I rewatched lots of Pixar shorts the other night. So much of Pixar’s storytelling is fixating on parenting, growing up, child development. Also it seems like each Pixar short is some kind of experiment in animation or storytelling.
A great example is Piper, the story of a sandpiper on a beach learning to find shells in the sand. The animation of the surf, and the sand with all its different consistencies and levels of water saturation is amazing.
We watched Boys State this week. It’s a documentary that follows a cohort of Texan teenage boys going through an intense one-week political bootcamp at the Texas state capitol. They’re divided randomly into two parties*, given lessons in the state constitution, and then they run a compressed set of elections for party chairmen, gubernatorial candidates, and ultimately for state governor.
I really enjoyed it, though I felt myself predictably enamoured with the charismatic and thoughtful liberals Steven and René.
“I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed,” Buck admits while cycling through facts and figures about casualty rates in the event of a Russian tactical strike. This line—and many others in Kubrick’s masterpiece—have been invoked in recent weeks in the context of a very different sort of international catastrophe and its dubiously motivated overseers; this currency speaks to the timelessness of Dr. Strangelove’s vision even as everything in it is rigorously specific to the mid-’60s: the wryly sacrilegious use of Vera Lynn’s World War II standard “We’ll Meet Again,” a song dedicated to British soldiers leaving their loved ones, to soundtrack a mushroom cloud; the Playboy magazines strewn in the cockpit of the B-52 bomber; the political power vacuum in which the lack of a Kennedy-esque stalwart prefigures mutually assured destruction.
While Bobby, the never-married protagonist of “Company,” would seem at first blush to have little in common with the divorcing Charlie in “Marriage Story,” Driver found both men had a stubborn unwillingness to really confront themselves. When “Marriage Story” begins, Charlie’s wife, Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) has moved on and is moving out, but it takes Charlie ages to realize that things will never go back to normal, and that he is now shouldering a significant loss.