Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Dot and the Line: A Romance

Here we have an excerpt from "The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics" by the incomparable Chuck Jones.  It's a classic 1965 Oscar-winning short film based on Norton Juster's 1963 book The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics inspired by Edwin Abbott Abbott's 1884 novella "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions."

In this short clip the line imagines himself in various roles of great importance that might impress the dot, the object of his obsessive affection.  One of these roles is, of course, as "The Equator" .... although technically that's a circle, not a line.

This is an impressive piece of art, to be sure, but I can't help feeling that the message of self-discipline comes off as a bit heavy-handed and at the expense of raw unbridled spontaneity.  The film is just dripping with the cultural conflicts of the '60's.  But it certainly deserved its Oscar.

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