Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Chaplin, Twinkies an Si-Fi

There already has been much said on the merits of the movie Wall-E. I for one enjoyed it immensely, as did my children. That said I would like to add two more things that helped make this movie move into my top 10 list. First is that Wall-E is very Chaplinesque. The heart of Chaplin’s Tramp character is summed up by his quote, “A tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure.” All those seem to sum up Wall-E. Chaplin never liked talkies because he considered cinema essentially a pantomimic art saying that,"Action is more generally understood than words. Like Chinese symbolism, it will mean different things according to its scenic connotation. Listen to a description of some unfamiliar object -- an African wart hog, for example; then look at a picture of the animal and see how surprised you are.” The first two thirds and the last 5 mins of this film could easily be viewed as a silent picture with only three words of dialog, “Wall-E”, “Eve”, and “Directive”.
It also seems that G.K. liked Chaplin as he is mentioned several times in the Collected Works of G. K. Chesterton: Illustrated London News, 1929-1931.

Watch Chaplin move on wheels here

With that in mind Pixar always includes some brilliant visual jokes in their films and many are very subtle. The one I liked in this movie was the inclusion of the urban legend that a Twinkie never dies and bugs won’t eat them. It was one of those jokes that I did not get until the next day. (Seriously after 700 years without humans and Wall-E pulls out a fresh Twinkie and I thought nothing of it). I love when a movie continues to unfold after the lights come back on.


Anonymous said...

Velveeta, too, never goes bad. It is "The Cheese that Cannot Die". It can also be used for small repairs, so I always keep some in my car.

Joe said...

Velveeta ... "The Cheese that Cannot Die". It can also be used for small repairs ...

Tim - sounds like great fodder for a poem!