Friday, December 04, 2009

Dangerous Beans

“I thought, … there would be an island”, said Dangerous Beans (a rat) in a crestfallen and resigned tone, and I started to cry, weep and howl openly. I was driving to the CMIC Maadi office. Listening to an audio-book, written by Terry Pratchett. In less than ten minutes the book (The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents) made me laugh again, an effect only Sir. Charles Spencer Chaplin achieved before. And in my opinion, one of the marks of true craft and art.

“I thought there would be an island” reverberated in my heart as the stood for e very forlorn dream, every dying hope, and every fallen idealist. I wept, not only for Dangerous Beans, I wept for the whole world (and obviously myself before all).

Steven Spielberg usually gets such an effect with his climax scenes at or near the end of the movie, (e.g. Schindler’s List, E.T., and Empire of the Sun) but there is as well another way to touch the audience, another form of high art, the kind that makes you on the brink of tears from the beginning to the end of the work, without actually having to have a climax, or needing to make you cry. Examples of this latter are “The Way we Were”, “Slumdog Millionair” and the book “Doublestar” for Robert. A. Heinlein. In “Slumdog Millionair” I literally had tears in my eyes for the whole movie. And in “The Way we Were” I felt a state of elation/heartache the whole length of the 2 hours+ movie. The state was not bound to a certain scene, but to the theme of the movie. Robert Heinlein is a totally different story, .. better saved for later.

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