In Cambridge in the 1930s and 1940s, Ludwig Wittgenstein loved going to “the flicks”—any films at all, provided they were not self-consciously starry or arty or (worst of all) posh-literary. His ideal was the run-of-the mill American western. He liked it because the actors, like the horses, seemed to get on with being themselves rather than putting on an act for the sake of the camera.
Westerns are not what they used to be, but in the past few years a new form has made a space for itself in world cinema. It would have fitted Wittgenstein’s requirements perfectly: the children’s film. I don’t mean high-budget glitz like the Harry Potter films, but the kinds of children’s films that are exhibited every year in the cheap and wonderful Kinder Berlinale, which runs in parallel