Wednesday, October 19, 2005


For years I've had a stale taste in my mouth because of those curiously popular Burton Batman films--I found them completely insipid but must admit I'm in the minority. People said "Oh, they're so dark," I found them goofy at best. People said Nicholson was great, I thought he was simply hamming it up, doing a caricature of himself, and to a lame tune by The Artist Formerly Known As Good, no less. Fuck those movies. I never saw the rest of that franchise, with Clooney and whoever else played the Caped Crusader.

But now we have Batman Begins to wipe the slate clean, to refresh my palate like a blast of Listerine. The first hour of this film is simply ass-kickingly good; it's so good that the second half--which is great--pales in comparison. The cast? Awesome! Liam Neeson fucks shit up, Michael Caine is the best Alfred yet, Morgan Freeman, Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Rutger Hauer, Tom Wilkinson, Cillian Murphy--all excellent, with one notable dullard (Katie Holmes) who's adequate but not up-to-snuff with this crew. I thoroughly enjoyed Batman Begins.

An old couple take their precious Gabbeh carpet to wash in a stream, and the spirit of the story commemorated in its woven pictures comes to life. As gabbeh shares her sad tale it merges with that of the couple and eventually with all history and time in a lovely meditation on the permanence of impermanence. Reminiscent of Zhang Yimou's early stuff. This is my second foray into Persian/Iranian cinema, and I'm even more intrigued to continue this quest.