and that that was why they laughed.

But your words made something click in my mind just now. I realized that the Joker DOES refer to something in reality. I realized that these people WERE laughing, just as the Joker laughs when he does something evil. I realized that there was no thinking underlying their laughter, in order to make the act of laughing their defense against the Joker. I realize now that that laughter I heard was REAL. It was the Joker inside them which was coming out. They hadn't missed the point, they had been awakened to it. Unlike myself, who was revolted by the Joker's actions automatically - they laughed.

No, these people are not philosophically committed to the destruction of that which is valuable, but neither are they committed to it's preservation. If they were, they would have bothered to learn the true nature of evil and their revulsion to it automatized. It would have been a byproduct of their passion to understand the nature of good. True, they also clapped at the end when Bat Man proved victorious. True, that is just as real. But make no mistake about it: Just as the Joker cannot FULLY practice nihilism lest he would just kill himself and that would be it, no real-life nihilist can be utterly devoid of some short-term semblance of reason, purpose, structure, and value.

Or it could be that, instead of these people all being nihilists, they could have seen the absurdity of the situation. Here is a man, with green hair and makeup on his face, wearing a female nurse's outfit, trying to blow up a hospital, and the bomb isn't working and he reacts like a normal man with a wonky cell-phone. The image is so ridicules its laughable. Not to mention that no one was in the hospital. When you take away the danger to the people inside, the image becomes just silly. Don't go asserting that everyone in the theater with you was a butt-load of half-baked nihilists because they find the absurd amusing. Because the absurd IS amusing. The scene with a pencil was also absurd, but I'll give you that it was also so sudden and terrifying that there was little time to laugh.

I'd be careful of what kind of philosophical labels you toss at people because your one interpretation of a single reaction to a single scene of a single movie.

]I notice no laughter when he was preparing to cut Rachel's face up. No cheers when he guts the mobster or shoots Gordon. No one clapped as Harvey went around gunning down people. I didn't hear an encore when they all realized that there was a bomb inside the prisoner or when Rachel died.

I honestly think your way, way, off base and your original conclusion, that they saw the absurdity, the lack of reality, in the Joker's actions and laughed at them, was far closer to being correct.

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I am hoping for Black Mask, as he fits the crime-noir style Nolan has put in place, and I'd like to see a good interpretation of a new villain, not just a repeat, though Catwoman could fit in as Bruce's new love interest. I just hope it isn't something ridiculous like Clay Face or Killer Croc.

Yeah, in the comics Catwoman and Batman were on-again-off-again allies and enemies. But, Bruce and Selina were an item. I think that would make it interesting. Also, they did Killer Croc in the anime prequel, he was done well I think, but I don't think he'd be good for the movie.

Penguin might be good too. He's just a mobster and arms dealer who happens to kind of look like a Penguin, so they call him Penguin to make fun of him.

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Nyronus,

I ask you then, what is nihilism? Does it exist? Or is it just some comical absurdity?

Does art have a point in human affairs? Is it supposed to teach us something about ourselves? Or is it just a pointless exercise in meaningless emotional titilation? How is that attitude itself not nihilistic?

Also, remember the nature of nihilism (or any bad philosophical attitude for that matter): it isn't teneable. It cannot be practiced consistently.

Your post offered very little in the way of new points which hadn't already been made. It was full of assertions and quite hostile in tone.

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... I am saying that ALL humor is essentially light-hearted. That the object of the laughter - be it a competent man's moment of incompetence, or a petty criminal's petty pretentions - is light-hearted because it is not important. All humor mocks the unimportant. ...

Well, I disagree somewhat. This thread is about the Dark Knight, so I won't pursue this subject further here.

As for your point about emotional seduction: I don't see how "a man who shakes off the spell only after the rally is over" describes anything in reality. How would this happen?

It would happen when the presence of the crowd was a factor in creating your emotions. Emotions can be 'contagious', if everyone around you is smiling, happy and cheering it can be hard not to feel the same way. Exit the crowd and inappropriate emotions will dissipate, making it easier to think clearly.

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Yeah, in the comics Catwoman and Batman were on-again-off-again allies and enemies. But, Bruce and Selina were an item. I think that would make it interesting. Also, they did Killer Croc in the anime prequel, he was done well I think, but I don't think he'd be good for the movie.

Penguin might be good too. He's just a mobster and arms dealer who happens to kind of look like a Penguin, so they call him Penguin to make fun of him.

I'm more apt to like Killer Croc and other more ridiculous characters in stuff like The Gotham Knight, since it's animated. It seems silly to have it in a film, especially one with such a serious tone as the Nolan series.

Penguin would be good perhaps, but once again, I would like to see a new villain on film. DeVito did a bang up job as the Penguin, and he literally fit the roll because of his stature. Burton's interpretation was great as the more Victorian/Gothic style Penguin.

I would like to see a powerful enemy like Joker again, not just a short mobster with an array of menacing umbrellas.

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