‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’: Julian Schnabel’s Profoundly Cinematic Exercise in Empathy

Looking back on this still-young century makes clear that 2007 was a major time for cinematic happenings — and, on the basis of this retrospective, one we’re not quite through with ten years on. One’s mind might quickly flash to a few big titles that will be represented, but it is the plurality of both festival and theatrical premieres that truly surprises: late works from old masters, debuts from filmmakers who’ve since become some of our most-respected artists, and mid-career turning points that didn’t necessarily announce themselves as such at the time. Join us as an assembled team, many of whom were coming of age that year, takes on their favorites.

Has there ever been a more perfect pairing of medium and story than Julian Schnabel‘s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly? Cinema, an optical art form whose audience views scenes that they are powerless to change,
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