GOTHIC IMAGINATION IN TIM BURTON’S BATMAN RETURNS
In the films directed and produced by Tim Burton the most apparent characteristic is the visual style, the strange worlds and their stylized look have a design that is unique and recognizable. His love for all things dark and bizarre has highly influenced the visual style of his films. Burton has a dark and gothic visual style, and Batman Returns is a defining film of Burton’s trademark Gothicism that established his recognizable visual style which was later used in all of his films. First question we have to ask ourselves is how the movie fits into the gothic tradition? Although the film is urban, it has a dark, fairy-tale like gothic vibe to it. The imagery in the movie is surreal and bizarre. Burton even stated himself that his take on Gotham was “ As if Hell had erupted through the streets and kept on going. Since its inception, Gotham City has been presented as the embodiment of the urban fears. Gotham City has always been a dark place, full of steam, and rats and crime. A city of graveyards and gargoyles; alleys and asylums; a distorted metropolis that corrupts the souls of good men. The opening shots of Gotham City expose a city as nightmare. From a tracking shot of disruptive anarchy in the streets, the frighteningly dark and steamy sets lend expression a city of crime lords. Gotham City is closely associated with the Gothic architecture and it gives the city its dark, moody, and often dangerous ambiance. Skyscrapers, a familiar and commonplace component of every city, were given a slightly sinister role; Gargoyles were also manifested as a watchful protector of the Gotham city. Gargoyles are traditionally used a representation of evil, thought to be used to scare people attending church, reminding them that the end of days was coming near. It was also thought that their presence assured congregants that evil is kept outside of the church’s walls. The film has a pure...
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