Product Review – BenQ W2700 4K HDR Home Projector (Part 1)

PART 1: OUT OF THE BOX AND INTO 4K

Reviewed by Michael Lim, Filmmaker & Curator

Joining the range of the latest BenQ projectors is a recent model released a few months back to much fanfare – the BenQ W2700. The BenQ W2700 is the next level up from the previous model W1700 which I reviewed last year. It is more of an upgrade with new improvements that make the W2700 stands out even more, enabling BenQ to be the No. 1 4K projector brand in 2019 in Asia-Pacific with the biggest market share (according to BenQ).

Out of the box, we can already experience a refreshed look with a brand new design which is sure to please. I like the new rectangular capsule design which looks modern and sleek to fit any home and its polished front panel finishing as well. The new back panel places all the inputs and outputs strategically all in one row conveniently.

One particular new little feature which is minor but important is that there are now 2 HDMI 2.0 ports to support two inputs for 4K. Previously, the W1700 could only handle one 4K and one full HD input separately. With this new model, both HDMI inputs now support 4K which is a nice touch. Another port of interest is the USB 3.0 port, which is also a media player, making it convenient to play 4K content directly to the projector.

One new feature on the W2700 is the ability to raise a cover over the lower portion of the lens (see below), which will reduce reflections from a table surface or, if ceiling mounted, from reflective ceilings to ensure the best possible image quality. Weight-wise it is almost the same as the W1700 at 4.2kg.

w2700 1

More importantly, from the moment I hit the start button, that’s when things get exciting. The power-up speed has been improved from the W1700 as the lamp powers up. The menu design is more or less the same as that of the W1700, which makes it an easy upgrade to operate. One hopes in future versions that BenQ may improve on its menus to include perhaps apps to include streaming content but that’s only in my wish list.

As usual to view 4K HDR content, you need the appropriate 4K HDR-supported equipment. In my viewing room, I am using the Oppo 203 as my 4K Ultra-HD source player. In my previous review, I used an Xbox One S. It was a simple swap around between the W1700 and W2700 in the setup. In fact, the BenQ is the No.1 short-throw 4K home projector in the market according to BenQ. It is an easy swap for those who have a 1080p projector*.

*BenQ W1070/W1070+/W2000/W1110/W1090

This means that users of those models can do an immediate swap around with minimum fuss or without even changing ceiling mounts – this is excellent news for upgraders. There’s also a vertical shift and 1.3 zoom for the lens with auto keystone to help as well.

w2700-front

PICTURE QUALITY
I was quite surprised as to whether I would be able to detect any significant picture differences between the BenQ W1700 and W2700. In comparison, the W2700 has slightly less lumens of 2000 compared to the W1700 which has 2200, but more significantly it was the added contrast ratio of 30,000: 1 that gives the pictures a greater punch along with the CinematicColour with 95% DCI-P3. I will get to more tech specifications in Part 2 of this article.

The degree of black reproduction has definitely improved and colours appear more vivid in range than the W1700, which is saying a lot since that for me was already a benchmark for an entry level 4K projector.

I used the UHD of Mission Impossible: Fallout as a reference video for my viewing. The projector handled the subtle nuances of the black areas in the halo jump sequences quite nicely, and bright day action scenes such as the motorcycle chase in Paris looked stunning. The colour reproduction came close to what I recollected when I first viewed the movie at the cinemas as well. The HDR 10 was very effective. The UHD also has a well-mixed Dolby Atmos track to accompany the visuals as well which is decoded by my slightly older Denon receiver in 11.2.

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk was another reference UHD which I used. The beach scenes were very detailed and I could almost see and feel the grains of sand on the beach. Flesh tones were quite even throughout.

One drawback of the projector was that I found the fan noise a little noisy although it is within acceptable range. I didn’t use the internal speakers during the initial testing but there are two 5W speakers placed at the back which sounded better than the W1700.

w2700

OVERALL IMPRESSION
The BenQ W2700 is definitely a well thought of advancement over the W1700. The design of the projector, picture quality and colour reproduction have been improved . Overall, BenQ has done once again an excellent job of looking after improving its projector and I can look forward to seeing what they plan to do in the future as well.

It is slightly more expensive than the W1700 but well worth the price if it is in your budget range. Currently it is retailing at SGD$2,699 in Singapore. However, if that’s still above your price point, the BenQ 1700 is still available at a lower price.

