Editorial: On how movies used to be
The incomparable Anthony Lane has this to say at the end of his short appreciation of The Last Picture Show in The New Yorker this week:
There was a time when movies themselves felt like small towns: rooted fast in their environments, and alive to the wistful chatter of minor characters as they crossed paths and then went on their way.
And apart from me making a) jealous - again - of his critical ability and b) ruminative, although I put that down to the Alex Ross piece I read earlier (more of which later), it's difficult to argue against.
I was about to try and cite a Pixar movie to try and disprove it, in the sense that they're the closest that movies now get to enivironments that are internally coherent and logical according to their own rules. But then you come up against the fact that they've had to *create* that environment - these are playpen worlds, dream worlds, not the world as we might have lived in it, experienced it as sentient, awake beings.
Maybe it's 'wistful chatter' that I'm getting snagged on. Because it implies an endless, knowing forever, the surface conversation actually full of depth precisely because of the accretion of years in a place. Which in turn suggests that movies, nay art, that open us up to the suggestion that a sense of permanancy is possible, are secretly and quietly more powerful than those that suggest we need to tear things up and start anew.
All of which is just a schmancy way of asking: isn't all that anybody wants is to live forever in Toddy?