Monday, June 30, 2008

"I Don't Want To Survive. I Want To Live!"

Post-Apocolyptic science fiction isn't generally what we think of when it comes to children's entertainment. But Pixar has managed to make a film that works as Sci-Fi while at the same time is easily accessible and highly entertaining to kids as well as adults. While reading that last sentence one might think, "so they have dumbed down Sci-Fi for kids?" But the truth of the matter is, that is exactly what they did not do.
Wall-E is a beautiful, epic fairytale of a film that works in every conceivable way that it can. It is able to suck you in like Spielberg during his E.T.(1982, Spielberg) years.

We are hundreds of years in the future. Earth is no longer inhabited with human life. The only "living" thing that we are aware of on earth is a tiny machine named Wall-E(Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) and a little bug that keeps him company. We follow Wall-E while he goes about his daily routine cleaning up trash, watching Hello Dolly(1969, Kelly) and wishing for something to ease his loneliness.

Where are the humans? They can be found on a pleasuredome of sorts in outerspace. They left to join the pleasuredome for 5 years while the earth was being cleaned up but seemed to have forgotten and have now become overweight, lazy slobs.

The beautiful thing about Wall-E begins with the first 40 or so minutes. Virtually dialogue free the film carries it's audience with a sense of wonder and enthusiasm for what may happen next. Wall-E isn't just entertainment, it is art of the highest quality.

It digs deep into the american public with messages of consumerism, ecology and apathy. What really struck me was the films complete ability to work in terms with the Sci-fi genre. While showing us a glimpse of what is possible in the future it is a mirror to what we are today. Which is exactly what great Sci-fi films do. I would put it among the likes of 2001 (1968, Kubrick), Brazil (1985, Gilliam) and THX 1138 (1973, Lucas). While at the same time I would put it among the very best animated films of all time. This is all without even mentioning the beautiful love story that is portrayed with perfection through mostly visuals.

While watching Wall-E I received the sensation of what I think people felt when watching films that we think of as classics today for the first time. I thought to myself, "So this is how people felt while watching the Godfather in 1972."

If there was ever a movie that could be recommended to anyone this is it. It isn't to childish or to mature for any person to digest and really gain something profound from it.

Andrew Stanton, who also directed Finding Nemo back in 2004, does an outstanding job of making a truly magnificent achievement. It seems it has been far too long since lasting art has been in the mainstream public.

I could go on forever, but the point is; see it, see it now and tell others. You don't want to be talking to your kids/grandkids in 30 years telling them you missed out on a true classic of your time.

1 comment:

Matt said...

Shawn -- an amazing review. I already wanted to see the film, but now I want to see it even more. Re: the horror film class... please do drop in any time and take part in the screenings and discussions. I can email you a schedule once we decide upon it after the first class. Hope your summer is going well!