Friday, November 16, 2007

My Kid Could Paint That d. Amir Bar-Lev, 2007

This will be the beginning of a run of posts that should have been longer, but are awfully short because: 1) I'm dedicated to this "write about everything I see" thing, no matter the quality of it 2) School got me down last week when I was going to write about these films; I had to write papers instead of write about movies. From now on, I'm going to try and get my thoughts up within a day of watching whatever it is I watch. Much longer than that, and I get overwhelmed by the fallibility of my memory and impossible process of piecing all my nascent thoughts together.

For the sake of time, I'll give no plot rehash.

While the themes covered - the nature of art (especially abstract), greed, the question of authenticity - are interesting, just as interesting is how they are handled. I kept expecting the greedy parents plot, and its more or less delivered, but not in the clich├ęd way I was expecting. That is, in almost every child prodigy story - factual or fictional - the parents-skimming-money topic comes up. I don't mean to say that it isn't an important angle to cover, but it's a tired one. Instead of trading in monetary currency, here the parents go after prestige, especially the father, whose false modesty - "I'm no expert in art" - betrays his fierce desire to find a prestigious place in the art world.

N.b. Bar-Lev displays an alarming amount of formal acuity, especially considering his DV is so damn ugly. For instance: the division between the two parents is a key component in the film, but Bar-Lev formally illustrates this by avoiding any intentional two-shots of the parents until the very end of the film, what is certainly the most divisive scene they are involved in. Here, even when he sits them on a couch together, it is only to ironically illustrate how far distanced they are from each other.

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