I will be reviewing some of the other features of the projector including the 3D function as well as writing in more detail about the CinematicColour 95% DCI-P3 and what it means in Part 2 of this article.

 

My Favourite Films of 2018

Since last year, I have given out imaginary awards to the films I love most or hold in high regard for the year.  But first, here are my top 20 films of 2018 (in alphanumeric order):

  • 3 FACES – Jafar Panahi
  • ANNIHILATION – Alex Garland
  • BLACKkKLANSMAN – Spike Lee
  • BLACK PANTHER – Ryan Coogler
  • BORDER – Ali Abbasi
  • BURNING – Lee Chang-dong
  • FIRST MAN – Damien Chazelle
  • HARD PAINT – Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon
  • HAPPY AS LAZZARO – Alice Rohrwacher
  • HEIRESSES, THE – Marcelo Martinessi
  • ISLE OF DOGS – Wes Anderson
  • LEAVE NO TRACE – Debra Granik
  • NON-FICTION – Olivier Assayas
  • ONE CUT OF THE DEAD – Shin’ichirô Ueda
  • ROMA – Alfonso Cuaron
  • SEARCHING – Aneesh Chaganty
  • SHIRKERS – Sandi Tan
  • SHUT UP AND PLAY THE PIANO – Philipp Jedicke
  • SUSPIRIA – Luca Guadagnino
  • WILD PEAR TREE, THE – Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Golden Snoopy – BURNING for Lee Chang-dong
For an enigmatic and haunting mystery that patiently develops and then becomes deeply-intertwined within its own ambiguities, in what is another hypnotic gem by South Korea’s finest working filmmaker.

Silver SnoopyROMA for Alfonso Cuaron
For a meticulously-realised period drama that is a testament to cinema’s power to capture life, memory and emotion in a restraint if audacious work that sees a highly-respected filmmaker continuing to operate at his peak.

Silver Snoopy (Special Mention)HAPPY AS LAZZARO for Alice Rohrwacher
For a truly mesmerising and thematically-dense work of art from one of the most exciting directors working today.


  • Best Director – THE WILD PEAR TREE for Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Runner-up: SUSPIRIA for Luca Guadagnino)
  • Best Lead ActorCAPERNAUM for Zain Al Rafeea (Runner-up: GIRL for Victor Polster)
  • Best Lead ActressBORDER for Eva Melander (Runner-up: THE FAVOURITE for Olivia Colman)
  • Best Supporting ActorNON-FICTION for Vincent Macaigne (Runner-up: THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT for Bruno Ganz)
  • Best Supporting Actress – HIGH LIFE for Juliette Binoche (Runner-up: CAPERNAUM for Yordanos Shiferaw)
  • Best Ensemble Cast SUSPIRIA (Runner-up: ONE CUT OF THE DEAD)
  • Best Cinematography – ROMA (Runner-up: BURNING)
  • Best Film Editing – SHIRKERS (Runner-up: SEARCHING)
  • Best Original Screenplay ONE CUT OF THE DEAD (Runner-up: NON-FICTION)
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – BLACKkKLANSMAN (Runner-up: BURNING)
  • Best Production Design – ISLE OF DOGS (Runner-up: SUSPIRIA)
  • Best Costume Design – BLACK PANTHER (Runner-up: THE FAVOURITE)
  • Best Makeup & Hair – BORDER (Runner-up:  THE FAVOURITE)
  • Best Original Score – BURNING (Runner-up: BLACK PANTHER)
  • Best Use of Source Music – THE WILD PEAR TREE (Runner-up: BLACKkKLANSMAN)
  • Best Sound – ROMA (Runner-up: FIRST MAN)
  • Best Sound Design – SUSPIRIA (Runner-up: MANTA RAY)
  • Best Visual Effects ANNIHILATION (Runner-up: READY PLAYER ONE)
  • Discovery Award (Filmmaking)SHUT UP AND PLAY THE PIANO for Philipp Jedicke
  • Discovery Award (Acting) – LEAVE NO TRACE for Thomasin McKenzie

Oscars 2019 Prediction

Here are my predictions for Oscars 2019…

My Prediction Score: 15/24 (+ 6 dark horses)

BEST PICTURE
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book WINNER!
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice

Will Win (WW): Roma
Dark Horse (DH): Green Book


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) WINNER!
Shoplifters (Japan)

WW: Roma
DH: Cold War


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse WINNER!

