It takes no genius to say that Batman obviously has a strong fan base. Starting with the comics, through a spate of horribly cheesy 90s films and into the modern era, the franchise has never lost its appeal. So upon the announcement that Union Films would be showing Christopher Nolan’s critically received trilogy, it is not surprising that the event was such a hit.
Arriving just before 5pm, many potential viewers would have been shocked by a queue that stretched out of the Union and past the Stag’s Head. Such was the popularity of this special movie marathon, that it had already sold out earlier that day. Sunday was welcome to the same fate, as the single showing of The Dark Knight Rises sold out on the evening.
Acquiring a rather novel, yet slick wristband, we were shepherded down towards the cinema which was already rather crowded. There we picked up one of the classy, suitably dark T-shirts and had the opportunity to order some cheap Dominos for collection during the interval, obviously the defining focus of the evening.
As we took our seats for the first film, a Lord of The Rings Trilogy showing was announced for Spring 2013, which animated an already excited crowd. Batman Begins, the 2005 reboot set the tone and the scene superbly. The film that has often been considered underrated, especially alongside the two most releases in the trilogy is an incredibly gripping and well rounded tale, providing a context and back story from which the other films could launch from.
At around 8, we arose again – sore buttocks and all – in an attempt to claim the first pizza order of the night. However, the situation turned into more of a free-for-all and a number of those who had originally put their name down were left disappointed. Luckily the refreshments from Union Films were plentiful and kept people going as we delved into The Dark Knight.
Arguably the best film in the series, and also seen as one of the best films of the last decade, the experience of a packed cinema rekindled the initial hype that surrounded the 2008 release – the fear, the action, the inspired performance from Heath Ledger as the ‘Joker’ and the technicalities of the film once again amazed people. By the end of this film, people who may otherwise have ignored their hunger, leapt up with incredible speed to claim their pizza. This time a massive order led to no disappointment.
As we prepared for a later than planned viewing of The Dark Knight Rises, there were fears – or dependent on the state of your legs, hopes – that people would start to bail; after all these three films have a combined running time of over 7 hours. However, the vast majority stayed loyal to the cause and one of the biggest summer blockbusters of the year kept people engrossed even at this late hour. As we misunderstood our way through Bane’s muffles, the tones of resistance so prominent in The Dark Knight Rises proved that Nolan’s work had been exemplary. Each film in the trilogy provided the audience with an individual mood but within a broader context that tied everything in so well.
As we left the cinema which now resembled a refugee camp at 2am, a round of applause was given. Yes the films were excellent, but Union Films had facilitated it in such a good way. It is clear that the dedicated group of volunteers have nailed the logistics of a marathon night and long may they continue into the future.