I loved “Wall*E”. It was a superlative and moving effort.
In the, surprisingly heartless, “Be Kind, Rewind”, Mia Farrow’s character proposes a toast to movies with “heart”. Well, “Wall*E” is one of those movies.
It explores, in touching, subtle, expansive movements, the experience of abject loneliness. It expresses the Heideggerian dichotomy between dasein and sein, of how distracting dasein is and how debilitating the long reflection of sein is.
It also expresses the jubilation of finding her. One of the best wedding sermons I ever attended was for my friends, The Dowiaks. In it, their minister described the moment of Adam seeing Eve as a moment of total jubilation. It wasn’t: “Oh, her” no it was an ecstatic exclamation of “There’s the one that is the match for me!”
 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Even if you’re not particularly Judeo-Christian, if you’ve ever been in love, it definitely feels like that.
Can’t you just see it. Adam is there, in his peaceful idyll:
God: Adam, what’s this?
God: Adam, what’s this?
Adam: Uhm…is hippopotamus taken?
Adam: Hippopotamus, then yawn
God: What about this
Adam: Def Leppard plays Woman! Guitar solo
I profoundly felt that moment of ecstatic jubilation when I watched WallE’s camera-lens eyes focus and *re-focus to view the lady ( never mind that she’s a robot ) who set his dreams and heart a-flutter.
To have accurately captured loneliness, the story then captures the essence of falling in love. Not content to leave off there, it then captures: the tragedy of loving people as canonized in “Romeo and Juliet”. Wall*E’s bumbling attempts to make her see him ( and don’t we all feel that the other is so much more than us? ) as worthy of her affection are at the same time foreign, yet universal. The sweet and tender mess-ups, the self-sacrifice, the film captures it all ( often in the style of of the YouTube aesthetic, it looks like there’s some camcorder filming some of these awry moments ). And in the denoument we see just how transformative to the lover loving is. Said Hugo: “What a grand thing, to be loved! What a grander thing still, to love!”. Without love in our lives we truly do become automata; slaves ( for which the Czech word is robota ) to the quotidian.
And all that is before the bildungsroman truly gets underway: what happens when your love-interest is the vessel of the (re-) birth of human kind ( the Genesis parallel is particularly apt )?
In it Wall*E reminds us of just how fragile life on this planet it, and how it’s up to a more conscious generation to think of how to be better stewards of it, instead of being pleasure-addicted drones content to let cronies and corporations stuff their coffers in the short term, while unconcerned about the long-term direction.
Conservative morons have said that this movie is an indoctrination of Californian, Left-Wing lunacy. They are idiots. This movie is advocating responsibility and stewardship, virtues that real Republicans like TR espoused.
I thought Iron Man would be the best movie this summer, but no, sorry Stark, Wall*E is full of win.
A few spoiler-y comments after the jump.
- Did anyone notice that the two space-cruise people who were the first to wake up were wearing red (-pill) versus blue(-pill) jumpsuits, perhaps homage to The Matrix?
- Mac boot sounds when Wall*E charges
- Mac booting-up light circle under Eve’s neck
- Eve’s plant icon: Man can Mac-dudes design an icon or what?
- Is it just me, or are Wall*E’s irises filled with the Apple Leopard background?