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Batman producer to screen 'The Dark Knight'



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Batman producer and IU alumnus Michael Uslan, a professor of practice in The Media School, speaks Feb. 4 of 2015 in the Ernie Pyle Hall auditorium on the future of the film and television industry. Uslan held a screening of the 2008 action movie “The Dark Knight” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29 in the Franklin Hall Commons. Wensi Wang Buy Photos

Film producer and IU professor Michael Uslan will present a screening of the 2008 action movie “The Dark Knight” at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 29 in the Franklin Hall commons.

Uslan, who produced the film, will be present to give an introduction beforehand and hold a Q&A afterwards. The film, which will be free and open to the public, will be screened on the building's 24-foot-by-12-foot screen.

“The Dark Knight,” directed by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan, is a sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins,” which introduced audiences to Christian Bale’s Batman, a notably darker take on the character.

Uslan said he first bought the film rights to the Batman character from DC Comics in 1979. For him, seeing Christopher Nolan’s vision of the character come to life on the big screen was a dream come true. 

“What Chris has accomplished is to raise the bar for all comic book movies, because when you walk out of 'The Dark Knight,' you don’t have to say it was a great comic book movie," Uslan said. "You can now say it was a great film."

Uslan added if he had his way, he’d screen all three of Nolan’s Batman films — “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

He said due to time constraints he chose “The Dark Knight” because it was the apex of the trilogy. 

He also said he wanted to screen the film, which turns 10 years old this summer, because of its thematic relevance.

“I think today we no longer live in a comic book world of black and white, good and evil,” Uslan said. "We live in a gray world and we live in a world of order versus chaos. I think that ‘The Dark Knight’ is as relevant, if not more relevant, today as it was when it came out.”

Uslan said he also wanted to show the film because he is back in Bloomington to teach two intensive Media School courses this semester. 

Uslan also said he wanted people to have the opportunity to see “The Dark Knight” on a big screen. 

“I believe that when you see a movie of this genre, whether it’s 'Batman' or 'Star Wars' or whatever, watching it on a small screen at home, you lose a tremendous amount of the impact,” Uslan said. “And giving students a chance to see it on the big screen for the first time, we always get the most wonderful reactions.”

Jon Vickers, director of the IU Cinema, also said the experience of seeing a film like “The Dark Knight” on a big screen is a powerful one. 

“Seeing it on the big screen with a good sound system is much more powerful than watching on a small screen, like your computer or your phone,” Vickers said.

The best part of Monday night’s screening is bound to be Uslan, Vickers said.

“I think what really is going to be fun about this event is that you get Michael,” Vickers said. “Michael has been married to Batman for decades now, and he has a lot of great stories of what it took to bring Batman back to the screen. That’s where the experience is in this event.”

Vickers added, while Uslan might not be Nolan in terms of being able to speak to creative choices in the film he’ll surely offer an interesting and invaluable perspective on the making of the movie.

Uslan also said he hoped people would come to see the film and celebrate it.

“There’s nothing like the big screen experience,” he said. 

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