Never have I seen those imprecise feelings — the ill-ease that comes with revisiting our bygone work, the floating sensation you experience when a musician just moves you — so precisely captured on screen.
Flash some shocking graphics, prop up the images with recycled critiques, pepper it with opaque, self-indulgent tidbits and you’ve got yourself a work of art. What about the audience? What do we have to gain from that?
That is why I want osmotic art. I want art that can be rained upon. I want art that subverts the norms. Perhaps all this concentrated thought and talk has made me sentimental, but I want art that becomes real when I have a relationship with it, the way a child wants a toy that becomes real once they love it.
In her writing but in our conversation, too, Dorene O’Brien quietly educated me. On what it means to be a writer and on what it means to cull stories from the world. It was a privilege to have culled hers, here.
In the short, Jimenez rearranges his early-life experience of a fractured family in the story of three characters: a mother and father, newly divorced from one another, and a young boy who splits his time between the two, staying with his mom during the week and his father on weekends. What is important about Jimenez’s representation of this experience is that the young boy is not in the middle of his parents’ divorce; he is at the center.
The prospect of removing crime from its circumstances — of sitting robed, elevated, deciding what individual gets to atone for societal ills and of looking at a child offender with the same removed contempt as one would look at an adult offender: these are absurdities in Labaki’s book.
Now, the two- and five-year-old whom I babysat often impressed me with their efforts to connect the dots and sometimes their accuracy as well. Unfortunately, the endeavor becomes less impressive the older you get, so I cannot let the trio of adult men (Gustavo Steinberg, “End of the Line,” Gabriel Bitar, “Cidade Cinza,” and Andre Catoto, “Say I am Only Seventeen”) who directed “Tito and the Birds” off the hook.