Saturday, May 5, 2007

Heavy Traffic (1973, Ralph Bakshi)

"Michael, a Jewish-Italian cartoonist with a black girlfriend tries to make it in New York City"

I was pretty blown away from this piece of art. That's right, art. Not cinema. I really think this one surpasses the term"cinema" and becomes an odd piece of personal art from the mind of Ralph Bakshi.

This film is about a troubled cartoonist who passes his time at the local arcade playing pinball. He imagines his life and world in his mind as being a living cartoon. In this cartoon he is still a struggling cartoonist who begins to date a black woman which upsets his whole family. Of course this is as much as I got from it.

This is a very surreal, demented, and often perverted piece of work. Cartoons blend with real life and real life blends with cartoons. There are random little "short films" that come and go and there also tons of shots of a pinball bouncing around a pinball machine. It all adds up to a very angry and inner piece of animation that never stops pouring it's angry angst into it's images.

This is the main reason why I loved it. It really feels like a very personal work of art. It feels like a showcase into a mans mind and it also feels as if Bakshi has just created his latest work of art and he is letting you watch it. He truly gives a sense of being a true artist. The only thing I can compare it to is a film by Lynch. Not as in terms of style or anything. They really have nothing in common in that sense. I just use this example because I feel the same way towards Lynch as I felt towards Bakshi with this film. I feel a sense of watching art from an artist. You can hate it or love it but you have to watch it in order to contemplate it.


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