Monday, 28 November 2011

If only Tintin had been filmed by Sergei Eisenstein!

So I blatantly defied the instruction from my betters on this review.*

I took the kids to see Tintin the FILM.


If the act of attending 'Spielberg's "execrable" film adaptation' is not enough of a demonstration of my insubordination to those who discern better than me the essential emptiness of all art, let me also yell bold in caps,


But I feel I should declare another motive, up front.

I had to go see Tintin. It was Tintin, not me, who taught Shark, Squirrel, and Tiger to read.

Before they could read for themselves, they got hold of the Tintin books in their snotty-chocolaty fists and loved (and still do), all the Hergé illustrations.

Tintin's hair! The moustaches! Snowy! The mountains! The wild-fisted Captain Haddock!

But they couldn't read the captions. I had to read aloud all the words with all the voices. (Prof. Calculus was difficult. Foolishly I made him squeaky.) After that, they pored over the books, only looking up to delightedly yell Blistering barnacles! Iconoclast!

Despite that background, I still fail in Tom McCarthy's world. For me, the experience of a triplet family weaned on Tintin only made the film more fun.

I loved the performance-capture animation. It was a perfect technique to merge the real with the fiction. My eyeballs - connected to my humour synapses that obviously never matured beyond a ten-year old - could follow people bounce from lamp posts, climb onto aeroplanes, and crash land in the desert, while all the time my brain explained those impossibilities by it's a cartoon, dummy.

And I loved the script. The plot. The sub-plot! And the way the characters from different cartoons were brought in and mixed into one roller-coaster Spielberg film-ride. With hidden treasure! And pirate ships!

So it pains me to come away from Tintin the FILM and compare it to Tintin the CARTOON. They are different works, right?

I wanted Captain Haddock of the cartoon to be Captain Haddock of the film. In the film, he's wild, but he's not dangerous. In the cartoon (or in my head), he's much more a perfect role model, teetering on the edge of the unacceptable, veering unstably into the dangerous and uncontrollable, pulling back enough not to be totally, pointlessly, destructive.

But like I said, they are different works, the cartoons and the film, and I can't judge one through the other.

I'm just left having enjoyed the cartoons with all the voices, and thrilled to watch a fantastic adventure film. With pirates!

So ignore Tom McCarthy's instructions. He's just out to impress his mates with his I'm Important Pen. I've seen that plenty of times before.

Now follow Grit's advice! Take your kids to see Tintin the FILM!**

*Empire-building author alert.

** Of course my kids didn't like it. They just kept complaining about how the film was a Žižekian example of a dominant ideology's capacity to recuperate its own negation, or something.


Kestrel said...

Hpt damn, I'm going to see the film now!

Nora said...

In other words, you do recommend that I go see this film?