Whoa. This weblog has turned into a regular font of happiness lately. An unbelievably gorgeous spring, Nifty web tools, the dawn of a new baseball season, and lovely pop music are all good things, but I really need to get a grip on this streak of unbridled enthusiasm that I’m on before I lose all my hard-won credibility as a grouchy, cynical Gen-X-er and turn into some sort of shiny happy pod person.

Luckily, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival is here to save me from myself with an animated film from Korea, Oseam, that acts as a salve for the overly sanguine soul. The movie tells the story of a pair of siblings who, while searching for their long-lost mother, settle into a Buddhist monastery and warm the hearts of the monks therein. The art has a luminous, painterly quality to it, especially in the backgrounds. The story is… sweet. It has puppies, and birds, and flying squirrels; the brother is funny and innocent, while the sister is blind and wise beyond her years; there’s comedy, and tragedy, and lots of pathos in snow. The movie doesn’t leave a single heartstring un-tugged as it traces the paths of these pure, innocent kids through their travels and travails.

By the end of it, all I wanted to do was go sit in a dark room, smoke lots of cigarettes, drink black coffee and cheap beer, and grumble about how the world is going to hell in a handbasket. There’s nothing like an overdose of saccharine kitsch to knock a guy out of a too-good mood.