‘Batman Unmasked’ on The History Channel

Posted by · 1:40 pm · October 10th, 2008

Christian Bale in The Dark KnightThis is exactly the kind of thing “The Dark Knight” needs to tap into a genuine conversation about the film’s — and Batman’s — relevance in the zeitgeist.  I’ve been watching The History Channel’s “Batman Unmasked: The Psychology of the Dark Knight” this afternoon, and for a Bat-nut like me, it’s the ultimate geek-out opportunity.

The entire 60-minute program is available over at YouTube.  It’s aired on television twice today and I don’t know when it will run again, but it’s all kinds of fascinating.  It takes a look at the character’s progression from 70-year-old roots through expansion on the psychological nature of the character in the 1980s and how that history is commented upon in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” and “The Dark Knight.”

The most intriguing part for me comes around the 08:15 mark of the clip below.  I didn’t know this, but apparently much of Nolan’s vision for Bruce Wayne stemmed from a comparison to Theodore Roosevelt.  Check it out:

There are, of course, interviews with filmmakers, actors and DC higher-ups, but there are plenty of doctors, professors and psychologists thrown in for good measure.  Talk about a treat.  I just wish more footage from “The Dark Knight” was used in the program, though they do get around to discussing the Joker in great detail amid a summation of the Bat’s rogues gallery of villainy.

Anyway, I’d love to see more stuff like this hit the tube.  Or more features digging for this kind of thing in print rather than soliciting general soundbytes about Ledger’s performance or the box office intake of the film.  “The Dark Knight” is an important movie event on many levels this year, and it goes pretty deep.

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5 responses so far

  • 1 10-10-2008 at 9:54 pm

    McGuff said...

    Thanks for the link, Kris. Time well spent. I thought the most interesting section was in regards to CatWoman, who I didn’t think would be in Nolan’s Part 3, but watching that certainly makes you wonder. In a sense, the part in reference to CatWoman in this History Channel special almost creates a potential storyline itself.

    As for the Theodore Roosevelt part, I can only hope that Scorsese and DiCaprio can see this before embarking on their journey to profile Teddy’s beginnings. We’ll have to monitor the similarities between that biopic and “Batman Begins” in 2010, or whenever that big project gets completed.

    On a side note, watched Iron Man for the first time this week … something tells me that Tony Stark’s psychosis might not warrant a 60-minute special. Still, loved the movie because of the way Downey can lighten a scene, because of a chemistry with Paltrow that made a mockery of what Norton/Tyler did in the same summer, and because of the awesomeness and scope of Favreau’s lens.

  • 2 10-11-2008 at 12:53 am

    Thugnificent said...

    Thanks for link. Was really enjoyable. I think the program actually gave me more respect for The riddler, who I wasn’t so excited about being main villian in next movie (supposedly). But after seeing in great detail what lies beneath the character, I can’t wait to see what Nolan has in mind for his vision of The Riddler (if he uses him that is)

  • 3 10-11-2008 at 1:18 am

    Dean Treadway said...

    I was thinking about it the other day. Y’know who would make a great Riddler? Casey Affleck.

  • 4 3-24-2009 at 8:47 pm

    jani said...

    hey i am doing a research paper on this topic and i watched this on you tube but they took it of because once again youtube did not check for violations… would you know where else i can find batman unmasked… i tryed the history channel but i was unsuccessful =(

  • 5 4-19-2009 at 9:15 pm

    Shawna said...

    Thank you Jani, I’m glad I’m not the only person out there with this problem, it’s as though this program has been erased from the face of the earth. It’s frustrating that the History Channel only willing to follow through with cracking down on You Tube, when they should be making past programs available somewhere… I saw the documentary months ago and need to reference the program MLA style for my research project. Help!