Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Art and Reality, a ghoulish gap

If you don't go out much, and you don't have cable, your movie reviews can be a tad late. And so we get to "The Nightmare Before Christmas".  The interesting thing is the assumptions behind the plot.  People from Halloweenland find out about Christmasland and their attempts to bring the charm of Christmas to the hallows of Halloweenland reveal a total divergence between two world views.  The ghouls, dressed up in Santa outfilts, are still ghastly. The genius of Tim Burton is that you can understand how the mistakes happen, and the confusions seem inevitable.  

The setup of the movie the Nightmare Before Christmas is lively because it recalls the nonfictional gap between the world of words and that of quiet collection.

Of course Burton having set up his drama has to resolve it using a director ex machina ploy.
Since he knows how weak the idea of romantic love is as a resolution, he makes it an ironic ending with love between two characters of Halloweenland.

Irony though, is a copout.  Burton has no choice since the cognitive gaps he is outlining are real ---and without becoming a mystic, he HAS no viable conclusion.  Art often relies on the mystic underpinnings of reality, to speak on the border of incomprehensibility. But make no mistake, irony is just a copout.  To treat the conclusion ironically is to present the storyteller as having some superior awareness, which awareness is non--existent. Let me quote a leading mystic, Jan Cox---Irony just  means you do not have a big enough picture, irony reflects your ignorance. 

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