Sunday, 21 September 2008

A rhetorical exercise in which Kurt Loder makes a brief cameo* So a guy writes a song: At one point I found myself going, "I can't write a song about Batman, I'm in an alternative band." And I thought this is stupid, if I can write a song about Batman and it serves the purpose . . . and connects with something that is unique and original, then, why not? . . . I was trying to represent Batman. The director of the video says this: But [the guy] really wanted to explore Batman's brain. The result is this: How did Corgan propose getting inside Batman's head? By getting inside Batman's head. Given that the video was for Batman on Ice—a.k.a. The Curious Case of the Governor and Mr. Nipples—I'm not sure there's much there in there to be filled out. This is Batman as camp, so the lyrics contain all the psychological depth and insight of the television series. And yet: Ain't it funny how the film the song advertises influences our take on the lyrics?** The camp of Schumacher's Batman & Robin is buried beneath the literalism of Zack Snyder's adaptation of Watchmen. And where did fans first see this preview? Before The Dark Knight. (A film whose complexities a Doctor of Philosophy of English affirms.) Where am I headed with this? An exercise in visual rhetoric for my upcoming course. (About which more momentarily.) They'll already have seen Batman Begins and read Watchmen, so they should be able to handle the tone and source material aspect of the conversation. *The MTV News item I quote here begins with Kurt Loder saying: "The band also gets to shoot a tie-in video for the song, and Chris Connelly stopped by the set to ask the question, 'Have you guys sold out, or what?'" Cut to the report. Upon returning, Kurt Loder says: "Joining the Pumpkins on the 'Batman' soundtrack will be R. Kelly, Jewel, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony among others." I officially miss Kurt Loder now. **Yes, I know it's been remixed, and that plays a part in it, but bear with me here.

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