Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Shown, Not Told


Revealing character. The two major ways we do it is through dialogue, and through action. Or sometimes both: There are million discussions to be had about THE DARK KNIGHT, but one of my favorite moments was the second time The Joker told the story of how he got his scars. And it was a different story than the first...so in that one moment you realize that not only is the Joker lying, but that he lied the first time too. Suddenly you can't really trust anything that comes out of his mouth. And it's been shown to us, rather than told.

For the record, there may be an inflated amount of hype about Heath Ledger, but I still thought his performance was spectacular.

For an entirely different record, a coworker of mine has taken to grabbing his crotch a la Michael Jackson and yelling, "BLOG THIS!"

I guess that's dialogue and action too?

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4 comments:

Danny said...

That really was cool.

Screenwriter Shep said...

The Joker had one of the best entrances of any character in a movie. Ever.

First impressions count, if you get them right, the rest of the work is A LOT easier.

Numb Frog said...

I agree... but we should point out that its the 2nd film in this series of one of the most iconic superhero stories of our time... so everyone knows who THE JOKER is at least somewhat.

Would it have worked as well if the audience didn't bring a lot to the table? I think it would have, but still have to consider the context. Hollywood vs your spec.

But as a huge HALLOWEEN fan (1978 of course) -- what makes it work is that he's just evil with no reason. Evil doesn't need a backstory to work.

Some Audio Guy said...

Numb Frog has a point, but the Joker has been in media for decades longer than Jack's performance in the first Batman.

I thought this was a nearly perfect comic book/action film. We didn't get bogged in back story (like every other superhero film NEEDS to re-explain the origins), and I knew the film was going to brutal after the pencil disappeared...