Monday, July 31, 2006

getting it wrong

It's probably some streak of smug superiority but I can't help being attracted by writers who base their ideas on some technical issue that they get totally and provably wrong. Usually if you see a mention of "entropy" or "Heisenberg" you can pretty much be guaranteed it's completely wrong unless coming from an actual science writer. (A personal favorite is when Charles Rutheiser claims in Imagineering Atlanta that fractals are non-Euclidean, showing not even a superficial understanding.)

So critic Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle wrote a review of Monster House that blithely dismisses pretty much all animation prior to it, mainly because of some kind of facial abilities in the new technology. Or as he puts it "Moreover, if the actor is thinking or is full of doubt, the technology will be able to render subtle qualities of pensiveness or doubt in the animation." Which actually might be good since most actual live actors can't render these subtle qualities or at least they're in films where such skills are not needed.

Pixar animator Jeffrey Pidgeon wrote a fine rebuttal.