Sunday, November 7, 2010

Wild Things

You may have noticed that I haven't been writing about movies as much lately as I had been earlier this year. Me and my phases:) But these days I'm seeing it more as what my soul is hungry for, and right now I'm hungry for truth and probably not as much outright escapism as I've sought in the past.

So this may make you think I'd be watching a lot of documentaries and that the last movie I'd then be talking about would be Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. But this movie knocked me out yesterday with its artistic and emotional truth.

I should say at the outset that although the book came out in 1963, it was not part of my personal childhood canon, at least not in my memory. My parents might report otherwise. My stories were Make Way for Ducklings, all those Little Golden Books, Mary Poppins, Pippi Longstocking, and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Where the Wild Things Are was much more my brother's book as I remember, so perhaps I'm a better audience for this movie.

And now I'm not even sure what I really want to say, except watch it:) For me it was such a kind of deep core experience. It so spoke to the truth of being a human being, complete with feeling out of control and scared by that, feeling sad and lonely, and feeling loved. Visually, there is something so appealing about seeing all those iconic images come to life in these beautiful natural settings with incredible light. And the music is great.

As Maurice Sendak himself, a huge champion of the project, says in the featurette:

"What I've seen him do - he's turned it into his without giving up mine, but embodying mine with Spike Jonze. And astonishing me at how it maintains its peculiarness as a work. What flows through the whole thing is such a strange feeling - I've never seen a movie that looked or felt like this. And it's his personal this. I mean he's not afraid of himself. He's a real artist that lets it come through the work. So he's touched me very much. He has touched me very much."

I'd have to say, me too!

Fun music video here: