“Following the massacre at the Batman film in Colorado, are you thinking it would be in bad taste to go and see the film yourself?” This was the question asked by BBC Radio 2’s The Jeremy Vine show on Monday afternoon as the world was absorbing the details of the tragedy that unfolded at the The Dark Knight Rises premiere in Aurora, Colorado last weekend.

A fair question considering the hysteria generated by the film and the associations that have inevitably been made with the shootings at the theatre and the movie those involved were there to see.

I was listening to the Jeremy Vine show at work and as far as I could tell the general feeling was that if we stopped going to the movies because of something like this then the bad guys have won. As one caller noted, ‘We didn’t stop sending our kids to school because of the Columbine killings!’

Like so many other people for whom movies are an “important and joyful pastime”, reading director Christopher Nolan’s heartfelt statement in response to the shootings, I feel sad not only that these terrible things happened in a movie theatre, but that they happened at all.

What happened in Aurora won’t put me off seeing The Dark Knight Rises in the cinema. Life goes on. It must. I’ll be going later this week, no doubt with a lump in my throat, but I’ll be there all the same, thinking of the victims and their families when the credits roll. 

Here is what director Christopher Nolan had to say: 

“Speaking on behalf of the cast and crew ofThe 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.”

Ronan Wright is a graduate in Film Studies from The Queen’s University of Belfast. As well as contributing to MercatorNet as a film critic since March 2011 he has run Filmplicity, a Belfast-based film...