A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What I'm Watching

Waltz With Bashir

When Ari Folman's film switches to live action at the very end, you can see clearly why he chose animation. It's not enough for a documentary to ... well, to document. With no sacrifice of truth, animation allows him to go places documentaries usually can't, not only into the midst of unfilmed battles, but also into the dreams of his interviewees -- the pursuing wild dogs, the giant nude woman swimming to the boat, the swimmers rising from the sea and walking onto the devastated beach. War, as Folman says in one of the DVD's interviews, is the creation of "men with small minds and big egos." Folman's ego, I dare say, is rather large, too, but he has created something more valuable.

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