The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight (2008)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:
The Dark Knight

Saturday, August 12, 2023, 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm  
Instructor: Paul Wright, Ph.D., Instructor, BMFI

Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) emerged as that rare superhero film supremely confident in what it is trying to do and to be. Rather than dismissing its comic book origins, it honors and enriches its source material, treating comic narratives as modern mythologies with the power to address serious and abiding themes. Garnering box office success as well as critical acclaim and awards attention (most notably, Heath Ledger’s posthumous Oscar for his performance as the Joker), it heralded a sea-change in both studio and audience appetites for these entertainments as serious works.

The Dark Knight depicts a Gotham City with complex politics and believable characters. Batman (Christian Bale) must address the moral and ethical stakes of his confrontation with both his arch-nemesis, the Joker, and his deranged former comrade Harvey Dent, the eventual Two-Face (Aaron Eckhart). While its lesser imitators went out of their way to be dark and edgy, Nolan’s film justifies that tone, undertaking a serious examination of why a world might need a vigilante superhero and the price it might pay to have one. The Dark Knight boasts a haunting urban jungle as the battleground for its action set-pieces, leading to comparisons with Michael Mann’s classic neo-noir, Heat. Nolan’s achievement in bringing these various elements and talents together remains as unmatched as ever fifteen years later.

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Saturday, August 12 · 12:30 pm

Make your donation today!



cover of BMFI's quarterly magazine, Projections, issue 66

June – August 2023


Accessibility at BMFI

Health and Safety

Support our Sponsors

20–21 Annual Report