The stunning Elizabethan Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham, became Bruce Wayne’s mansion in the recent Warner Brothers DVD release Batman The Dark Knight Rises. With a deer park, lake cafe and house full of stuffed animals and other curiosities, Wollaton is one of my favourite places for a family walk in Nottingham. Mr A and I watched the newly released on DVD The Dark Knight Rises on Blu Ray, which makes it even more awesome. The shots of Gotham City seem to come alive. I’ve de constructed enough action film opening sequences in my time as an A level media teacher to know that this one is in a different league.
Dark Knight Rises ventures much deeper than most superhero narratives, it felt timeless, yet rooted in contemporary culture, I enjoyed the commentary on corporate greed. It was beautifully shot and cast, with strong female characters: Selina Kyle, I suspected, but have since confirmed, is never referred to as ‘Cat Woman’ in the script. I really enjoyed the way the narrative explores it’s hero’s vulnerabilities.
Mr A and I take different things from films, it’s good to find a film we both like. We got to this scene above, on the left, at which point Mr A said ‘Nice car’ while I said ‘Look it’s Wollaton.’ So we decided to revisit Wollaton Hall, me to admire the architecture, Mr A to imagine driving a ‘Lambo’ across the deer park. It was all the more exciting for having seen it in the film, looking up at the windows and imagining catching a glimpse of an ailing Bruce Wayne or knocking at the intimidating wooden door and awaiting Alfred.
To Mr A’s credit he managed to glean, while the kids played with the exhibitions inside, that it was built in 1500s by the richest man in England. Nottingham really made the most of the film’s cinema release. My friend Kerry took her son and Miss L along to test out the Batman themed activities over the Summer holidays.
There’s so much to do at Wollaton, you can even see a stuffed Giraffe and Gorilla. Best bit is, apart from a £1 for the carpark, it is free, although you can make a donation.
You can see the hall at 31 seconds in this trailer for The Dark Knight Rises:
Disclosure – thanks to Warner Brothers for the review DVD.