Sunday, March 9, 2008

I Think I Can

One of the other things we talked about at dinner the other night, was Boxer and K's film, which I had seen at that conference thingy. I can't really do it justice, but my most constructive criticism consisted of "Needs more car chases. Also explosions".

Anyway, that film, wonderful as it was, is not the subject of today's post. Today's post is about the most amazing seventeen minutes in recent (non-documentary) cinematography. I'm referring, as if you didn't know, to the transcendent Madame Tutli-Putli, an existential allegory in stunning stop-motion animation.

I know, you never thought you'd hear "stunning" and "stop-motion" in the same sentence again. Not after the art reached it's zenith with those melting Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Well I'm going to go out on a limb here: in terms of stop motion bad-assery, Tutli has set the bar even higher. That's right, Madame Tutli-Putli is the new "melting Nazis".

You have heard of this film, but you know next to nothing about it. Perhaps you know that it was nominated for an Oscar. Besides the NFB's aggressive pursuit of total suppression of all of their work from the public consciousness (seriously, try to find their movies in any theater), the reason you don't know anything about this film is because it's pretty much next to impossible to describe.

Taking, once again, the example of Raiders, you could say something like "Yeah, it's an adventure film about a magical box, and it's got a bunch of melting Nazis and there's some pyramids. Pretty awesome".

My point being that there's a story there, a narrative that you can summarize. If I tried to summarize Tutli, it would come out sounding like: "One woman's metaphysical voyage into self-discovery as she battles Demons, shadows, and Jungian Archetypes. A journey we all must make in one form or another, but are rarely privileged to observe. Also, there is a train involved."

Utterly incomprehensible, mostly because my voice would come out muffled, by virtue of my head being buried up my ass. And so it joins the ranks of those films and books and games and dinner parties that cannot be described, but must be experienced, subjects that cannot be taught, only learned.

Those are my favorite types of things, because then you can ask someone "Do you have kids?", or "Were you in 'Nam?", or "Hey did you see those melty Nazis?", and if they say yes, then you instantly have that shared experience. It doesn't matter, in this context, that that experience may have been utterly the most abominable thing they've ever been through ("Hey, you're a recovering alcoholic too?"), what makes the concept of this unconveyable gestalt interesting to me is that anyone who hasn't been there cannot possibly understand no matter how you explain it (viz: most of this blog).

And since, as you may have guessed, I'm a lazy fucker who doesn't like to explain things anyway, that's just fine with me.

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