Saturday 16 December 2017

James Demspey: A truly dark night for innocent Batman fans out for a night of fun

My alarm sounded this morning at 3.55am, and having suffered through a night of tossing and turning, the sort of fitful sleep of a child on Christmas Eve, I clumsily pawed at my phone, my subconscious struggling to string together the motor-functions of a sliding action. I’d named the alarm Batman, hoping the pixelated call of the Caped Crusader would be enough to lift the shroud of sleep from my foggy brain. And it was.

Up and dressed faster than Adam West could slide down a pole, I was out the door and making my way across the city to The Lighthouse Cinema, Smithfield. Myself and 650 others at their sold out 5am screenings of The Dark Knight Rises, the final instalment of Christopher Nolan’s redefining Batman trilogy, and arguably the most eagerly anticipated release of the year. Not alone, so, in very good company in fact, but a pilgrimage I’d make in solitude.

What do you think about, walking across the city at 4am, entirely sober and buoyed up with boyish glee? Not getting mugged, mostly, between sporadic gravelly grumblings of “I’m Batman” to keep my growing enthusiasm at bay. I found myself stumbling through a city I hardly recognised; quiet and shadowy, smelling of booze and kebabs and expelled booze and kebabs, a fox eyeing me suspiciously and my gaze fixed forward lest I get dragged into the industrial dispute going on between two ladies of the night and management.

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