Movies and MindMaps: Wall-E

Join us this Friday night, in the Boone County Chambers Room, 801 E. Walnut, at 6:30 p.m. for a viewing and discussion of Pixar's Wall-E.  From the Movies and MindMaps site: For December, we’ll watch one of PIXAR’s finest acheivements. Wall-E has been heralded as one of the best animation films ever made.

For this round of film viewing and discussing, we’ll look specifically at how PIXAR brings together both art for children and social commentary for all. This film truely is for all ages as it tackles some of the greatest issues we as Americans face today. Remarkably, this film speaks on such complex issues in quite simple ways, allowing young children to soak in and reflect on the pressing issues of the day.

Chris Orr of The New Republlic says this about the film:

Characteristically sharp as this second half is, though, it’s the earlier, Earthbound portion of the film that lingers, the quiet, nearly dialogue-free moments alone with WALL·E and the problematic object of his affections. That Pixar could make this ambulatory trash compactor so expressive, could convey his longing and loneliness so emphatically simply through the images reflected in his binocular lenses, Wall-Eis a cinematic miracle. You might have to go back the better part of a century to find a mainstream movie in which so much is conveyed with so very few words.

It would be easy to go on about the sheer visual beauty of WALL·E, which marks yet another milestone in the evolution of animation. Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins (No Country for Old Men, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford) was even brought in to consult on the look of the film and offer advice on its “lighting.” But, in the end, this technical mastery is less remarkable than the humanistic ends to which it is applied.

It is an irony of Pixar’s oeuvre that its films so often feature inanimate objects (toys, cars, robots) that offer lessons in what it means to be human. But, deliberately or not, these stories appear to be refractions of a sort, retellings of the story of Pixar itself: the high-tech start-up at the cutting age of digital animation which, again and again, reminds us of the power of motion pictures–even ones about robots–that possess a vital, beating heart.