Cinejabber: Sometimes Batman just really wants to catch the Joker

Posted by · 7:21 am · October 1st, 2011

This is Cinejabber, your weekend space to cut loose about whatever is on your mind.

Today I’m thinking about politics in movies. Not surface politics, mind you, like, say, George Clooney’s “The Ides of March” or Clint Eastwood’s upcoming “J. Edgar.” I’m talking about those movies that speak to the “zeitgeist,” if you will, whether inherently or interpretively.

It hit me because I heard the strangest take on the finale of “Take Shelter” recently. I won’t spoil it here, but someone called the ending of that film “too right wing.” Upon reflection, I suppose I could understand how someone might see that. But it just reminds you that people will find politics anywhere.

Some are on about “Moneyball” speaking to things like “innovative problem-solving, and a moral ground that will benefit the team.” Again, I can understand the dots and the connecting of them, but so often this kind of thing is perspective brought to the table rather than taken from it.

We saw this three years ago with “The Dark Knight” and supposed right-wing ideas of security. Some even went so far as to call the Caped Crusader and his hard-hitting “policies” to be a stand-in for George W. Bush.

If you want, you can see the end of “Melancholia” as a reflection of the Bush administration if you want to. (Okay, I stole that joke.) But I don’t know. Sometimes Batman just really wants to catch the Joker.

Anyway, as Guy teased yesterday, it’s worth mentioning that he will be writing up his top 10 films about politics list on Tuesday in advance of next week’s release of “The Ides of March.”

So, use all of that to springboard if you like. Otherwise, open thread. Have at it. The floor is yours.

(And I swear I didn’t mean to have two Cinejabber threads in a row speak to Batman.)

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