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At the Movies

Wall-EJust up on Religion Dispatches is my article on The Love Guru, which is one of the most pointless films I’ve ever seen.

There was wonderful thing about it, though: it was in seeing The Love Guru that I saw—witnessed, experienced—the trailer for Wall-E, which, after a week of fabulous anticipation, I finally got to see last night. The feelings it left in me are still working themselves through my system, so I have few words. It didn’t hurt, of course, that I am a big sucker for movies with spaceships and robots and imagined futures. But more, from first seeing the preview, was this sense of feelings even greater than the things of them movie themselves: friendship, loneliness, melancholy, gratitude. Platonism has never been much my practice—the belief that transcendent Forms are the truth beyond the things of the world. Yet, though I enjoyed watching the movie, the things that went on in it somehow seemed unable to measure up to the Forms that they simultaneously were making me aware of. They pointed to an abstract perfection, and thus a cause for deep, deep longing amidst a world that can never embody such perfection. What powers has Pixar managed to spin into its marketing schemes? Is this crass manipulation? Or divine truth, or both?

I woke up this morning in tears—also not my usual practice.

2 comments on “At the Movies

  1. Interesting… unfortunately I don’t know Dutch, and the Google translation was abysmal. But I sort of got a sense of what is being said there. Something about how the anti-corporate and environmental messages in the film are poisoning children. (Add to that, by way of Cory Doctorow, that Wall-E is also a copyright criminal.)

    I guess it is a matter of perspective. There is a real polemic against monopolizing, dehumanizing corporations that usher in total neglect of environmental responsibility for the sake of profit and fake positive spin. I would hope that these are things that both the right and left can agree are negative, though they might disagree on the best way to avoid it.

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