Archive for December 22nd, 2010

Copyright © 2010 by James Clark

      Though retail displays for Halloween are crisply displaced by Christmas decor on November first, there is amidst the quite drastic change of atmosphere an almost seamless continuity in the plunge toward amusement and thrills. But for adamant partisans of each celebration, there is a world of difference harboring a world of pain.

    Tim Burton has given us his take on that war of the worlds not in a normal, live-action dramatic format, but in a film animating artworks by “stop motion” processes. Insofar as pliable figurines are photographed at minute stages of “motion,” with the stages run together, twenty-four poses comprising one second of movement on the screen, Burton has introduced a tissue of dynamics with a ghostly downdraft. The players of such a presentation would be physically dogged by a coagulation against which their impetus would struggle in a virtually imperceptible way. This subliminal, kinesthetic factor constitutes the engine by which the drama of partisanship in The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) takes shape. (An adjunct to this inventory is the recent 3-D formatting, which enhances the bite of motion, particularly that of the long-limbed protagonist, and especially as set in relief by expanses of sky or a bright, full moon.) (more…)

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(USA From 1989 Episodes = 22-26 min)

Creator Matt Groening; Writers James L Brooks, Matt Groening, Sam Simon, John Swartzwelder and 65 others; Music Alf Clausen, Richard Gibbs, Arthur B Rubinstein; Voice Acting Dan Castellaneta (Homer Simpson), Julie Kavner (Marge Simpson), Nancy Cartwright (Bart Simpson), Yeardley Smith (Lisa Simpson)

by Stephen Russell-Gebbett

Come on Homer, Japan will be fun. You liked Rashomon.

That’s not how I remember it!

There are plenty of hugely popular and long-lasting cultural phenomena that appear immune to criticism. To some extent, taking Citizen Kane and The Godfather as prime examples, the hyped, synthesised image has taken over from the real, organic one.

Not The Simpsons.

Its elevated, nay worshipped, status is based on continuous reappraisal, on being seen week in and week out by a general public that leads the way. There is no time for critics or for tyrannical consensus, or for mere forgetfulness, to take it hostage. The Simpsons has to prove itself each episode, where success isn’t in dry polls or in a phantom objectivity but ever-evolving in our living rooms.

The Simpsons is so culturally ingrained that we cannot imagine a time before it. This is a colossal achievement in itself, to become part of the fabric of people’s lives. One of the great marvels of The Simpsons is how diverse people’s responses are to it. A Simpsons fan can gleefully shout out “D’oh!” or “Woohoo!” to which another fan may roll his eyes and think “that’s not my Simpsons”. There is so much to take from it and room for so many experiences within it.


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