Tag: The Dark Knight

In their third episode, the Young Americans take the occasion of the recent New York primary victory of 28-year-old self-declared socialist Millennial Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to wonder if their peers really are all socialists now, or are just going through a phase. They also reflect on the 10th anniversary of The Dark Knight and debate whether it is the best blockbuster released in their (so far relatively short) lifetimes.

ACF #10 The Nolan Brothers


Hello, everyone! I am joined on the American Cinema Foundation podcast by Jason Eberl and George Dunn, editors of the book The Philosophy of Christopher Nolan. They are professors of philosophy with an interest in pop culture, and editors of many books on America’s favorite shows and movies over the last 50 years. Our wide-ranging discussion of Christopher and Jonathan Nolan’s movies goes through Memento (2000), The Dark Knight (2008), Interstellar (2014), and Dunkirk (2017).

ACF #9: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman


Hello, folks, this week’s podcast completes last week’s discussion of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a discussion of the DC superhero movies. My friend and PoMoCon coconspirator Pete Spiliakos joins me–he is a columnist at First Things and writes for NRO, too. You can take my word for it, he’s the kind of conservative we need to hear more of!

“America Hates Dark”


Fantastic_Four_2015_posterOne of the most successful network executives ever laid down this maxim to a producer who insisted that a new cop show be “dark” and “real:” “America,” he said, “hates dark.” He’s right, of course. When audiences sit down to watch something, they rarely want to be depressed. Gripped, thrilled, grabbed, amused, scared, any or all of those things (and more) are okay … but plunged into a depressing and dark vision of the world? Not so much.

Sure, yes, a few “Dark Knights” may achieve escape velocity and make some real money at the box office, but — for day-in-day-out television viewing — it’s hard to make money that way. And it’s getting harder to make money in the movie theater that way, too. I write a bit about this in my column for The National, the English-language newspaper of Abu Dhabi:

There’s more than enough dark and depressing content on the front page of the newspaper, and audiences – at least in the United States – are expressing their bad-news-fatigue by changing the channel.

Does Game of Thrones Tell Us Something About Western Society? — Kofola


Over at The Federalist, Robert Tracinski has an interesting article about the success of the HBO series Game of Thrones, the medieval fantasy based on the books by George R.R. Martin. Tracinski attacks the show as little more than vapid “torture porn” due to its extreme violence and sexuality, and questions why the show has become so popular. His answer is that it appeals to the left’s need for a totalitarian impulse. He argues that the show presents an ugly world of corruption and brutality to appeal to mentalities of the left for a utopian leader to assert his or her will to bring order — in this case, to fictional world of Westeros.

I can see his point, even though Tracinski makes it abundantly clear that his knowledge of the material is superficial at best. One can see this mentality at work in the character of Daenerys Targaryen, the exiled heir of the former royal family, bent on returning to Westeros to reassert her own claim to rule. This character attempts social engineering in every culture she encounters on her journey, hoping to mold them to fit her utopian worldview. My leftist colleagues all love this character. I find the character loathsome—a naif who thinks that just because she believes in her own cause the world will just fall in line. Ultimately, she ends up causing more destruction or disorder than she prevents. The television show’s successful effort at building a cult of personality around her only exacerbates my dislike for the character. If I were in Westeros, I would have my sword ready to fight her off at every turn.