WW: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
DH: Incredibles 2


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Free Solo WINNER!
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
RBG

WW: Free Solo
DH: RBG


BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma WINNER!
Adam McKay, Vice

WW: Alfonso Cuaron
DH: Spike Lee


BEST LEADING ACTOR
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody WINNER!
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

WW: Rami Malek
DH: Christian Bale


BEST LEADING ACTRESS
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife 
Olivia Colman, The Favourite WINNER!
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

WW: Glenn Close
DH: Lady Gaga


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Green Book WINNER!
Adam Driver, BlackkKlansman
Sam Elliot, A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

WW: Mahershala Ali
DH: Richard E. Grant


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina De Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk WINNER!
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

WW: Regina King
DH: Rachel Weisz


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book WINNER!
Roma
Vice

WW: The Favourite
DH: First Reformed


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
BlacKkKlansman WINNER!
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born

WW: BlacKkKlansman
DH: Can You Ever Forgive Me?


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cold War
The Favourite
Never Look Away
Roma WINNER!
A Star is Born

WW: Roma
DH: Cold War


BEST FILM EDITING
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody WINNER!
The Favourite
Green Book
Vice

WW: Vice
DH: Bohemian Rhapsody


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Black Panther WINNER!
The Favourite
First Man
Mary Poppins Returns
Roma

WW: The Favourite
DH: Black Panther


BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Black Panther WINNER!
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Mary Queen of Scots

WW: The Favourite
DH: Black Panther


BEST HAIR & MAKEUP
Border
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice WINNER!

WW: Vice
DH: Mary Queen of Scots


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Black Panther WINNER!
BlackkKlansman
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs
Mary Poppins Returns

WW: If Beale Street Could Talk
DH: Black Panther


BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“All the Stars”, Black Panther
“I’ll Fight”, RBG
“The Place Where Lost Things Go”, Mary Poppins Returns
“Shallow”, A Star is Born WINNER!
“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings”, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

WW: “Shallow”
DH: “All the Stars”


BEST SOUND MIXING
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody WINNER!
First Man
Roma
A Star Is Born

WW: Bohemian Rhapsody
DH: First Man


BEST SOUND EDITING
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody WINNER!
First Man
A Quiet Place
Roma

WW: First Man
DH: Bohemian Rhapsody


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Robin
First Man WINNER!
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

WW: First Man
DH: Avengers: Infinity War


BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Detainment
Fauve
Marguerite
Mother
Skin WINNER!

WW: Marguerite
DH: Fauve


BEST ANIMATED SHORT
Animal Behaviour
Bao WINNER!
Late Afternoon
One Small Step
Weekends

WW: Bao
DH: Weekends


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Black Sheep
End Game
Lifeboat
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence. WINNER!

WW: Period. End of Sentence.
DH: Black Sheep

Outguess ET 2019 – Oscar Prediction Contest

The 6th Outguess ET Oscar Prediction Contest is back!

I will share my predictions on the weekend of 23-24 Feb. The Oscars ceremony will be shown live on the morning of 25 Feb (SGT).

Instructions:

  1. Open to people residing in Singapore only.
  2. Copy and paste the below categories onto a Word document.
  3. Indicate clearly for each category whom you think will win the Oscar (‘Will Win’) and one dark horse (‘Dark Horse’).
  4. Submit the Word document to eternalitytan@gmail.com with the subject header ‘Outguess ET 2019’ latest by 22 Feb, 11:59pm.

How to win:

  • Predicting correctly ‘Will Win’ earns 3 points
  • Predicting correctly ‘Dark Horse’ earns 1 point.
  • Score more points than me. A tie doesn’t count.
  • If there is more than one winner, the participant who submitted his or her predictions earlier (based on email time-code) will win.

