"Like the study of science and art, accounts of historical events can be intrinsically fascinating. But they have a wider significance. I believe that people are better able to chart their life course and make life decisions when they know how others have dealt with pressures and dilemmas---historically, contemporaneously, and in works of art. And only equipped with such understanding can we participate knowledgeably in contemporary discussions (and decisions) about the culpability of various individuals and countries in the Second World War. Only with such understanding can we ponder the responsibilty of human beings everywhere to counter current efforts at genocide in Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia to bring the perpetrators to justice."
"...we humans are the kinds of animals who learn chiefly by observing others---what they value, what they spurn, how they conduct themselves from day to day, and especially, what they do when they believe that no one is looking."
----Howard Gardner, from The Disciplined Mind, published in 1999

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hugo Cabret, What Have You Done?; or Why Neroli Should Not Stay Up Late Watching Serious Movies


http://bccb.lis.uiuc.edu/0407sml.jpg

Insomnia nags because I endeavored to have some time with BG, who wanted to watch a Serious Movie (Spielberg's A.I.) that began Very Late. Though we did not finish all of it, it was enough to make me think thoughts not conducive to sleep.
So I turned to the aforementioned book, and finished reading it. It is completely marvelous! Wishing to keep these lighter, happier thoughts in my brain, I began to search the web for information about Georges Melies; and to make a long story short, I came to this:

http://www.cabaret.co.uk/start.htm

please don't miss the virtual exhibition at:

http://www.cabaret.co.uk/vrexs.htm

How fun is that?

4 comments:

The Artist formerly Known as Purpleworms (!) said...

AI is a very serious film. I generally don't like Spielberg's tendency toward the sentimental - but his Pinnocchio is somehow quite fascinating and his later works have been much less sticky sweet and therefore for me more palatable. I'll be interested to hear of your reaction after you have seen the whole film. One wonders what Kubrick's version would have been like. Certainly not so emotional.

neroli said...

I've very much the same opinion of Spielberg as you, dear Artist; and emotional is exactly the way I would describe this work: it is difficult for me to watch on many levels.
One of the things that stirs me when watching Daniel thus far is how he reminds me of our children with autism, and how their experience is different from our own, and how that impacts communication between them and those around them: how one situation, as in "Roshomon," can be the same and not the same, all at the same time.
The intent, the emotion, so so many times is there, is present; yet due to our differences in experience, our knowledge of the situation and how we communicate about it are so different.
And sometimes it can be downright heartbreaking if you don't attend to that fact.
I've seen students, parents, and teachers all be so far away from each other for that very reason...
maybe that's a future post...
semiotics and language are really constant in my view these days...
(And I haven't decided yet if I'm "tough enough" to view the rest of the film---we taped the remainder!)

min said...

Wooden puppets and toys...
Wanting to be a real boy...
It's freaking me out.

neroli said...

It's a strange groove sometimes, that's for sure!
(I'm really responding to all these mechanized toys for lots of reasons...I *love* toys and art...and I've been thinking about ways to use these kinds of toys as cause-and-effect reinforcers...which leads me to think about other uses, such as use as a manipulative in the speaking about the form and function of language...)