Saturday, December 24, 2011

Steven Spielberg: Living a Boy's Adventure Tale (The Adventures of Tintin)

The Adventures of Tintin, Paramount Pictures, 2011.

The great wonder that is Spielberg has been paving his way with the child inside of us all, cultivating it and allowing the nostalgia to blossom. His undivided devotion to action serials he adored as a boy as well as the mystery tales he ingested in his own youth, give many of his films a gilded edge. The child within us all reaches out towards that wionderful light, the screen, our hidden selves, our subconsciousness.

The Indiana Jones films illustrate this principle adroitly; nobody has crafted an old-fashioned adventure yarn as Spielberg has. His enchanting new film, The Adventures of Tintin, is the first in a proposed trilogy based on Herge's legendary comic strip. The boy sleuth reporter and his faithful dog would seem to be an inspiration on the director's spirit of fun, and so his pioneering animated feature film version was always meant to be. Its reason for being firstly its director's intense cinephilia which demands he repay the cinema which has invigorated him all his life. Spielberg is one of the world's consummate craftsmen; any film by him is injected with an emotional magic afforded so few masters.

The much talked about animation technique, wherein computers capture actual actors and then animate over them, placing them in a vast CGI field of vision, works here more than it ever has for Robert Zemeckis. We feel transported to an alternate world, albeit one filtered through the wonder of youth. As we dizzyingly follow Tintin, Snowy and all of the endearingly odd characters they meet along the way, we are completely bowed over by the director's unbelievable command over the cinematic narrative process.

John Williams' score is inseperable from the soul of Spielberg's film. it soars and sears with that old school, all knowing Williams genius. The visuals of the film narcoticize our senses as Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Robin Hood and the Hardy Boys remind us of the pure essence of all our youths. Spielberg knows how to bottle that mystique; he invites us all to live a boy's adventure tale alongside him.

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