Everyone talks about Waltz with Bashir

a collage of commentaries

Everyone talks about it and i want to talk about it. Ari Folman made a masterpiece. He crafted it as Takahata's expressionistic Grave of the Fireflies(1988) and Coppola's Apocalypse Now(1979) came to life. What has Ari Folman achieve with his animated documentary challenges the definition of animation.

Alan Cholondeko talks about the nature and function of animated films. he said, and i quote:
"[...] This means that the logic and processes of animation—of what I have called and elaborated in my writings as the animaticof which film animation provides singular exemplification and performance, offer the best description of not only film animation but the contemporary world, and the subject herein. The implication is clear: we need animation film theory, film animation theory, animation theory “as such,” to understand film, the world and the subject. And we need television animation theory, video animation theory and especially computer animation theory as these media increasingly pervade and reanimate the mediascape of the world and the subject. Or rather immediascape, in which world and subject are immersed, even as it is immersed in them. These are an immediascape, world and subject increasingly hyperanimated, hyperanimatic—the pure and empty, virtual forms of animation and the animatic." (Link here)

Alan Cholondenko is surprisingly enthusiastic about animation, but for me, in reference to my childish faculties, i may not agree to his declaration that, and i quote:
"[...] not only is animation a form of film, film—all film, film “as such”—is a form of animation (a claim I made 10 years before Lev Manovich, I might add, but which, I must add in turn, others made before me, including Sergei Eisenstein)."
The rather confusing awareness of Alan Cholondenko made me think that with Folman's Waltz With Bashir, all else in film animation may have shifted their definition. Film animation has been marginalized by film theorists and film critics for decades because of it's eclectic variety in forms. Some even stripped away it's jurisdiction on cinema and labeled it as a form of graphic art.

However, with Waltz with Bashir i have to stress that animation is in some way important to the very definition of film.

Little of you know, for i have known it just this morning on J. Robert Park's (in partnership with Robert Davis) DAILY PLASTICS film blogsite, that the film was shot using a camera and was animated after by Yani Goodman. I must say, without formality, OH MY GAWD! This is something beyond filmmaking!

Parks said, and i quote:
"[...]The focus on dreams and memories, repressed and remembered, is incredibly provocative, and the simple but effective animation works far better than live action photography could. The animation dovetails particularly well with the Jungian/Freudian imagery on display, giving the entire film an archetypal quality. That threatens to minimize the horrors of war, but Folman always knows when to pull back, when to allow the details of an interview to ground the material."
It was a Jungian/Freudian imagery, bless me! I praise Parks for declaring this sentiment with sense. I agree entirely to what he said. It might have been that Isao Takahata's Grave of the Fireflies became, with Ebert's pouting notice on it, the "greatest depiction of war." However, Waltz with Bashir may have attempt to disagree with that.

And gosh! Praise to Folman with a his very auteuristic and very honest depiction of a human soul. I must say this is somewhat a bridge between fully understanding auteurs and the nature of auteur films.

Jane Schoettle further admonishes it's grandiosity by declaring, and i quote:
"Folman has elevated the film's impact by securing the extraordinary involvement of Yoni Goodman, who created astonishing animations of images originally shot on film. This visual approach elevates Waltz with Bashir beyond our jaded impressions of ever-present news footage and into the surreal terrain of image and memory. Folman does not delve into the politics of the conflict, choosing instead to subjectively explore a dark chapter in his (and Israel's) life." (Link here)

I must watch this animated film now! I hate the distribution of such good films to Third World countries. I end this post here.