Thursday, March 29, 2018

Trailer: The Grinch

A happy, blessed and holy week to you all!
In spite of having purchased my ticket for Pacific Rim: Uprising Wedsnesday afternoon, my car broke down Friday so I was unable to see it, and because it's still not fixed, I am, basically, still grounded. I have just watched Murder On the Orient Express and absolutely loved it, so this is the post I am currently working on! In the meantime, the first trailer for The Grinch with Benedict Cumberbatch has been released, and this is going to be excellent!
Can't you just see Cumberbatch saying, "Nooooooooooooo," so, how do we know this will be good? First, it comes from the geniuses at Illumination, they have consistently provided audiences with excellent work, so no fears there (which we cannot, unfortunately, say of Disney as of late). Secondly, the snowman hitting the Grinch. First of all, compound symbol (snow, then man): snow is a form of water, hence, it symbolizes reflection which has been completely realized (the Grinch knows how bad he is; how do we know that?
Costumes reveal a great deal about characters: for example, how they change, how often they change, or even how they,.... don't change. The Grinch doesn't change. What do we know about his "costume?" The "pants" he puts on symbolizes his "standing" in Whoville society (legs symbolize our "standing" and reputation). There are two dominant characteristics: first, the color green, secondly, the fur. The color green either symbolizes hope or that something has gone rotten, and we know the obvious answer here; but this is the purpose of symbols having a "dual nature" to them: at the very moment we see the bad side, we know it's bad because we see what the good is supposed to be. For example, when we see the Grinch being rotten, we know he's supposed to be full of hope (and Christmas, the final arrival of the long-awaited Messiah, is the ultimate hope fulfilled); however, it can also be the exact opposite. When we see a character full of hope, we know how precarious that fragile position is and how quickly hope can turn to despair. What about the fur on his "pants?" Fur, of course, symbolizes "animals," and our animal instincts (seeing a woman wearing a fur coat, for example, suggests she lives by her animal instincts or she's wrapped in animal appetites; it can, however, also mean she's overcome them, depending upon the context). So, the Grinch lives according to animal instincts, not Christian instincts, and we can of course site Christian instincts here because it's Christmas--the birth of Christ--which is the vehicle of the story. Now, in The Grinch, the Whos in Whoville have announced they are going to make Christmas three times bigger this year, and this is the impetus driving the Grinch to "keep Christmas from coming." The "three times bigger" will manifest in louder instruments and bigger feasts, but also in the way the Holy Trinity (represented by the number 3) manifests itself in Christmas.
What about Max? Max has a red collar because Max is led by love. When the Grinch goes to town, we see him wear a scarf with red and white stripes; the white stripes indicate that the Grinch is dead in faith and purity; the red indicates that he is full of anger and is going to take it out on someone,... on everyone. Max, on the other hand, like any good dog, is full of love for his master,... so why does the Grinch keep Max? The Grinch is lonely and the truth we are likely to discover is that the sweetness, loyalty and devotion we see in Max is actually in the Grinch as well, but the Grinch wants to suppress his own love and goodness--no doubt the film makers will give us a reason why--but goodness has to come out in some way, so the Grinch expresses his own goodness in having Max. Remember, when the Grinch,... "does his hair" while looking in the mirror, he also does Max's hair the same way. The mirror symbolizes the Grinch's ability to "reflect" upon himself on a deep, inner-level; the Grinch's hair symbolizes his thoughts, so he and Max think the same way, although he's not going to admit it until later.
The act of eating means we are taking something in and digesting it, as in, seriously thinking about it; the pickle jar he takes from one woman's shopping basket symbolizes he himself--remember, the song compares him to a greasy black banana peel, so to compare the big green Grinch to a big green pickle is no stretch of the imagination--and when the Grinch takes a bite of the pickle, it disgusts him, because it's the Grinch seeing himself as he truly is), this is the reflection upon himself in the symbolism of the "snow" in the snowman. The "man" is the Grinch's capacity to be fully human (and no, it doesn't matter that he's a Grinch, he's still called to be human because he lives in a world of humans, there are no other Grinches at the market, for example).  So, the snowman hitting the Grinch in the face is a sign that the Grinch has realized what a bad egg he is and he's not doing what he should, i.e., being a good person. In order for the Grinch to "do mean things with style," he has to know what the right thing to do with kindness is, so he can NOT do the right thing.
I have no way of knowing at this point, however, it's interesting that we first see Grinch in the first trailer for the film in bed; why? "Sleeping" symbolizes a type of death, and beds a type of coffin; death is eternal sleep and coffins the place wherein we have our eternal sleep, so sleeping and our bed can symbolize death, but usually a "symbolic death." Well, I'm glad that's perfectly clear. Seeing the Grinch asleep in his bed tells us that the Grinch is in a state of death; he's not alive, not the way he should be (alive with faith, hope, charity). Again, we see the colors red and white on his bedding that we saw in his scarf when he went into town: white to be alive with faith and purity, red for having love instead of anger. This is what the Grinch wants, because he's surrounded himself with the symbols of it, however, he can't get to it, none of us can, we have to have Grace, and that's why this is such a perfect Christmas story, because without the coming of Christ, none of us would have been able to achieve these things, we all would have been doomed to be Grinches. 
Another reason we can know the film will be good is because of the figure skater. Now, it would have been easy for the film makers to make an animated figure skater, but they intentionally didn't do that; they had a real human, at a real Olympic event figure skating, and then had the Grinch enter into that world; why? The Grinch is being inspired by the skater to become great himself. Who hasn't done this? Seeing your favorites accept an Oscar or a Grammy, and pretend you're getting one yourself? Why not? When a person "dreams," they are being inspired to achieve greatness, and that is a part of our human potential (socialists, for example, prefer to see all the bad things in a person so they can offer excuses why they themselves don't do anything great), and the Grinch is allowing himself a moment to be inspired by someone else's greatness.

I AM working on Murder On the Orient Express. I hope you have a beautiful Holy Week and, please remember, pray for those who have no one to pray for them.
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
This definitely suggests we are getting a back story for the Grinch.