With impending release of Spike Jonze’s adaption of where the wild things are finally arriving on our cold and frostbitten shores of old blighty this week, I thought I would list my reasons as to why I have been eagerly anticipating this almost 80’s throw back film, hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to go see the film!
All of his music videos and other two films have had a great visual style to them, which has slowly matured over time take his video for daft punks Da Funk which still impresses me some 10 years on, even though it is basically futile as anything other then a music promo/short with a no ending but has a distinct visual style. While his videos for Weapon of Choice, It’s Oh So Quiet and Sabotage (by Fat boy slim, Bjork and The Beastie Boys respectfully) all contain elements of immature playfulness but in the best possible sense. So it seems apt that he is the one to make the film version of Maurice Sendak’s cult childrens tale / art book
With amazing full body suits made by The Jim Henson Company it as realistically as possible brings the Wild Things to life, in a why that a whole generation saw them do with films like Labyrinth and Dark Crystal , well in a fantastical sense that the audience and fans could associate to these living creatures. So it’s a typically old school approach given a bit of spit and polish with newer techniques (the faces are altered with CGI) which should allow the previous generation to have fond flash backs while the newer generation can marvel at something real onscreen ,for there is a reason Sesame Street is still going 30 something years on.
Considering it is based on what is essentially a 48 page childrens art book there had to be some additions to make it a bit longer then a few minutes, so its exciting to see how Max’s character is going to be fleshed out with his escapes to the Wild Things land down to his home issues, it could well work for the structure (and Jonze seems to base a lot of his work around dysfunctional families much like Wes Anderson). There is also the fact that Max’s encounter with the sea monster and the growing forest in his room is apparently absent from this adaption which again could possibly allow the story to stay more character driven instead of descending (like most childrens films) into spectacle or an overly playful tone, every element of this seems to be aiming for a focused narrative instead of something which is designed to get the audience from one sent piece to the other, and first indications seem that it is more a focused film which makes me highly excited.
Yeah, yeah, yeah:
I am not really a fan of Karen O , so when I heard that she was doing the whole of the films soundtrack ( a la David Bowie , the Labyrinth references keep coming) to be honest I was not that keen on hearing. But has I type this current post I am listening to the soundtrack and can quite confidently say it is a playful soundtrack and a genuinely feet tapping eclectic mix of styles possibly echoing Jonze’s past musical collaborations on his promos. It also seems to invoke a child-like angst which is pretty much Max’s motivation for going to the Wild Things land, so it is at moments joyous , sad , melancholic and frightening it really does give a very good taste of what is to come with the film, and only went to rise my excitement level through the roof, on top of which Karen O has a rather unique vocal quality one which draws you further into the music much like the labyrinth soundtrack it complements the images (and hopefully) not distracting from it (labyrinth reference again , honestly I am trying to avoid them).
Left , Right , Here , There and Everywhere:
This has got me particularly excited as every thing I have seen through set stills and images contains a certain rough and surrealistic vibe to each of the different structures and sets (see pic) and pushes the books dream like quality that much further which can only be a good thing but then it could be a case of too much, hopefully that will not be the issue. But it all looks suitably grand (especially the desert sequences) and dreamy while almost (film student alert!!) symbolising Max’s own grand personality and inherent loneliness as a young boy seeing an adult world (while its probably Jonze himself who is the adult man seeing the child-like world), or it could be that I am looking forward to a film that I am reading too much into, which is probably the case.
These are just a few reasons why above most of the films out in December (and this includes Avatar) this is what I am looking forward to the most, a film which can appeal across generational gaps as well as reliving the heydays of 80’s film making and that genuine sense of wonder for tangible (non-CGI) characters with emotion, its nice to enjoy something retro once in while methinks, on top of which the main actor playing max is called Max Records, its just an amazingly odd name. Hopefully this lives up to at least half of my expectations.
His mother called him “WILD THING!”
And Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP”
So he was sent to bed without eating anything!