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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Paramilitary gunman massacres moviegoers watching The Dark Knight Rises: WTF?

sad Batman

Overslept this morning. When I finally got up and turned the TV news on, I wanted to crawl back under the covers and not come up for a week, or maybe never. From CNN:

14 dead, 50 wounded in shooting at Colorado theater, police chief says

(CNN) — At least 14 people were killed and 50 wounded when a gunman opened fire during an early Friday morning screening of the new Batman movie at an Aurora, Colorado, theater, Police Chief Dan Oates told reporters.

The heavily armed suspect, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was apprehended by police in a rear parking lot of the theater, Frank Fania, a police spokesman told CNN. The identity of the suspect has not immediately been released.

“He did not resist. He did not put up a fight,” Fania said. Police seized a rifle and a handgun from the suspect, and another gun was found in the theater, he said.

Oates said there was no evidence of a second gunman.

The mass shooting occurred during the showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” at the Century Aurora 16 theater, police and witnesses said.

How many things are there to hate about this? A shit ton. I mean, beyond the horror — which is both tediously familiar now and freshly sickening every time it happens — of a man who feels ineffectual and powerless remedying that for himself by murdering total strangers in a completely random, very public way. A few that are in the front of my mind at the immediate moment:

• the generous communal spirit of a cinema packed with people excited to be seeing a new movie: shattered

• the handwringing to come over violent movies and ratings systems

• the likelihood of a “vigorous” debate over artistic censorship coupled with the unlikeliness of any sort of debate over gun control in the U.S.

• wondering whether the gunman targeted this movie in particular (and what that might mean), or just wanted to attack a place that would be packed with people

• the notion that this event is a symptom of the morass of social and cultural crises that have made Nolan’s Batman movies so very pertinent (and I’d far have preferred for them to remain in the realm of total fantasy)

Mostly, my head is churning as much as my stomach right now. I can’t really think coherently about this. I’m just angry.

Paramilitary gunman massacres moviegoers watching The Dark Knight Rises: WTF?

*sigh*

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