Serious Cels

The world of animated film is in the midst of a paradigm change. Once the domain of kiddie movies, the art form that makes candlesticks sing and seafood swagger has now taken up residence in the world of art-house flicks. And while most of us assume that animated movies feature subject matter no more intricate than the sociology of a group of teenage mutant ninja turtles, the fact is that the starkness and malleability of frame-by-frame animation are being co-opted to express the horrors of the world around us in ways we haven't seen since Watership Down (which remains the most terrifying and traumatic movie ever to be marketed to children). Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir is the latest entry into the new paradigm of animation, a completely gut-wrenching animated documentary that has left critics and audiences dazed with its powerful, violent and visually intense portrait of the 1982 Israeli-Lebanese war. Folman experiments heavily with the medium of animation as he tells the story of his involvement as a soldier in a brutal massacre of Palestinian civilians, and the result is nothing short of hallucinatory. Magnolia at the Modern presents this groundbreaking film at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St. Showtimes are 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8.50. Visit themodern.org/magnolia.html.
Fri., Jan. 30; Sat., Jan. 31; Sun., Feb. 1, 2009
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Jennifer Elaine-Davis