Genomes

Saturday night is apple pie and curry pasta. Around 11PM with friends and wife watched two films: Wall-E and Project Nim. By "watched" we meant we stumbled upon the film while flipping channels on our secondhand television. It's a kind of interstitial viewing, just like the reason why my Dad leaves the radio on while taking a bath: just for the noise. In our case we were just plain viewing the film, hurling some comments here and there, but not really absorbing it.

I'll be honest about this: I was hesitant to watch Wall-E, simply because I've dismissed enough animation films as something trivial, for kids. That the single animation film I genuinely liked was Monster's Inc. says a lot about my taste in film: sappy, thrilling only at certain times. (However, I'm not interested in watching Monster's University.)

Though I haven't watched it for the purpose of reviewing it, Wall-E seems promising. It's just like Elysium or Children of God in its premise: a dystopian take on Earth and the human race. What even haunted us more--after the feel-good ending of Wall-E and its spirited animation--is Project Nim, a documentary branded by Star Movies as their Happy Hour movie. Whatever that means clearly states quite the opposite, for the opening credits look sober enough to feature the British Film Council. 

It's not a Happy Hour movie. Maybe they thought it was funny to some point, or maybe, as my wife puts it, the dry British humor suggested this to be branded as a Happy Hour movie.

For one, I'm wary of monkeys. Not as infuriated as my Dad is towards them (and towards elephants, which I find adorable and wise). I am scared that monkeys look just like us, only a little bit off-center, wild, brutish. Started in the 1970s, Project Nim is about a failed experiment wherein they tried to teach a monkey how to communicate with sentences. It turns out that though they can make sentences, what lacks is the grammar behind it (as in "me me eat orange me monkey eat"). In the process, the monkey, Nim, was immersed into so many people's lives, living in houses and driven to places and flown into cages and wards. They wanted him to be just like a human, and they didn't succeed.