Moonrise Kingdom on Valentine’s Day

I saw the trailer for Wes Anderson’s next film. Google says it opens in the summer.

Argh, I wish I could see it now, but, hmm, …a seed was planted.

And there we were, staying in on a chilly Friday night. What if we watch a movie at home?

I looked at what was available via PPV, doing a search for the director Wes Anderson.

A list came up including films I had seen before.

Fantastic Mr Fox…Saw it, liked the idea more than the film itself, just like a lot of modern art, where one admires the concept. But I’ve never yet managed to get through the whole film so far.
Isle of Dogs… Ah I loved it to pieces, thinking of it as a thinly veiled allegory of the current American drift to authoritarianism. Bought it, have seen it at least 5 times and will watch it again. And I did buy the book: meaning the Matt Zoller Seitz book that tries to match the film’s creators in its attention to detail.
Moonrise Kingdom…? never seen that one.
Rushmore… My first Wes Anderson. I bought it of course, have found that it grows on me with every successive viewing.
Grand Budapest Hotel… my favorite? I’ve seen it perhaps 7 times, two in the theatre. I haven’t bought it yet perhaps because I find it so powerful, so operatic. But I did buy the book (another Matt Zoller Seitz book)
The Life Aquatic…. Perhaps need to come back to this one. I didn’t fully “get it”.
The Royal Tenenbaums… Another one I don’t fully “get”. I bought it have seen parts of it many times, have sat through it perhaps once. I admire it even if I’m not sure if I even like it.

So…. What about Moonrise Kingdom?

The PPV info tells me…

“MK tells the story of two twelve year olds who fall in love make a secret pact and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down…

One has to click to the next page to see more. But I’d seen enough. I was sold. What could be more appropriate for Valentine’s Day?

How romantic.

And so it unfolds as one of those Wes Anderson films where you see how much fun they’re having filming and playing. Watching one grows envious not just of the magical world they’re creating, but one wishes to be in the film too, part of that fun group of artists. You can see it in the cadre Anderson has assembled, co-conspirators in his plot to have fun & perhaps to recapture the magic of youth, the same coolest people on the planet, the lucky ones who — I suspect– want to come back again and again. Do they pay HIM to be in these films?

Tilda Swinton

Ed Norton

Saoairse Ronan

Adrian Brody

Bill Murray

Harvey Keitel

Anderson seems to be a guy who has a lot of fun, in his stories, in his film-making.

Film-maker Wes Anderson

The children in this film –in all of his films come to think of it– are brilliant while the adults are all somewhat incompetent, hung up on showing us that they know what they’re doing.

The young ones are the hope for our future.

What a perfect metaphor for our world. The romance we see is the civil conduct of 12 year olds.

Do you ever wish you could freeze time and just stay where you are in your development? (of course that’s not so uncommon if you’re in your 60s). Just as I find I wish I could stay inside his films, wishing they wouldn’t end, wish I could prolong the magic.

The wilderness we see is a kind of cartoon landscape, partly as a by-product of Anderson’s compulsive to the point of OCD control of every frame, partly because the story unfolds as a kind of narrated fable, partly because the action is larger than life as people survive the impossible.

Yes (as you can see in the trailer) someone is struck by lightning… and shakes it off. Don’t try this at home, kids. But I won’t break it down further, as I seek to always be spoiler- free, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

There’s some amazing music in the score, not just the ever dependable Alexandre Deplat, but some wonderful subtext in the diagetic music choices. Imagine a film that has a climactic storm & a flood taking place while someone is staging Britten’s Noye’s Fludde..(!?)

Holy cow..!

We’ll watch it again, as there’s lots more to pick up in the parenthetical remarks & in the incidental moments. There are no small parts in Anderson’s movies.

It might be my new favorite, although come July there’s a new one coming out.

This entry was posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Popular music & culture, Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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