Monday, May 23, 2011

Sans Claustrophobia

I think it’s worth the sixteen bucks to see the new Herzog movie, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, in 3D. Even if you don’t have enough money to pay your apartment electric bill. Really.

What’s great about Herzog is that he gets away with being über earnest, without sounding stupid in the least. He can say things like, “let us now listen to the heartbeat of the cave,” and all you can do is answer a chipper “ok!” I think it’s because his primary and keen interest is fully seeing his subjects. He defers to them. Righteousness comes along when an artist’s interest is paired with a desire to teach it, or make a point about it. That makes viewers feel like they’re in school.

Part of what makes art generous (if it is) is the space it leaves its viewers. The space to draw different conclusions, to make one’s own connections, to move about freely through the artist’s proposition.

Art is generous when it feels like a break from your electric bill.

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