Thursday, November 27, 2008
Disney's Audacity: The Stage and American Life
Beyond happy endings and uplifting story lines, Disney's coupling of technology to fantasy was the wedding of something totally ruled by finality, by a utilitarian purpose, to a reality that is pleasure in and of itself, it was the reconciling of temporality to poetry. That the world one lived in was so prodigal to grant the wonderful results of the association of these two polarities was not just a revelation, but Disney's greatest generosity. The results of it were typically American, in joining the objectivity of artifice with the warmth of emotion, and yet universal, in expressing the power of childhood, hope and love. They were also typically American in the conception and creation of life purely for the embodiment of a story, or of preconceived lines: for the stage, in a broader sense of the word. Life on stage, or, more precisely, life for the stage expresses in one goal ingenuity and faith, that is, the control of artifice, of creating for a purpose, and the passion of liberation, of the inexorability of storylines. Stage is simultaneously an assertion of mission fulfillment and destine, that is, of will and of forces greater than will.