If you win, choose one of the following prizes:

  • Prize A (worth USD20) – 1x Amazon Gift Card
  • Prize B (worth SGD30) – 1x Criterion Collection Blu-ray
  • Prize C (worth SGD25-35) – up to 5x DVDs from my Carousell page

Here are the categories in contention:
Best Picture
Best Foreign Language Feature
Best Animated Feature
Best Documentary Feature
Best Director
Best Leading Actor
Best Leading Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing
Best Production Design
Best Costume Design
Best Hair & Makeup
Best Original Score
Best Original Song
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best Visual Effects
Best Live Action Short
Best Animated Short
Best Documentary Short

Have fun and good luck!

Waltz with Bashir: An Inquiry into Reality

(Written in 2009, and first published 25 Dec 2009)

The Film
First premiered at Cannes in May 2008, Waltz with Bashir subsequently won a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and earned an Oscar nomination in a similar category. Directed and written by Ari Folman, an Israeli who is not exactly prolific in his work, Waltz with Bashir is only his third film in 12 years after Clara Hakedosha (1996) and Made In Israel (2001). The Palme d’Or nominee is made with a paltry sum of less than US$2 million, and considering it is a full-length animated feature running close to 90 minutes, it is a remarkable achievement.

Waltz with Bashir is such a unique motion picture because it is fundamentally an autobiographical war documentary but dressed in the wonder and limitless creativity of animation. The story follows an Israeli filmmaker (presumably the role played by Folman) in his quest to piece together the puzzle that is the 1982 Lebanon War which he took part in but could not remember what really happened.

The Boston Globe says that Folman was a soldier with the Israeli army which invaded Lebanon and was in Beirut when Christian militiamen massacred an estimated 3,000 Palestinian civilians. Here in the film, “he has lost his memories of the war and seeks out other veterans to interview in order to piece together their collective story and contemplate their ethical culpability in the massacre” (Wasserman, 2009).

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Animation as Reality
In my opinion, Folman’s decision to film Waltz with Bashir in animation is a masterstroke. Rarely do we get to view documentaries in an animated form which brings to mind a question: Since documentaries are presumably truthful accounts of reality, and animated features fictional, then is an animated documentary, in the theoretical sense, even possible?

But first, what does a documentary mean? Is there even a clear definition? A check with Dictionary.com says that a documentary is “based on an actual event that purports to be factually accurate and contains no fictional elements.” On the other hand, an article by Henrik Juel from ‘P.O.V’ (a Danish Journal of Film Studies) says that “the phrase ‘representation of reality’ is utterly mistaken as a definition of documentary, because the idea of film as mirroring is a false one and a very misleading ideal.”

“Memory is dynamic, it’s alive. If some details are missing, memory fills the holes with things that never happened.”

Waltz with Bashir has many segments in which Folman, as an animated figure, interviews war veterans – many of them his close comrades – seeking out their past experiences and hoping what they say would be able to trigger and unlock his memory. The interviews conducted are actually for real, and with real veterans, based on an article from ‘Film and Video’ by Debra Kaufman who says, “the first step was to videotape, on a sound stage, the interviews [and] once the movie was videotaped, it was first turned into a storyboard and, from there, an animatic.” Folman’s film, in this aspect, works like a documentary.

However, Folman in Kaufman’s same article says that “we need to dramatize those scenes (reenactment of war scenes) in the studio as much as we could; we’d sit in two chairs with a plastic grill in front and pretend we were in a car.” Now this begs the question: Is this a capture of reality? I would say no. Documentaries are not filmed in studios but out in the streets, at actual locations where the situation(s) is or are happening, or where the subject(s) is or are in.

The footage is caught in real-time and then edited to form a coherent narrative. Waltz with Bashir apparently does not show such footage until the very end of the film where an abrupt cut from animation to live-action reveals Palestinian women treading along a debris-strewn street in utter despair, lamenting over the devastating loss of lives as they flee from the refugee camps in perhaps the film’s singularly most powerful sequence. Are the 85 minutes that precede this sequence not a capture of reality? I will further explore this in the next section ‘Truth as Reality’.

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Animation is another realm of filmmaking which I feel belongs to the opposite end of the spectrum, far from what documentary filmmaking is all about. It emphasizes on imagination, creativity, and fantasy. In other words, it is fictional and a product of the hypothetical mind. Does this form of filmmaking make the images any less real? Folman does not seem to think so. In a film review by Wendy R. Weinstein for ‘Film Journal International’, the director says that “he never considered telling his story through ‘real-life video.'”

