Ever since my son Jude was old enough to watch movies, we’ve had pizza party movie night. Usually weekly. Usually Friday. Most recently, he did a throwback dance and chose Wall-e, during which many fond memories of toddler Jude cascaded through my mind. But, I was also reminded of how good a film it is.
Wall-e is such a great character, an earnest hero, a selfless romantic, the ideal “person” we strive to be. And, in many ways the first half of the movie is like a Charlie Chaplin film, with Wall-e as the Tramp. Of course, Jude and I have watched much Chaplin together and we followed-up with a Chaplin short, Dog’s Life. Chaplin films (and Wall-e) manage to effortlessly combine ethos, pathos, and logos, not shying away from balancing heartache with sweetness, reality with optimism. Seems the best art of any kind does that, because at its essence, that’s life. Genius.
I could write something else about Chaplin to add, but Hart Crane did it so well with his Chaplinesque poem, you can just click on the link.
That line, “a grail of laughter in an empty ash can” has always stuck with me.” Hart was kind of the bridge between Whitman and Ginsberg, in many ways, and I think he’s underrated. Enjoy the ride, folks.
(music box to the right a long ago father’s day gift to my dad)