Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are

Alex and I went to see 'Where the Wild Things Are' together tonight. I couldn't think of anyone else I would rather have seen the movie with. He's in second year university now so it's been quite awhile since I read it to him as a bedtime story.

To tell the truth, it was never the story - it was always those illustrations. How Sendak managed to make the monsters both terrifying and endearing at the same time.

The film captures the same visual sensibilities. The fort they all build together, "the place where only the things you want to have happen, happen" looks like it was designed by Andy Goldsworthy, cairns and all.

The landscapes in the film are the archetypes of childhood fantasies: beaches, forests, oceans, deserts. Uncluttered, simple lines, light blue daytime skies and deep indigo starry night skies.

Best of all of course are the monsters. In the film their personalities are unpredictable and dangerous, yet vulnerable. Evidence that some things are simply beyond anyone's control.

The film has no shortage of 'cred' in the credits: directed by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovitch), with David Eggers co-writing (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius); starring James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker and Catherine O'Hara as some of the voices of the monsters.

The book is a childhood favourite of many, including President Obama. Here he is sharing it with some of his younger constituents:

1 comment:

Heather Collins said...

Diane - I saw this movie with my son Jack (17) We both LOVED it - couldn't think of any one better to watch it with :)