Waltz with Bashir (2008) dir: Ari Folman

A kind of illustrated documentary. And it’s getting loads of plaudits (which it deserves) so I’ll be brief.

The director Ari Folman, who had been in the Israeli army in the early 80s asks: “What is it that I can’t remember when I was posted to the Lebanon? What did I do there?  What did I see?  Why do I remember… nothing?”

So he begins his personal journey, interviewing friends and comrades who were there, during this Lebanon War, trying to piece it all together from memories, dreams and hallucinations. Searching for the truth.

Although the animation itself is not slick in its movement compared to, say a Pixar movie, it is beautiful and captivating, and has a dreamlike quality. The evocative imagery draws you into a world that would be distressing to watch if you were to see it for real.

So hats off to David Polonsky who did 80% of the illustrations and Yoni Goodman, the animation director (and their respective teams). Max Richter’s electronic score works a treat too.

I would pretty much say that it is essential viewing. A vivid and moving piece of work.

Having seen the film, I had to go google chunks of it to know more about this recent world history.

If films could change the world….


We are the strange (2007) dir: M. dot Strange

Cripes. I remember trying to watch this movie online and giving up. Seeing it on the big screen is an altogether different and pleasing experience. This is an anime movie created pretty much by one man – Mr M. dot – and its had more than 1 million views online (on YouTube) and been a minor DVD success. It’s also been subtitled into nearly 30 different languages (courtesy of M dot’s online community).

More people have seen this film than go see a really successful indie movie at the theatre.

It’s not easy to watch. I just had to let the imaginative visuals wash over me and immerse myself in it (something I couldn’t do online). Not much plot – players have to battle the evil overlord – it’s been grown from vidgame roots which it wears proudly on its sleeve.

I look forward to M dot’s anime samuraii movie coming to an ipod near you around 2010/11.


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