Ever since I saw BRAVE last week, I've been thinking about storytelling, Pixar and Brenda Chapman's contributions to recent animation history. As soon as I have time to sort these thoughts, I will try to elaborate on some aspects (e.g. the Miyazaki reverences).
To make matters worse, I'm still working on the Clint Eastwood backlight article which might spawn a brief Prince of Egypt analysis. And just to dissipate my energies even more, I'm still toying with the idea of digging deeper into all the Psycho cues and revisiting the first dozen Pixar features over the course of the next twelve months (which is a completely unrealistic and insane plan).
There is one random observation, though, that I would like to share just to get it off my mind: within five days I have seen BRAVE and We Need To Talk About Kevin (Lynne Ramsay, 2011) which I thought was a masterpiece.
While nobody would even remotely confuse these two movies, eerily enough they could be boiled down to the same basic outline: A solitary teenager is presented with a bow and arrow by a warm-hearted father and engages in a bitter power struggle with his/her mother during which the parents are estranged from each other and the younger siblings get disfigured.
The only difference is that in a fairy tale this state is usually only temporary while in real life things may take a turn for the worst. What's bothering me most is the fact that I could have written "animation" instead of "a fairy tale" and "live-action films" instead of "real life". Well, we need to talk about BRAVE and the fairy tale ghetto soon.
For the moment, let me just assure you that despite its many shortcomings BRAVE is a powerful and in parts even enchanting motion picture.