Monday, April 28, 2008

Closeness and Distance

The ambivalence of delicacy and exaggeration in Disney animation's caricaturing of reality has the distance of humor with the closeness of affection. It joins the assertiveness of exaggeration with the subtlety of inspiration: the given, the all there with the arousing, the coming to be. The definitive, the page-turned, with the constantly anew.
A good example of this in something different concerns Chaplin’s City Lights. The main female character is blind, sweet, good, poor, orphaned, sells flowers, symbols of beauty in themselves, and “sees” a charming prince in the Tramp, thanks to his good heart. There couldn’t be more misery and beauty in the same package and yet, rather than exhausted, such package, with the same touch of delicacy in humor, is renewed in constantly arousing affection. Extremes of this type are purposeful caricature of dramatic situations, but in the purposefulness of caricature, in the elaboration and distance of criticism, they yet have involvement. If on one hand they are willed for on the part of their author, on the other they carry him away. They result from both control and usurpation, succeeding just at the edge, before turning syrupy.

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