Chaotic Fatalism, Crime and Civilization


Jen and I just saw The Dark Knight and I'm still listening to Cormac McCarthy's No Country For Old Men on tape.

There are a lot of interesting similarities between the two, especially between Joker and Two Face taken together and Anton Chigurh.

The criminals in both raise interesting questions of freedom, free will, chaos, chance and fate in the context of civilization's struggle against anarchy, nihilism and destruction.

Furthermore, and somewhat disturbingly, both the movie and the book are ambivalent as to whether or not civilization is capable of winning that battle.

4 comments:

JPB said...

OK, I'm not the only one to think this.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-remington/no-country-for-bat-men-th_b_113846.html

Or google (Chigurh Joker) not in quotes.

Janine the Bean said...

If I had to describe No Country for Old Men in one word it would be "disturbing." I was a bit haunted by it...for days..and still am when I think about it. However, I watched the movie first. I rarely do that if it's based on a novel, but I did. Have you seen it? I loved Tommy Lee's character and think that there are probably many older people in our society that feel the way that he did. But the Anton Chigurh character...holy cow...creepy beyond reason.

I have to say, reading the newspaper and listening to the news, at times it doesn't SEEM our civilization is winning that battle.

carissa anne said...

the similaries between the films are definitely there for anyone to notice. i agree with you most of all in that the question of whether anything can be done to counter it is left wide open. in No Country, there is a sense of a neverending battle, and of fear. in The Dark Knight, there was a completely hopelessness at some points, despite a few glimmers of "decency" - certainly an underlying sense of the fundamental inadequacy of rigidly principled, self-imposed ethics like Bruce Wayne's.

Chad said...

Hi Jon!

spending time on your blog. Tonia and I saw DK this weekend. I have not seen No Country for Old Men yet. The other day a Joker toy came in a cereal box we got. I let the boys play with superhero toys, but this one I took away and put in the garbage. I thought the movie was good and that Heath's performance was true to the comics (which of course I used to collect!). Even if he is the villain I have no interest in my kids coming into contact with that kind of nihilistic violence at their age. The Joker (as represented in this movie and in the comic "The Killing Joke") represents the dark amoral possibilities of the human heart who turns away from any concern for others. It is certainly disturbing to look in the face of it.