Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"a movie about childhood", not a children's movie!

Where The Wild Things Are (Spike Jonze, 2009)
At the weekend my wife and I went to the Cinema as we are often known to do.  We went to see Where The Wild Things Are, dir. by Spike Jonze based on the beautiful childrens' book by Maurice Sendak.  The movie was beautifully crafted.  The camera work rsembled the best indie movies (Little Miss Sunshine, Amelie) with careful choice of distance, angle and positioning; and just enough editing to allow the movie to flow unobtrusively - Jonze ensures that the presence of the camera remains firmly unkown to the audience.

But what made this film so special (particulalry as a fan of the book) was one: the musical score - created by Karen O of Yeah Yeah Yeah's fame which was quirky, challenging and beautiful at the same time - check it out at the film's website here:

Like the music, the mise-sn-scene was stunning - Jonze's pallet is soft and haunting with some of the best lighting I have seen used in a movie in years.  The "Wild Things" were amazing - once again the Jim Henson company outdid themselves in prducing creatures that not only faithfully reflectd the wonderful drawings from the book but that took on a life of their own - seeming at times more human than could possibly be imaginable.

Here is the trailer for the movie:

Here is an animated version using the original pictures from the book:

And finally, here is a test made by Disney who for some time had the rights to produce the film - while this looks like it would have been good, I for one am very glad that this was one project that they did not complete.

Jonze's film is a film not for children but for those of us who read the book when we were kids.  It is a haunting, alternative, deeply beautiful and emotionally satisfying affair that brought my wife and I to tears - "I could eat you up I love you so".

In the words of Max: "Let the wild rumpus start!"

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