I’m well aware of the tremendous hype surrounding The Dark Knight. I know all about the extensive viral marketing, endless series of incrementally longer Trailers, TV Spots and progressively more attractive posters on the walls of subway stations and plastered along the sides of city buses.

I know of this. And yet, as God is in His heaven, I am not privy to it. This is one time I am actually glad not to be in NY for the summer movie season. There’s something to be said for subtlety in marketing.

I still remember the way my jaw dropped when I first saw the Dark Knight teaser. The second one. The one that actually showed some footage of the movie. (“Let’s put a smile on that FACE!) I had been skeptical about the casting of Heath Ledger. I was wondering if Christopher Nolan and company could make The Joker fit into the more realistic world established in Batman Begins.  And I had loved that movie so much, I was simply hoping its sequel could measure up or surpass it. So the teaser, as I’m sure you can imagine, made me shit my pants. My skepticism was gone and I couldn’t wait to see the movie. Immediately. Right now. I needed no more convincing.

And, to date, outside of a few screen shots, those two-minutes remain the only bit of footage I have seen of The Dark Knight. It is the only trailer running here in Bolivia. That’s it. I have now seen that trailer about 25 – 30 times. I can recite it verbatim for you (just ask and pass me a pint of Bock – I’m easy) and, in all honesty, I almost don’t even bother looking at the screen when it comes on because it has become pretty fucking boring.


I don’t know anything about Aaron Eckhardt’s performance. I have no idea if his transformation into Two Face will be a part of this movie or simply a teaser for the next one. I have not heard Maggie Gyllenhaal as Rachel Dawes. I just know she looks cute and is a better actress than Kate Cruise. I am completely oblivious to any real details regarding the film’s plot. I don’t know what any of these images mean. Why is The Joker in jail? Why are they busting up the Bat Symbol? What is that parade that looks like a military funeral? Why are the people screaming? Who is The Joker threatening? Where is WHO? The Joker? Dent? Will Gordon kick more ass? Will anyone important get killed off?

So many questions and mysteries that only two and a half hours of hopefully a very good fucking movie will be able to answer. The only image I have of The Dark Knight is that it looks pretty intense, Heath Ledger is amazing, three actors who I enjoyed seeing in the first one are back and there will be some cool explosions and vehicular mayhem on the miracle mile. That, and the coolest posters I’ve ever seen for a Batman movie littering the lobbies of the only three major theaters in La Paz (including the arthouse – Cinemateca Boliviana).

And that’s all I need to know.

I wish it were always like that. Don’t you? I wish trailers would remain simple and not have to show you the whole fucking movie. I actually feel a little bit sorry for the people outside that are getting inundated with marketing because some of the magic might be gone for them. The movie may turn out to be incredible and they will enjoy it, of course, but that little element of surprise and anticipation will be gone.

People will be subconsciously waiting for that one shot they saw in the trailer… that line yet to be uttered. And they will know some plot twists that may have been more interesting if left secret.

For some movies it doesn’t matter, I guess. But I wonder why the marketing department so frequently feels the need to blow their wad in such explosive fashion during foreplay.

I wish there were a better way. (To those that actively seek out spoilers on the web, all I can say is: Whatever gets your piston up and running.)

Luckily, thanks to the inefficiency of Manfer Films (Bolivian distributor handling Warner Brothers releases), I will waltz into the Cinemateca Boliviana on the evening of July 17th to see Batman: El Caballero de la Noche, I will not know quite what’s coming and will hopefully come out, 150 minutes later, a very happy man.

I’ve got a pretty good thing going here. I lucked out by default. So if you blow the picture for me, I will find out where you live and strangle you in front of your family.

Be happy for me.
It’s been a rough few months.