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Foreign Films > Waltz With Bashir (Ari Folman)

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message 1: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Apr 11, 2009 07:52AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments An important film that must be seen by everyone who understands that Art is the tool (and sometimes escape) for understanding this crazed world around us. Powerful. Would have made my Top Ten list for 2008 if I had seen it in time.

WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Ari Folman, 2008, Israel) A soldier dances through the mind-field of his past to exhume long dead memories as canine ghosts haunt him every night, barking their feral accusations into the deep recesses of his psyche. Writer/Director Ari Folman is that soldier and the film is a documentary of his search for truth obscured by the miasma of time and guilt, his attempt to remember what he actually experienced during the 1982 Lebanon War. This beautiful animation lends a dream-like ethereal quality to Folman’s quest as he stumbles upon repressed memories that can only be coped with when human life is rendered in a cartoon world. Folman documents his meetings with friends and companions who fought beside him during the conflict and he pieces his jigsaw past together into a violent and coherent picture…and discovers that the truth, no matter how horrible, must be preserved and is the only way to keep from descending into insanity. The film is not a polemic (as some believe) concerning Israel’s responsibility for the Sabra and Shatila massacre, though Folman remembers his commanders recognizing the genocide and standing idle while it was happening: instead, Folman paints this violent portrait with broader brushstrokes, condemning all war, that we all carry this moral burden for allowing inhumane atrocities. He is focused upon his own experience as one tiny soldier in a monstrous conflict and the effect of war upon the psyche of the individual: in one sublime moment, he projects himself upon the Nazi grunts ordered to commit unbearable murders against his own people during WWII because they were only young men (like Folman) caught in a web of madness. As Folman begins to understand the nightmares, his waking mind and subconscious nexus reveal the horrific reality: in a shocking edit, the animation cuts to live video of the actual massacre, the suffering no longer confined to cells of animation…but escape into a worldwide consciousness. (A)

message 2: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments fantastic! thanks for writing about this one, alex. i've wanted to see it since it came out. i've been so durn busy lately i haven't been able to get to the theaters...and you KNOW that ain't right!

thanks for the words!

message 3: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I think this film will be released on DVD sometime in June, but I purchased the UK import on Blu-ray. The animation is beautiful and almost 3 dimensional, with a killer soundtrack (literally). I actually watched this film again over the weekend and I rarely do that because there are so many other films to see: I usually wait a few months for a second viewing to gain a new perspective but I wanted to WALTZ with a few friends...though it's more of a Danse Macabre.

message 4: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments it stuck around in the theaters for a while, but i've been so damn busy lately, i couldn't find time to see it. i'm pissed i missed it on the big screen, but it will probably play one of the second-wave theaters around here soon. if not, i'll catch it on dvd.

message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments I saw this film a few months back and was very impressed with it, and very much want to see it again. Thanks for the reminder Alex!

message 6: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments You're welcome:)
Next on the menu is Bela Tarr's latest THE MAN FROM LONDON.

message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments Whoa. Bela Tarr. You are a brave man.

message 8: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments yeah, let me know when you get around to reviewing satan tango...

message 9: by Tom (new)

Tom | 5487 comments I actually bought the DVD of SATANTANGO, and was very disappointed with it. It isn't enhanced for widescreen TVs, and was mastered from a very poor original. A shame, really.

I went to see SATANTANGO at MOMA a couple years ago, and enjoyed what I was able to see. The spirit was willing but the flesh was unable: I just plain fell asleep. My own fault for going to the gym before the movie.

message 10: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments I haven't seen SATANTANGO but the UK DVD release is properly remastered while the US discs are screwed up: why bother releasing a poorly mastered non-anamorphic film these days, with everyone owning 16x9 tvs and projectors? I'm with Tom, it is a freakin' shame! But I'm going to tackle this film someday...

I plan on watching THE MAN FROM LONDON this weekend so I'll post a review soon. I'm just starting to get my groove back since I've been crazy-busy with work (too much crime, as always) and building the home theatre. The only blurb I've seen on this film called it "mainstream" Bela Tarr...but that seems an oxymoron.

message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve | 957 comments I watched Werckmeister Harmonies whilst hungover one weekend day. Actually helped pretty well b/c I kind of felt transported to another universe! I own copies of Damnation and Almanac of Fall; have you gentlemen seen either of those?

message 12: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments i caught about half of satan tango at pfa a couple of years ago. whoa...

pfa had a nice print....a little scratchy here and there, but it looked great on the big screen.

message 13: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 851 comments My cinementor is bringing over his disc of SATANTANGO and we're going to watch it in parts over the next two weeks. I'm saving THE MAN FROM LONDON for next Friday.

message 14: by Phillip (new)

Phillip | 10782 comments that's exciting, i can't wait to hear your thoughts on that film.

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