An animated feature which begins, ends and occasionally combines with, live-action filmed on location. A white dropout struggles to create comics and animated films, drawing inspiration from the harsh, gritty world around him. Still sharing his run-down apartment with his middle-aged parents, an oafish slob of an Italian father and a ditzy nut-case of a Jewish mother, he is ridiculed and looked down upon by his friends, hypocrites who run with violent gangs and the Italian Mafia, and a shallow Black girl who makes her living downtown with the pimps and pushers. This cartoonist gets a chance to pitch a film idea to a movie mogul, but the story proves too outrageous: a far-future Earth, destroyed by war and pollution, where a mutant antihero challenges and kills God. Complications ensue when the cartoonist's parents react in irrational ways to his various involvements. Written by
What makes you happy? What makes you happy? Where do you go? Where do you go? Where do you hide? Where do you hide? Who do you see? Who do you see? Who do you trust? Who do you trust? Who do you screw? Who do you screw? What kills the pain? What kills the pain? Game up, game win. Bug around, set it straight. Transaction. Play it hard, hurts so bad. Gotta win. Everyone loses. Everthing loses. Gotta win big. Sick and tired of losing. Where does it all go? Where does it all go? Where ...
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A few previous critics of this work by Bakshi slam it for being "stereotypical" and thereby negative as a whole by implementing foul humor, language and at times even suggest that because it's a cartoon that it owes something to child-oriented animation. This is absolute pig swill. Bakshi's vision in Heavy Traffic is to present life on the streets as he knows it. His style is truly unique, overlaying animation onto real stills and film sequences to add to the New york flavor that exists throughout the film. An abusive Italian married to a worrying Jewish woman is part of our reality. Gays being abused and people having to worry about their jobs being taken by minority groups for less pay and benefits because they're more desperate than we are is part of our reality. Love regardless of skin color, and facing the consequences for it is SADLY part of our reality. By using animation, Bakshi is exercising his artistic abilities while setting it in times and themes he is familiar with. This film, along with the criminally banned Coonskin should be hailed as modern masterpieces not for their visual aspects, but for the truth lying beneath and his unabashed look at how life really is. Comparing this film to "Shrek" is like comparing the original Night of the Living Dead to the recent Dawn of the dead remake. Granted they're both horror, but they're lightyears apart and don't use any of the same effects techniques. One, like Heavy Traffic, was made for social commentary, whereas the remake, like Shrek, is merely for our homogenized entertainment values.
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