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Monday, July 21, 2014

Wes Anderson And The Life Aquatic And Transperceneige

A.O.Scott review of The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

... In my ideal cinémathèque, "The Life Aquatic" would play on a permanent double bill with "The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie." Mr. Anderson and Stephen Hillenburg, Mr. Squarepants's creator, share not only a taste for nautical nonsense, but also a willingness to carry the banner of unfettered imaginative silliness into battle against the tyranny of maturity...

Transperceneige is rendered in English as Snowpiercer , which sort of ignores the full possibilities of the "Trans..." at the beginning: possibly just transpercer but also possibly a reference to a train, such as TransSiberian Express. I suppose people thought something like Snowpiercer Limited was too redolent of Gene Wilder and Silver Streak.
I referred Transperceneige as a film about "continuous transport", and thought of George Herriman's Krazy Kat, wherein once a shipload of owls were in a state of continuous transport, staying just ahead of rosy-fingered dawn across the face of the globe.

Upon reflection, there are many such tales in Science Fiction, where the interstellar vessels which journey hundreds of years between the stars are actually in a state of continuous transport; their arrival at some destination no longer sure nor guaranteed; the ship's hierarchy broken down into chaos and tribal factions.....

Or Spaceship Earth.

There was the conceit of a self-contained universe: The Orient Express, the Nostromo of Alien, Prospero's Island.
We add our own concept of ghastly infinitude: endless and pointless repetition of failure, our haunted Flying Dutchman.


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