When The Dark Knight was released in July of 2008, I didn’t really know very much about it other than it was the last film that Heath Ledger had fully completed filming before his untimely death six months earlier. I had seen a trailer, but not much else, as the first half of 2008 was a sleepless period of my life, a time when work devoured up to 22 hours a day of my time. Searching the Internet for information on upcoming movies did not make the cut as a productive way to spend the other two hours, and therefore when things finally calmed down, and I sat down in a darkened movie theatre one day in late July to watch The Dark Knight, I was in the unique position of being aware of this blockbuster, but knowing virtually nothing about it. As a result, nearly everything about the film was discovered in that moment, watching it for the first time, and when it was over I knew I had seen something truly great.
This situation was unique because in earlier posts I have already confessed that I am a movie trailer addict, and I have always been fascinated by the process of creating a marketing campaign for films. As a result, it is very rare that I go into a movie not knowing anything about it, and therefore my experience with The Dark Knight stands out as unusual, and I often wonder if I enjoyed the film more because of that process of discovery. I don’t know if I’ll ever really have that experience again, because my interest in marketing campaigns far outweighs my interest in testing that theory, but the upcoming release of The Dark Knight Rises has made me reconsider just how much I’m willing to know about a film before I see it.
As a fan of Christopher Nolan and his work with Batman, I am eagerly anticipating the release of The Dark Knight Rises next summer. I devoured the teaser trailer that was released earlier this year, and I marvelled at its infuriating ability to render The Dark Knight Rises a must see, all while revealing almost nothing about the film itself. However, for all the trailer’s success of keeping the film under wraps, a steady stream of photos from the set, videos taken by bystanders on shaky cell phones, and reports from filming locations have been splashed all over the Internet for all to see. Initially, I ate this up, and gladly clicked on any link that promised to reveal more of this movie that I am so eager to see, but the more I saw, the more I got the feeling that I was robbing myself of an amazing viewing experience later down the line. Every detail I learned and every costume I saw was one less thing I got to discover in the theatre. This is why last week I finally ignored the headlines that once again promised secrets from the set of The Dark Knight Rises. I still love marketing campaigns, and I will most likely be waiting with bated breath as to how The Dark Knight Rises will possibly continue to maintain the current level of anticipation for this film, but I am done with the amateur spoilers for the time being. I would love nothing more for this film to live up to its predecessor in terms of success and quality, but I can wait until July 20th, 2012 to make that discovery. However agonizing the wait may be.