Hey guys! For today’s post we watched Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight and read an article titled “The Batman’s Gotham City™: Story, Ideology, Performance” by William Uricchio. The article talks about Gotham as if it were a character in Batman, and how Batman and Gotham are interdependent. Without the world of Gotham, Batman would be unable to operate; without Batman, the world of Gotham wouldn’t exist. It also talks about how Gotham is so important to the origin story. Without the dark and crime-infested city, Bruce Wayne wouldn’t have seen his parents die and wouldn’t have a motive. It is only through this setting that Batman’s origin and motive are able to come to life. Gotham is a special city and can be compared to New York. I think it is important to distinguish that it is not the same as New York. A New York City does exist separately in the Batman world (like when Batman and Robin go to the New York World’s Fair in the 1940s). Gotham has become its own entity, even being trademarked as its own thing separate from any existing city.
I think that this perspective is exemplified in the film The Dark Knight. While the shots in this film make us feel like we are in the real world, as opposed to a fake or comic world, its use of various locations help to make Gotham a city unlike any already in existence. The film’s exterior shots were done mostly in Chicago and the interiors mostly in England, but there were also some shots done in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. These various locations bring Gotham to life in a way that allows us to feel how it is recognizable without being an exact representation of one existing city. I love how the film plays with the lighting of Gotham too. Typically dark and sinister, there are some scenes in the film that play with this. The scene that stands out to me that plays with our sense of Gotham is the scene where there is the parade of police officers for the commissioner. This happens in the daytime, which usually feels safe in movies. In the scene however, despite the fact that it’s daylight the Joker still causes chaos. This is reflected in the way this scene was shot because the parade is surrounded by buildings, causing everyone to be shadowed from direct sunlight. Gotham plays a role here, blocking out the light and allowing for chaos to happen during the day. This is reflective of the article mentioned above, because without the personality of Gotham City, there would be no chaos and no need for Batman.
That’s all for now! Thank you for reading! Feel free to post questions or comments!