Friday, October 20, 2006

Chris Ware on the two "hugging scenes" in Jimmy Corrigan:

"Well, first of all, I don't think it's necessarily an impotent gesture. I'm not making political statements about hugging. As a younger writer, it's much easier to present a situation where it seems impotent, rather than to present a situation where it seems honest and real. I don't think that right now, with my limited skills, that I could create an embrace which could be incontrovertibly interpreted as an authentic dramatic moment. The Great Embrace, which always seems to end every Hollywood movie after people have narrowly escaped a big explosion--this new thing that they do in movies where they run away from an expanding ball of fire that's following them--they either acquire or manage to save a kid, or two kids, and then they hug tearfully. I just don't know if I could even present it in such a way that it would seem...real."

I had a talk with my pal Jon about this when I was in New York, and he said something along the same lines. That at this point in our culture, it's much easier to show the emptiness of something- the falsity of something- than it is to show something genuine and have it be believed. The former somehow reads as truth, even though it's merely the revealing of a lie, while the latter feels false to us, even though it is often a representation of truths we've seen and felt our entire lives. Sunsets anyone?

Having said that, I just watched the much hyped french-canadian film C.R.A.Z.Y.-- and despite all the annoying neo-scorsese camera work and predictable MTV style editing, it's second to last scene--in which father and son suddenly find themselves embracing--struck me as genuine, believable, and utterly earned.