CHAPEL HILL, NC— Sophomore Vicente Jimenez “VJ” Rodriguez, has reportedly dropped The Dark Knight as his favorite film after declaring a Comparative Literature major. The news came as a shock to his high school friends, with whom he has watched Christopher Nolan’s 2008 blockbuster countless times.
According to Rodriguez, the sudden shift in taste came midway through his CMPL 143 “Intro to Global Cinema” recitation, when his graduate TA remarked, during a discussion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s film The Passenger, that “traditional Hollywood blockbusters fail to interrogate the ideological implications of the medium.”
Even as he was knowingly nodding and pursing his lips like his classmates around him, Rodriguez panicked. In the same moment, he swiftly and silently dismissed The Dark Knight from his affection.
After his recitation, Rodriguez said that among The Dark Knight‘s many now-glaring flaws is its failure to take the opportunity during the Joker’s interrogation scene to acknowledge the complicity of film in capitalist mythmaking .
“Of course we couldn’t sympathize with the Joker,” he said. “But even the basic patterns of shot and counter-shot propose a narrative order to the world that the Joker rejects. I can’t believe I didn’t notice such an artistic lapse.”
Our reporters caught up with Rodriguez in his Cobb dorm room amid hasty removal of his The Dark Knight poster.
“Opening my eyes to the deficiencies of mainstream cinema has been a challenge,” he admitted as he browsed Jean-Luc Godard’s Wikipedia page, “but once I realized that the extensive use of CGI to create Gotham’s cityscape was a mask for the poverty of Christopher’s Nolan’s aesthetic vision, I couldn’t care less whether or not Batman made it in time to save Rachel.”
Rodriguez has yet to announce a new favorite movie, but after a cursory examination of the syllabi of his film classes, he suggested that The Bicycle Thieves or “something by Ingmar Bergman” were promising candidates.
“The long takes and slow pacing of Italian Neorealism really satiate me in a way that the polished banter of Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox never could,” he said. “I don’t watch movies to be entertained. Not anymore.”
Kevin Grummond, a long-time friend, said that he understood Rodriguez’s decision.
“VJ was always a huge Dark Knight fan,” he said. “But I guess Batman’s the hero that VJ deserves, just not the one he needs right now.”