I am happy to repoprt it’s an utter delight. Once again Wes sees the world through the lens of a scrupulously designed doll’s house and a well organized desk. I haven’t the slightest doubt his mother NEVER had to ask him to clean his room. The particular charm here stems from a pre-teen love story enacted by two lovely young actors: Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. It all takes place on an island off the coast of New England in 1965 when we are informed by a local hostorian (Bob Balaban) that a major storm hit. Being a romantic comedy the storm does hit in act three but our hero and heroine are unscathed. So is everyone else for that matter. Nice delineation of character between the kids and the adults. Our hero is the least popular boy at the Khaki Scouts camp, for reasons no one can really explain. The girl he falls for and eventually marries (in a mock ceremony performed by Jason Schwartzman)is the daughter of a local (Bill Murray) and his wife (Frances McDormand) who has negelected her husband and children for thought;ess affair with the local police chief (Bruce Willis.) All the kids are sharp and all the adults are clueless and/or hysterical (hysteria being represent by Tilda as a woman from Child Protective Services.)
But that’s just the surface. Underneath Moonrise KIngdom is about the relationship between Benjamin Britten and Francoise Hardy, specifically —
David – Are you in Cannes, or are they press screening MK in other cities as well?
SIFF (Seattle Internat’l Film Fest) has a press screening of it this morning.
No I’m in L.A. There was a press screening here this morning.
Thanks for sharing, David. I’m eagerly awaiting the film here in Vancouver and have no doubt that I’ll be pleased.
They’re showing it all over town in LA.
Really? Where else?
On a scale of 1 to sucks, how many indie songs were in the soundtrack?
What’s an indie song?
I think he’s referring to Marguerite Duras’ India Song.
David – FIND is having a screening this Sunday (I believe at LACMA). And I’ve heard there have been press screenings all over the country to coincide with the premiere at Cannes.
“I think he’s referring to Marguerite Duras’ India Song.”
Yes, when I made that post I was directly referring to some stuck up dead French bimbo. I thought to myself, what better way then to connect Wes Anderson with some dead French chick, although the similarities are almost endless when one really thinks about it.
The soundtrack seems to be score by Alexandre Desplat with a bit of Leonard Bernstein and a few Hank Williams tunes and some miscellaneous stuff.
i’m pretty excited for this movie.
So much so that I edited this Wes Anderson tribute.
What do you guys think?
That’s all we’ve got on this film?
Good interview with Wes Anderson and Elvis Mitchell here
Immediately noticable: shot in 16mm and 1.85 :1 rather than Anderson’s characteristic anamorphic
2.35 : 1.
The interview with Elvis Mitchell mentions the use of the 16MM and aspect. I’m glad he chose to use film and not digital.
Equally noticeable Anderson stylistic signatures:
and planimetric compositions:
Saw this recently on the big screen. Thoroughly enjoyable. The film is very self-referential, in a clever, tongue-in-cheek way. Anderson uses a narrator to focus the story, which does tend to jump around just a wee bit. He uses maps, too, like kids looking for buried treasure, as guides to the ‘action’. He uses certain tropes, like the orphan, the misunderstood child, to comic effect. This is a film that tells us that if kids are left to their own creative devices, free of adult interference, the world would be a better place. It’s all about the knowing youthful attitude and the dumb adults.
This is a film that repeats a seemingly central Anderson thesis that kids are smarter than the adults. In this film, all the adults are sort of cartoonish caricatures, allowing the kids to become the focus of our attention. This does provide the opportunity for a fine actress like Tilda Swinton to ham it up as a sort of evil witch character. The use of the music of Benjamin Britten is magical, especailly the way he uses Britten’s Noye’s Fludde and Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. Clever pastiche of this in the ending credits, too. Lots of fun scenes with some gorgeous cinematography.
A nice bit of Anderson whimsy, with lots of knowing smiles to the audience. Very much a fable, not taking itself too seriously. 4/5
“This is a film that repeats a seemingly central Anderson thesis that kids are smarter than the adults”
Exactly. This seems to be Anderson’s world view: kids acting like adults, adults acting like kids.
“Even more so than in “The Darjeeling Limited,” Anderson is here working in the tradition of the filmmakers Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. The duo’s “The Red Shoes,” “I Know Where I’m Going!,” “A Canterbury Tale” and so many more were examples of what Powell called “the composed film,” a movie in which each element was worked out to meticulously mesh with the other, a movie in which all of the art forms that inform movies — painting, music, theater, sculpture, the whole lot — are brought to bear with equal emphasis, a movie in which the contours of the real and the fantastic rub freely against each other to produce … well, hopefully a kind of aesthetic alchemy"
Right, Santino. We’ve all been there, I think, at a certain age as kids (ie, the Age of Awareness) where the adults around us all seem a bit screwy. Anderson captures that aspect of growing up perfectly. Perhaps, he is just a big kid himself.
I agree with Matt’s quote above that there is a lot of purposeful blending of elements in this film. However, Anderson seems to want his own references to be more playful, suiting the light-hearted mood of the film. It does subtlely blend music (several styles, but all carefully themed to what is going on), theatre, literature (the children’s books), places, skies, old film cues (“over and out”, the split-screens when people talk on the phone, the scenes seen through binoculars, etc). Post-(post)-modernism at its most playful.
But it’s not all fey cuteness—there’s a (somewhat surprising) little undercurrent of darkness to the film too, given the subject matter, didn’t you think? For all their adorableness, Suzy clearly has a violent streak when provoked, and Sam is shown to have resorted to doghouse arson as a coping mechanism (even Suzy’s dad’s habit of getting drunk and trying to chop down trees seems to be mostly sublimated aggression).
That’s true for all of Anderson’s films, the lightness of the surface is belied by what is running underneath. That’s where his framing of the stories through intermediary forms, such as music, games, books and the like, as well as his own formal control pays off. It creates a retreat of artifice from the emotional struggles of his characters, both for them and for us, which acts as the focal point for his films. Moonrise makes this even more explicit than his other films through the use of the Cuckoo Song at the end of the film suggesting the impossibility of the idyll being sustained as children turn to adults.The illusion of there being an escape is what is lost as the children become the adults as the issues haunting all of them still remain.