Waltz With Controversy

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As we mentioned earlier, SW contributor Scott Foundas was pretty irked about the Best Foreign Language Oscar going to the Japanese Departures, which he's seen and dismisses as "a relentlessly medicore tearjerker." He strongly feels Waltz With Bashir was wronged, and that animated Israeli film continues this week at the Uptown and Varsity. Now The New York Times' David Carr has noted Scott's dissent on the Carpetbagger blog. I wonder if the controversy will help Bashir's business. It's already played a month in Seattle, longer than one might expect for an expressionistic and often harsh recollection of war, which includes non-cartoonish violence and even a snippet of German pornography in the middle. The film, one of the best of 2008 (regardless of language or animation), has some staying power--appropriate, since it's a film about memory (and denial). Now, too, there's a graphic novel adaptation (Metropolitan Books, $18) from director Ari Folman and animator David Polonsky, which converts the original art into color panels to condense the story. It'll make a very worthy companion volume to the DVD, when the latter comes out in May.

 
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