FILM: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ is the epic conclusion to filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy.
It has been eight years since Batman vanished into the night, turning, in that instant, from hero to fugitive. Assuming the blame for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent, the Dark Knight sacrificed everything for what he and Commissioner Gordon both hoped was the greater good. For a time the lie worked, as criminal activity in Gotham City was crushed under the weight of the anti-crime Dent Act.
But everything will change with the arrival of a cunning cat burglar with a mysterious agenda. Far more dangerous, however, is the emergence of Bane, a masked terrorist whose ruthless plans for Gotham drive Bruce out of his self-imposed exile. But even if he dons the cape and cowl again, Batman may be no match for Bane.
With this film, Nolan completes the story arc he commenced with 2005’s ‘Batman Begins’. He recalls, “We were all very excited to bring this tale full circle; that was our chief inspiration for returning to Gotham. We also felt a tremendous sense of responsibility to fulfil expectations based on the first two movies while giving the audience something they hadn’t seen before. It was a tricky balance.”
At the centre of the story through all three films is one character. Nolan states, “Our guiding impulse in this telling of the Batman legend has always been to follow Bruce Wayne’s journey. That was something I was very keen on, as were (co-writers) David Goyer and my brother, Jonah (Nolan).”
Christian Bale, who reprises the film’s title role, details, “In ‘Batman Begins,’ you see the tragedy and the pain that motivates this angry young man, who feels useless and is searching for a path — who wants to find out who he is and what he can become. Then in ‘The Dark Knight,’ he’s discovered that path. He is useful; he is doing what he imagines is the best thing for him to be doing in his life. Now, we are eight years on and he has lost the one thing that gave him a purpose…until he is forced to deal with a new threat to the city and to himself.”
That threat comes in the form of a merciless, masked villain named Bane, who makes his presence known to the citizens of Gotham with an explosive display of power. While the Scarecrow was a madman and the Joker an anarchist, “Bane is a terrorist in both his mentality and his actions,” says actor Tom Hardy, who plays Batman’s new arch-nemesis. “He is physically intimidating and he’s also very intelligent, which makes him even more dangerous.”
Nolan relates, “In deciding on who the next villain would be, it was imperative that it was someone completely different from the Joker — that he be a brute force. The physical component of what Bruce Wayne does as Batman is of extraordinary importance, and we had not truly challenged that in the first two films. I really wanted to see Batman meet his match physically, as well as intellectually. Bane is raw strength with a fanatical devotion to duty, and that combination makes him unstoppable.”
Initially, however, it is not Bane who draws Bruce Wayne out of Wayne Manor; it is an intriguing encounter with a particularly skilled thief named Selina Kyle — better known in the Batman canon as Catwoman. Nolan says, “We felt very strongly that we should have Catwoman in this film, but we always look for an organic way of grounding the characters in our world. Selina is a cat burglar, a grifter, a classic movie femme fatale, really. That was my way in, and we drew the iconic figure of Catwoman from that.”
The only member of the main cast who counts this film as her first collaboration with Nolan, Anne Hathaway admits, “It’s hard to reveal anything about Selina Kyle because she is intensely private and very mysterious. She has her own code of ethics, which sometimes involves doing things that other people might consider questionable.”
CAST: CHRISTIAN BALE, GARY OLDMAN, TOM HARDY, JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT, ANNE HATHAWAY, MARION COTILLARD, MORGAN FREEMAN, MICHAEL CAINE
DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER NOLAN
‘Darling Companion’ opens at Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau Cavendish
Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau Cavendish Square will release the heartfelt drama ‘Darling Companion’ on July 27 at Cape Town’s long established art house cinema in Claremont. Cinema Nouveau Cavendish Square offers audiences a unique experience in foreign films and alternate content, from live productions, film festivals to cinematic gems from across the globe.
In the film, Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter Grace (Elizabeth Moss) are driving down a freeway one winter’s day when they find a lost dog on the side of the road. Naming her new companion Freeway, Beth forges a strong bond with her new pet as it fills the growing emotional void and struggle between Beth and her self-centred and distracted doctor husband Joseph (Kevin Kline).
The middle-aged couple find the joy of their daughter’s wedding dulled by the distressing loss of her beloved Freeway’in the great outdoors, when Freeway runs off during a walk with Joseph. Furious at Joseph and devastated at the loss of losing her loyal pet, Beth recruits remaining wedding guests Penny (Dianne Wiest), Russell (Richard Jenkins), Bryan (Mark Duplass) and enigmatic stranger Carmen (Ayelet Zurer) to help bring Freeway home safely. Everyone rallies to pitch in, but the hunt for the dog only serves to expose areas of frustration, irritation and simmering anger that lurk under the veneer of their friendship.
* For booking information, visit www.cinemanouveau.co.za, or the mobi-site at sterkinekor.mobi. You can also follow Cavendish Nouveau on Twitter: @nouveaubuzzl; or Facebook them at Ster-Kinekor Theatres.