Friday, 5 November 2010

Achilles and the Tortoise



I’ve been watching Takeshi Kitano’s recent film, Achilles and the Tortoise, which uses Zeno’s paradox of the same name as a metaphor for artistic and human failure. The film is an extraordinary combination of comedy, tragedy, pathos and so on, which in its depiction of frustrated desire and thwarted endeavour reminded me very much of Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. Kitano has been a truly great artist for a long time, and Achilles and the Tortoise confirms that he is a man that remains at the height of his creative powers. My admiration for this genius knows no bounds.

The above clip is from the start of the film, which explains Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the Tortoise while, just in case you thought the film is an animation or set in ancient Greece, the clip below is more illustrative of the film and one of its themes, which is the insane and self-destructive lengths people will go to for the sake of art and self-expression.

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