Thursday, June 27, 2013

Batman Memorial Sculpture in "The Dark Knight Rises" (2012)

Though I was a little late coming to the party- I absolutely love Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. I just saw The Dark Knight Rises and I can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. I could try... but I don't think I could express it properly.
Of course, I'm always watching movies now with one eye open for some artwork to blog about and, as in every respect, Dark Knight Rises did not disappoint. Because, lo and behold, as the film comes to a close, the city of Gotham unveils an impressive, brooding statue of the Batman to honor his memory. And to that statue, I dedicate this post.
I'm not the only person interested in the statue. From checking online, I know that there are many Batman fans out there who fell in love with this statue. I mean, spend a little time on some forums, and you'll find that people are dying for little miniatures of this because it looks so cool. And why not? The statue is as noble, as brooding, as dark as the hero himself.
I'm not going to get all elegiac about Batman on this forum, but I will take a moment to discuss why the statue is so apropos. Throughout the trilogy, its stressed so much that Batman is not supposed to be a man or even a hero, he's supposed to be a symbol for good. So, in this statue, the subject is clearly the Batman, but its not specific in the facial details- so it could be anyone. That's the whole point, right? Anyone can be a hero. And like the Batman himself, the statue is dark, larger than life, and, as I said earlier, very brooding. It's a symbol for justice more than a memorial for a man. So in many ways, the statue encompasses a main theme of the Dark Knight trilogy.
I have to say, you get to feel kind of good for Bruce Wayne (even in this moment of sadness) for a little because finally Gotham appreciates their hero and even dedicates the statue in the midst of what one assumes is City Hall. It's just a shame that he's not there to share in the glory. (Spoiler) At least he's with Catwoman... he's not exactly missing out, right?
Let's talk details for a moment. To begin with, it is no computer animation. Thank God and Christopher Nolan for that one. As usual, Nolan did this the right way: the statue exists, it is real, and even toured with a Dark Knight exhibition that was in LA for a while. I don't know for sure where it is now, but I am fairly certain it is somewhere on the Warner Brothers back-lots. But don't quote me. The piece is tall, it is magnificent, by all respects. I don't know whether it was cast in metal (probably resin) or if it was just painted to look metallic, but I just loved the end result. It really looked like an actual monument to a great hero, didn't it?
I spent a while trying to find the artist, but find him I did. His name is Bryn Court. He is a noted Hollywood sculptor who is extremely talented on his own but also works in zBrush. I'm not going to elaborate on what zBrush is (because I don't know), but from what I can tell its some sort of 3D computer program that helps sculptors. Regardless, it is really good. It fits the piece, it fits the genre of monumental art with that beautiful metallic look, and its just truly an impressive piece. In addition to working on the Dark Knight films, Court did a lot of work on the Harry Potter films, so his work is definitely very available to the general public.

So, I'm not going to bring too much gravitas to Batman- Nolan does plenty of that on his own- but I will say that on its own, this sculpture is a very neat piece of Batman memorabilia. But more importantly, its a piece that, I feel, fits in with the theme and feel of the franchise- which is much more interesting and, I dare say, blog-worthy.

7 comments:

  1. I just saw this movie again and I was wondering about this statue very much. Thank you for what you wrote. :)

    -Amy

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  2. They should put the batman statue in NYC.. just like they have the Rocky statue in Philly. Let NYC aka Gotham City have a little symble too. NYC can always use a symble for good... someone should figure out how to make that happen

    - Rocky G

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    Replies
    1. Most of what is Gotham City was done in Chicago for the first two films. Pittsburgh was Gotham City for The Dark Knight Rises. The stock market and subsequent chase scenes were a combination of NYC and LA. So, NYC would not be the appropriate choice to put the Batman memorial statue.

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  3. The Batman is a symbol of good for all of us, not only NYC, etc. He has to be alive in our harts.

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  4. Just an FYI the end of the film and the unveiling of the Batman Statue is actually the rotunda of city hall in Newark NJ... It's the same location they used for the Bane fight when he captured Mr Fox & killed the navy seals....

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  5. http://www.moviesculptor.co.uk/

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