Monday, March 23, 2009

the wild things

Stunning film poster for Where the Wild Things Are published in Nick Magazine

Nearly two years in the making and riddled with rumors of complications and director-studio drama, Spike Jonze's highly anticipated adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are will finally take the big screen on October 16th of this year.

What we have seen from the film so far - the stills and film poster - expose a raw approach from Jonze, with stark, rugged on-location sets shot in Melborne, Australia against soft vanilla-sunset skies. The images are gorgeous and appear to lend themselves to the very real, very authentic and honest way the book has touched its readers for 40 years, speaking directly to the raw and sometimes overwhelming and scary emotions kids feel. Jonze certainly had an enormuous task before him to adapt the adored book, which chronicles the journey of the disobedient Max, who is sent to bed without dinner and escapes into his world of Wild Things.

According to Jonze:
"One of the things I was worried about is that the book is just so beloved to so many people. And as I started to have ideas for it I was worried that I was just making what it means to me, and what the book triggers in me from when I was a kid. And I’d be worried that other people were gonna be disappointed, because it’s like adapting a poem. It can mean so much to so many different people. And Maurice was very insistent that that’s all I had to do... just make what it was to me, just to make something personal and make something that takes kids seriously and doesn’t pander to them. He told me that when his book came out, it was considered dangerous. It was panned by critics and child psychologists and librarians, because it wasn’t how kids were talked to."

While the film can certainly be categorized as massively complex, the rumor mill (per usual) inflated any tensions that may have existed between Jonze and Warner Brothers - in an interview with Moriarty, Jonze dispells the myths and details the massive undertaking to capture his vision - from an all on-location shooting to the complicated sound stage setup. Jonze also offers insight into his casting selections from James Gandolfini to Catherine Keener and Forest Whitaker, to the Wild Things costumes from Henson, to the Score from Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Carter Burwell to the post-production effects by Framestore.

Where the Wild Things Are is absolutely in my Top 5 most-looking-forward-to-films of 2009.

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