Weinstein also backs Folman’s decision to film in animation. She writes that “this provocative, poetic, searing exploration by the Israeli director Ari Folman into his forgotten past as a member of the Israeli mission in the first Lebanon War is only stronger for being drawn. As a friend tells him, “memory is dynamic; it’s alive,” and so is this animated documentary.” Because it is animated, it becomes more difficult to imagine what it would have been like in 1982 Lebanon during the war as there is no actual footage, or even a live-action re-creation of the armed struggle and massacre. Therefore, there are no ‘real’ images which we can interpret to further our understanding of the situation at that time.

Interestingly, this is apt for a film like Waltz with Bashir. The use of animation runs parallel to Folman’s theme of being unable to remember the past, or what I term as ‘amnesic memory’. Folman’s inability to remember his experience from the Lebanon War is reflected in the fiction that is animation. In one scene, he is led away to safety by a huge, nude sea goddess as his comrades burn to death after their boat is attacked by a stray enemy airplane. Could this have happened?

Strangely, Folman remembers this but not the ‘real’ images that he struggles to picture, resorting to questioning the war veterans in an attempt to make sense of his past. The veterans’ descriptions are the product of their memories; whether these memories are true is another matter. The important idea here is that whatever one sees in film is not concrete but imagined. Animation allows Folman to portray these ‘imaginations’ in the most realistic (and idealistic) of ways.

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Truth as Reality
Can what is seen in Waltz with Bashir be regarded as the objective truth and whether this reflects reality? Not quite. Similar to Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950), the bulk of the narrative in Folman’s film is based on individual recollections of an event of horrific significance. Is any interviewee’s recount any truer than another? Is it even an actual recollection of the past or is it only diluted with half-truths? After more than 20 years, the limits of memory mean that one cannot completely be sure.

Rashomon has taught us about relativism in which truth is relative and subjective to each person’s perception. However, in Waltz with Bashir, it is not about finding the absolute truth within differing, separate points-of-view but rather questioning how close the recollections are to the objective truth so that we are able to respectfully (and truthfully) preserve the sanctity of those memories – to remember history as it is, and for what it is worth.

“Do you ever have flashbacks from Lebanon?”
“No. No, not really.”

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times refers to the film’s depiction of events leading to the massacre, and the massacre itself, commenting that it is impossible to pin down the answers – “My impression is that some knew, some could have stopped it, but the connections between the two are uncertain.” This uncertainty exists even after the film ends; Folman does not provide viewers with answers leading to the objective truth, but that is because he is unsure of it himself even after conducting interviews in the film.

Waltz with Bashir is a somewhat futile pursuit for the objective truth, but it makes us ponder about truth as reality. What really happened continues to be vague; yet whatever did happened, and of which is caused by the insanity of war, has brought about the reality of human suffering and this is captured excellently in the film. There is truth in human suffering which is something we can feel and understand.

However, there is no considerable truth in memories where the line between reality and fantasy is very often blurred. Human suffering then becomes the key theme of Folman’s film not only because it is a concrete representation of ‘truth as reality’, but also it acts as a spur towards the quest for the absolute truth i.e. what really did happened, which in my opinion is the secondary theme.

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Artistic & Technical Merit
Waltz with Bashir features animation different from what is seen in Pixar films or what is observed in the hand-drawn beauty of Miyazaki’s best works. Nonetheless, it is just as impressive. Its artistic style reminds that of another recent animated film – Paronnaud and Satrapi’s Persepolis (2007) which also deals with the past, in this case, about the Islamic Revolution in Iran during the late 1970s. Both share graphic novel-esque visuals – stylized and unsophisticated – keeping the look of the film simple yet eye-catching.

To a large extent, Folman’s film feels hallucinatory and surrealistic as if everything is just a terrible nightmare. This nightmarish mood is forced upon the viewer in the opening sequence as described by Jayson Harsin in an article in ‘Bright Lights Film Journal’. He says “Waltz With Bashir‘s opening is a remarkable one – 26 wild dogs bounding down the street, frothing at the mouth, trampling everything in their path…it is disturbing, moving, and also a kind of symbolic foreshadowing.” Harsin continues to elaborate on the potency of the animation used in the film. “The animation style and often the lighting give a surreal glow to the events being narrated, which works perfectly to illustrate the story of a man’s trip into his own psyche. Folman uses animation expressionistically to present a surreal ethos, the mind driven through dreamscapes in pursuit of an elusive memory.”

