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Scholars Day 2008, Wednesday, April 9

Saving Gotham

Tim Burton's Batman was the top grossing film of 1989. This paper examines Burton's juxtaposition of film noir techniques and color to create a sometimes dark, searching tale of the conflict of good and evil. It looks at a major theme of the film --that one virtuous human being can use his superior intellectual qualities and athleticism to conquer institutional corruption and bring order out of chaos. The paper explores the enormous appeal the film had to audiences in 1989. It suggests that the simplicity of its message of good conquering evil was something audiences longed for at a time when the United States was experiencing seemingly insoluable dilemmas like the AIDS epidemic and the early warnings of the climate crisis caused by the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer. At the same time, it explores how the film's dark edges, what some have called its "psychological murkiness" reminded viewers that the struggle between good and evil was anything but simple.

Presenter: Kate Pracher (Undergraduate Student)
Topic: Communication
Location: 107 Holmes
Time: 4 pm (Session V)