Movies and Babies:
On the drive home today, I heard Terri Gross interviewing the director of Tsotsi. One of the most interesting and memorable parts of their conversation was the sequence in which the director reluctantly explains away a gruesome scene. In the film, a thug finds a baby and has a desire to take care of it, though his idea of nurturing would make the most hardened child welfare rep. cringe. At one point the baby gets swarmed by a mass of biting ants.
Gross asked, "How in the world did you find a mother who would allow this?" The answer is that he didn't. Gavin Hood admitted that the ants were computer-generated, though he said, "I hope that doesn't ruin it for people watching."
Another telling example of how something horrendous turns out to be a benign trick of the eye--the dog who gets kicked so hard his back breaks. Hood enlisted the work of several dog trainers who taught dogs how to crawl on all fours as though their backs were broken. The problem was that the dogs were so happy to be pleasing their owners/trainers that they were wagging their tails the whole time they crawled. In the end, Hood used a Rottweiler simply because they don't have much of a tail.
Again, he apologized for giving away some of the movie's "dark secrets." It's interesting how hard people work to appear hideous. I guess that's what poetic license is all about.
Latest illness update: The little girl is sick again, and there's a moratorium on anyone kissing anyone else in our house for at least 7 days.