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The alternatives are not placid servitude on the one hand and revolt against servitude on the other. There is a third way, chosen by thousands and millions of people every day. It is the way of quietism, of willed obscurity, of inner emigration.

J.M. Coetzee


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Monday, October 12th, 2009

Visual Feast


I wanted to write a post tonight about Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, which Sylvia and I watched last night and just loved; and I wanted to make the point right up front what a visual treat the movie is. Of course I went looking around the web for stills; and I found a lot of them, but none that quite communicates what a rollicking lot of fun it is to watch this movie... The one above is about the closest I could get. So you'll have to take it on faith I guess -- walking out of the movie you feel like you've been at a feast.

The movie is extremely clever -- there are a lot of the Pixar-style asides making jokes to the adults in the audience, they are very well-done: they made me laugh without hitting me over the head what was going on. And more, the jokes seemed true to the characters and situations. What was lacking in Up, I thought, was nuance; this movie has nuance and subtlety. It is able to make a standard-issue children's lit point -- about (in a nutshell) smart kids being ostracized and having trouble getting anywhere in life, but sticking to their dreams and eventually finding self-realization -- without slipping into after-school special sentimentality. It is, in addition to being tons of fun, moving and uplifting.

posted evening of October 12th, 2009: Respond
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Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

Top fifty

Thanks to Alvy Singer for pointing out a new list of top-fifty animated films from Time Out, with some commentary by Terry Gilliam! I'm glad to see they gave Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs a place on the list, even though it's so new and unproven. I am as convinced as they are that "this maddeningly ingenious and wildly original smart kids‚?? adventure will one day take its rightful place in the animated pantheon. " Most of the Miyazaki masterpieces make the list, with My Neighbor Totoro taking top ranking as is well and good. The list is a little biased toward feature films -- it seems like the shorts by Chuck Jones and Tex Avery deserve pride of place. Jones has "The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie" from 1979 at number 3, but that was decades after his finest work.

posted evening of October 14th, 2009: 2 responses
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