The Weird but True History of Sin Eaters

In 18th and 19th Century Scotland, families placed a piece of bread on the breasts of their dying loved ones. That’s not the strange part — the families then hired someone to eat the bread, believing that the practice would somehow absolve the sins of the deceased. Where did this strange ritual come from? And what… » 4/30/13 12:40pm 4/30/13 12:40pm

This goofy scene from A Knight's Tale recreates history far better than…

When A Knight's Tale came out in 2001, critics snarked about how director Brian Helgeland used contemporary rock music in a medieval jousting flick. But this opening scene, with peasants dancing to Queen at a jousting match, is one of the greatest examples of historical recreation you'll ever see. » 3/15/13 1:17pm 3/15/13 1:17pm

What would it take to be Bane? A Dark Knight Rises infographic

Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy was a huge, crazy ride that included a ton of defining performances, from Michael Caine to Heath Ledger — and yet, Tom Hardy's growling sociopath Bane still stands out. Tomorrow, The Dark Knight Rises comes out on DVD and Blu-ray and you can relive the chaos. But in the meantime, you… » 12/03/12 1:17pm 12/03/12 1:17pm

Christopher Nolan originally approached Heath Ledger to play Bruce Wayne

Hard to imagine now — but Christopher Nolan's first conversations with Heath Ledger were actually about playing Batman, not the Joker. But Ledger told Nolan that "he'd never do this kinda film," according to a talk Nolan gave last night at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. But by the time came that Nolan was casting… » 11/29/12 3:33pm 11/29/12 3:33pm

Why We Deserve Better Villains — And How To Get Them

Why are people still so crazed over Heath Ledger's Joker after a month in theaters? Maybe because he's the first villain we've seen in ages who didn't kind of lick. The problem of villain suckage is endemic in heroic narratives, where villains get redeemed, become sympathetic, or lose their menace too easily. We've… » 8/20/08 3:41pm 8/20/08 3:41pm

See the Sketches That Captured The Crazy

The Dark Knight concept art from legendary comics artist Bill Sienkiewicz shows Heath Ledger's Joker looking more crazed than ever. Sienkiewicz was the go-to guy for TDK, and it's no wonder. He pretty much captures exactly why the Joker is the scariest of all in Gotham. His concept drawings are pretty much a spot-on… » 7/21/08 10:55am 7/21/08 10:55am

The Dark Knight Twice As Long As It Should Be

After all the hype and buzz, The Dark Knight turns out to be a taut, morally ambiguous crime drama that shies away for superhero schtick in favor of something more understated and suspenseful. As long as you leave the movie somewhere around the halfway point. If you stay for the whole thing, then be prepared to put up… » 7/18/08 12:00pm 7/18/08 12:00pm

Batman's Best Friend Reveals Villain Of Third Bat-Movie

What Bat-menace will grace the big screen in the next Batman movie to come after Dark Knight? Gary Oldman, who plays good cop Jim Gordon, and director Christopher Nolan spilled the beans in an interview. But Nolan also hinted he may not be around to complete his Bat-trilogy. Also, they addressed the tricky issue of… » 6/30/08 8:40am 6/30/08 8:40am