Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

The Three Versions of Batman

Have the Nolan Brothers been reading Borges?

By Martin Schneider ::: philms ::: ::: Read the whole thing



Can an undercover messiah crash through cities in modified military vehicles and rocket bikes, or be so cool looking that others will try to mimic their very appearance? I think you offer an interesting thematic connection here, but wonder if it is undercut by Nolan’s appealing presentation of Batman, who ultimately exits the film with all the cool points. Maybe Borges’ two messiahs can be found in the Two-Face character arc?

Posted by M. L. on 14 Sep 08 at 01:43 PM

This blew my head off, I like Borges but hadn’t seen a connection.
But who is the undercover messiah?
Batsy? he takes the heat for Dent allright, but he basically is clean. And it is useful for him to take the blame on Dent’s crimes, after all Harvey killed dirty cops and mobsters, Batsy

doesn’t want to kill but wants to be a symbol of fear (say terror)
Dent got lost and corrupted by Rachel’s death.
Who is doing the dirty work, being and doing evil?
“But Borges is not quite done with his logical twists: if Judas’s infamy is to be complete and everlasting, his heroism must remain a secret” Joker? Consider that.
“So if Dent is the cover messiah and Batman the real messiah, who is the Joker—Satan?” “You Know?, You remind of my father… I hated my father” Consider THAT.
But by no means Batman is a hero, he is being something more.
You know what, you know what i’ve noticed?:
Wayne states openly he wants to be a symbol of fear.
Very useful then to take the HEAT (1995, hi hi hi) on Dent’s killings (crooks and dirty cops). That is the “sacrifice he is making, he’s not being a hero, he’s being something more” (Very

good, Mr. Pennyworth “something more” that’s very good).
It also serves to save Dent’s face, ha ha ha. (one MORE li’l white lie for a li’l white Knight), the good guys in TDK are all about hiding information, OMG even Jim Gordon who is shown at

first to be a real bad liar, ends up ordering a cop to hide the fact that “Two Face Harvey” is missing), but then again you cannot bl**dy well be a symbol of fear when the crooks are

“wise to your act” specially if you aren’t willing to kill so you don’t have to compare yourself to them.
Wayne wants revenge, not justice, but he is willing to cooperate with Gordon because it is useful for himself; same with supporting Harvey as D. A.: If Dent stays on as D. A. he can go

home (assuming he isn’t a complete wakko, which Rachel herself doubts) with “Harvey’s squeeze”.
Then there’s the sonar thing and the kidnapping of Lau (Who incidentally seems to know darn well what to say to Miss Dawes, but like he said he’s “good with calculation”)
He doesn’t need help because “help” uses guns, but what was he expecting?, he wanted to “inspire” people, there you go batsy.
It’s not who I am underneath but what I do that defines me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 10 Oct 08 at 11:56 AM

The Joker = Antichrist
Jesus = Batman
Dent = Only-a-human

But personally I think this film is about responsibility. Responsibility is not always something that you have to take, but something you get by virtue of its actions(Batman). What I do is my responsibility, and you show me respect by taking my responsibility serious(People want Dent, but only got Bat - Nolan do miss something here… Can ‘the dark knight’ transform or will the people kill him? ECCE HOMO) - whether I stand for rice or praise. To take the responsability of specific acts of a person is to reduce themselves, which has borne the acts.

Next film will probably show us a sequel like SpiderMan 3. Batman has to win the peoples trust by being a ‘true’ Messias against the next badguy (two-face?)*. Nolan will probably try to clarify why we need a ‘true’ hero and not a pseudo-hero(human) like Dent. We’ll probably see a blurred endning, where Batman fails(Yes, he is Batman -, but also human afterall) OR we’ll see the real messias and happy-ending.

* I just lookup the next film and found that Nolan’s wanted Two-face in the next sequel, but because Ledgers suicide it stops here:

(sry for english)

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 23 Oct 08 at 09:47 AM

Beautiful interpretation of the Movie! With all the hype and enigma surrounding Heath Ledger and the Joker role this was missed out. Understandable.
Weirdly even without reading Borges I was of the opinion that Judas wasn’t a bad man. If Christ was supposed to die for us anyways what is the point of him being betrayed? Wasn’t he going to die anyways? And if something had to be set into motion, well it took a courageous man to helm that role and be remembered till the end of time as the most hated man on the planet! But, even if he hadn’t betrayed Him, He was supposed to die for the sins of mankind right? Well Christianity has many loopholes so let’s not go there.
In conclusion, I agree with Borges on that blasphemy line. Crucifixion was a common practice and nothing extraordinary a normal man of that time couldn’t endure for sometime before he was eventually killed. Only one man’s crucifixion has been hyped up in history and all the rest have well been forgotten by time…

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 21 Aug 10 at 05:34 PM

Hi Martin,
This part of the movie reminded me indeed of a short story by Borges but it is not ‘The Three Versions of Judas’. It reminded me of a lesser known short story called ‘The Theme of the Traitor and the Hero’. The funny thing about it is that a ‘Nolan’ arranges a killing of a condemned man to make him seem like a hero. Go and have a read of it. I am sure you will like it and even find it of more relevance to the movie than the story of Judas.
Best wishes

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 18 Sep 11 at 07:53 AM

Nolan is most certainly aware of Borges, in fact he has cited him as a major influence on his movies, particularly Inception.  It is highly likely that Nolan had Borges in mind with batman.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 20 Feb 15 at 01:35 AM
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