ArcLight Presents Architecture Afternoons with CAF: The Dark Knight

April 23, 2017 | 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM

The Chicago Architecture Foundation (CAF) has partnered with ArcLight Cinemas Chicago to bring you an exclusive monthly film series that explores how filmmakers use our city and its architecture to tell extraordinary stories. The selected films will be screened and followed by a discussion and Q&A with expert panelists on compelling themes related to the film as they pertain to architecture and design, filmmaking, and Chicago.


The Dark Knight - Discussion topics: Location scouting, modifying architecture to create a mood, what makes Chicago recognizable as itself and what makes it “Gotham”?

Synopsis: Quite a few superhero movies have been filmed in Chicago. Batman and Superman are the caped figures seen most often in the city—Batman Begins (2005), Man of Steel (2013) and Batman v Superman (2016) all feature scenes filmed in Chicago. But it’s The Dark Knight (2008) that really uses a variety of the city’s architecture—few films explore more of Chicago than this blockbuster hit. It opens with an intricate sequence filmed at the Old Main Post Office, where the massive Art Deco building stands in for a bank. A chase sequence makes use of lower Wacker Drive and a parade marches down LaSalle Street, terminating at the soaring Chicago Board of Trade Building. The Chicago Theater also gets its moment in the spotlight. Modern buildings get a chance to shine, too—Batman rides his fancy motorcycle through Millennium Station and stands atop Willis (Sears) Tower to survey the city. The black exterior of the skyscraper even matches the caped crusader’s enigmatic look. Though The Dark Knight is set in fictional Gotham City, Chicago’s real-life architecture is instantly recognizable throughout the film.

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