Music, I feel plays a very important role in enhancing our film-viewing experience. In Waltz with Bashir, the original score by Max Richter not only acts as a brilliant accompaniment to the film’s stark and gloomy visuals, it also features songs which describe “repression and depression” (Harsin) as a way to deal with war. In a way, these songs translate the accompanying visuals into words, thus providing us an additional text to the main narrative, that of a ‘sub-conscious commentary’ which is at times ironic as evident in the song ‘Enola Gay’ by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark when it “accompanies Israeli planes pouring bombs onto Lebanese combatants.” (Harsin).

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The film editing is well done. For most parts, the film plays out quite straightforwardly, coherent in a chronological order. I never once felt a moment of confusion. The recurring ‘dream’ sequence by Folman, which shows a group of naked soldiers emerging from the still water in slow-motion as flares above their heads light up the night sky in an eerie orange glow, acts as a counterpoint for what is real and what is not. But then again, what is real may not be what it seems as mentioned earlier.

Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian says, “there is a bold shift from animation to TV news footage. I am not sure quite what to make of this shift, and have an uncomfortable feeling that it is an aesthetic error, and a tacit concession that the animation techniques used until that moment are lacking in seriousness: once the tragedy is directly broached, they must be abandoned. A minor loss of nerve, perhaps.”

I strongly disagree with his view. For the past hour or so, Folman has paced the film slowly, with growing suspense and mystery, as if building towards a payoff at the end. The highly unexpected ‘jump cut’ – not of time and space but of reality and imagination – left me in shock (and in awe) of Folman’s mastery of the film medium. It probably rivals in audaciousness to the famous bone-to-satellite jump-cut scene in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).

In conclusion, even though it is still early to tell, I daresay that Waltz with Bashir may be Folman’s magnum opus. It is an accomplished piece of cinema which refuses to be pigeonholed into any specific genre. While often labeled as an animated documentary which is, to a certain extent, an experimental genre, it somehow goes beyond the conventions of animation and documentary filmmaking in their own rights. It is part-fictional, part-autobiographical, and questions the essence of truth, reality, and imagination as a filmic quality as well as through the characters’ memories of a past event. The cinematic power of Waltz with Bashir cannot be disputed; Folman’s masterpiece will continue to grow in resonance and relevance.

References
Ari Folman. IMDb. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0284369/

Awards for Vals Im Bashir (2008). IMDb. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185616/awards

Box Office/business for Vals Im Bashir (2008). IMDb. Retrieved from
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1185616/business

Dan Wasserman (2009, Jan 3)
Animated horror of 1982 Lebanon war. The Boston Globe. Retrieved from http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/outofline/2009/01/animated_horror_of_1982_lebano.html

Debra Kaufman (2008, Dec 18)
How They Did It: Waltz With Bashir. Film & Video. Retrieved from http://www.studiodaily.com/filmandvideo/technique/how/How-They-Did-It-Waltz-With-Bashir_10305.html

documentary. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved October 21, 2009, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/documentary

Henrik Juel (2006, Dec).
Defining Documentary Film. P.O.V No. 22 – On Documentary Film. Department of Information and Media Studies – Aarhus University. Retrieved from
http://pov.imv.au.dk/Issue_22/section_1/artc1A.html

Jason Harsin (2009, Feb)
The Responsible Dream. Bright Lights Film Journal. Issue 63. Retrieved from
http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/63/63waltz.html

Persepolis (2007). IMDb. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0808417/

Peter Bradshaw (2008, Nov 21)
Waltz With Bashir. The Guardian. Retrieved from
http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/nov/21/waltz-with-bashir-folman

Robert Purvis
Waltz With Bashir by Max Richter. Mfiles. Retrieved from
http://www.mfiles.co.uk/reviews/max-richter-waltz-with-bashir.htm

Roger Ebert (2009, Jan 21)
Waltz With Bashir. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved from
http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090121/REVIEWS/901219995/1023

Wendy R. Weinstein (2009, Jan 6)
Film Review: Waltz With Bashir. Film Journal International. Retrieved from http://www.filmjournal.com/filmjournal/content_display/reviews/specialty-releases/e3i9292a5081d36be07bb898142848902e1