02 August 2008

Wall-e as Jesus, briefly


Doubtless I’ve been filling my train rides with too much reading about literature in the light of recent Christological debate and thinking about how serious fiction can ‘dust off… the scandalousness and the intimacy - the human nature - of the long iconized, sanitized story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection’, doubtless. Doubtless Wu Tang were always wrong, as I am here, to quote themselves. Doubtless.

There’s a bit in Pixar’s latest where the eponymous robot echoes the self-sacrifice of Jesus; that the remaining human race might have a future, he holds open this machine which is about to crush this plant which is their hope of getting back to Earth. For a moment, it looks like he’s done for. No amount of solar-charging is going to bring him back. Then Eva, the girl robot with whom it’s got less than (more than?) Platonic, gives him a distressed nuzzle. Come back to life, her distressed, metal forehead-to-metal forehead nuzzle says. And back to life he comes.

God.

And the human race is going to have a future, but it wouldn’t have if he hadn’t done the thing in the machine with the plant, the self-sacrificing gesture.

It’s dramatic, I tell you.

And I was there in the cinema, in the afterwards of a big thing of popcorn plus a Sprite bigger than Kent, in the during of the film’s magnificent comedic force - mainly unverbal, all very Jacqeus le Coq physical theatre style, all timing and small robotic grunts and gestures - and I wondered this: is there anyone else here in the cinema with me who is conscious like I am of this echo? Jesus projected on the projection. Is there anyone here not conscious of it but anyway affected by it - how true is it to say that stories like those in the Bible, so dominant in shaping Western creativity in the last fifteen hundred years, echo and echo and echo? In the narrative of postmodernism - which says the few, wide and parallel boulevards of cultural history have become beehive-like, unrelated, many, leading nowhere let alone directly from previous stories to present stories - ie. so many people watch the movies and the TV nowadays and don’t have Greek, Latin or know folk tales and myths - is it right? Are cultural questions like this - where you take your own thought and think are others thinking them - ever either quantitative, qualitative or worth asking?

What I should do is work for Steven Spielberg’s press department. Steven Spielberg and me, we get it, but we really don’t get it. I wonder what Steven Spielberg had for lunch today.

1 comment:

Angiemarie said...

"...how true is it to say that stories like those in the Bible, so dominant in shaping Western creativity in the last fifteen hundred years, echo and echo and echo?"

I find myself often trying to explain the universality of those stories in the Bible (itself a..."collection of echoes") and I could only say (for now at least) that they all somehow feed that basic human need of a connection to the beyond, that curiosity about the meaning of life, and death, human suffering, and pretty much what it means to be human...just...what the hell are we? who/what defines us?....

the universality of Shakespeare's plays is due to the exploration those questions in my opinion...

but the investigation continues...

see...when I watched this movie, the first thing that struck me was its portrayal of the capacity of humans to be either: completely destructive (ignorantly or knowingly) or productive, with the same intensity....

and that just made me ask more: what the hell are we? what kind of being are we that we possess such intense duality as a group?

that's what I found myself thinking of while eating MY popcorn and drinking MY soda (which was Sprite by the way haha)

but THOSE are the kind of things I wonder if anyone ELSE thinks about them....because when I really take a closer look at them.....the questions DO seem senseless, or overcomplicated....or not "worth asking" like you said...

maybe that's why we have literature like the one found in the Bible, those generic answers to these questions, being constantly regenerated and modified for contemporary audiences....so they would shut up and stop asking questions

ha! but THAT's impossible...