I’m sitting here after the shootings at Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colorado to write what was going to be a column on my interview with director Christopher Nolan about The Dark Knight Rises and how it was the crowning glory of his remarkable trilogy, but all I can do is brush away tears as I think about the horror and senseless violence that occurred during opening night’s screening where twelve people lost their lives and dozens of others were injured when a lone gunman dressed in black and wearing a helmet, body armor and a gas mask opened fire on the packed theater.
With that in mind, I simply could not pull together a light, tongue-in-cheek piece about
how awesome this movie is, and how it broke the bank in its opening weekend. Instead, I
want to first and foremost express my deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathy to the
victims of this terrible tragedy. It breaks my heart as I can imagine the anticipation and
excitement with which they were filled before entering the theater to be swept away by the action and drama of The Dark Knight Rises, a film they’d no doubt been waiting to see for months. To have what should have been a fun filled night out with family and friends turn into a gruesome massacre that no one could ever have imagined is mind blowing.
I’m not so naïve as to believe that there are any truly safe havens in this day and time, but
I guess this seems especially unconscionable to me because I, like many others, love the
movies. And I don’t mean waiting on the DVD to come out or catching a movie on television. I mean I love the experience of going to the movies, getting in my car, driving to the theater, standing in line for my ticket and finally walking in and taking in the aroma of hot buttered popcorn. And when the lights in the theater go down, and all the trailers have run and the film starts for those couple of hours. I can be a superhero, a ballerina, a sports giant, a young girl in love for the first time or take a breathtaking trip around the world or around the galaxy. See that’s what the movies represent. A magical, euphoric suspension of reality where anything is possible. You could still feel that sense of wide eyed innocence and wonder of youth on a day at the movies. And I’m sad that yet another idyllic universal institution has been marred by violence. I’m sad that there are people in this world who believe that their failures and disappointments in life are justification for destroying the lives of others. I’m sad that the people who worked so
hard on this movie will forever be coupled with the demented acts of a man who somehow managed to legally obtain a small arsenal of weapons and ammunition and wreak havoc on an entire community in Colorado. I’m sad that for a long time to come, no one will go to a movie theater with the same carefree, happy-go-lucky spirit as we have in the past because somewhere in the back of our minds we’ll secretly wonder if some psycho is going to storm into our theater and start shooting. But more than any of those things, I’m sad that mothers and fathers, sons and daughters were killed without provocation, without reason and a community of their family, friends and loved ones are left to grieve and wonder “Why?” every day for the rest of their lives.
In closing, I would like to share the statement Christopher Nolan had regarding the shooting:
“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises, I would like to express our profound sorrow at the senseless tragedy that has befallen the entire Aurora community. I would not presume to know anything about the victims of the shooting but that they were there last night to watch a movie. I believe movies are one of the great American art forms and the shared experience of watching a story unfold on screen is an important and joyful pastime. The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me. Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families.”
In times like this, I wish there really were superheroes to save the day.
By Vivian Fullerlove
By Vivian Fullerlove