MIFF Day 6.
What can you say about Wes Anderson that hasn’t already been said. The man has made a career of making films that are, on viewing, unmistakably his own. Everything from his storybook like cinematography, to his bold production design, to his beautifully crafted soundtracks, to the performance style he enforces on his actors. Wes Anderson is indeed an Auteur in the truest sense of the word.
Whenever you watch an Anderson film you are taken to what feels like a fantastical world and although the subject of his films are quite often dysfunctional, there is a whimsical nature to them that makes these characters and scenarios completely endearing and accessible to it’s audience. Rather than force an opinion on you, Anderson treats his audience with a respect and intelligence that allows them to connect with the characters and the material that they best relate to. It’s a skill often ignored in modern day cinema, but when someone like Anderson makes it work, tis a powerful tool.
His new film Moonrise Kingdom is no exception to that rule. A film about two young lovers who escape their New England town in 1965, which results in a local search party’s journey to find them, is a film that brilliantly deals with being young, naive, in love and without fear. It manages to very subtly show the difference between living in an adult world and then the world of a child. One that is fueled by their imagination. I watched this film and couldn’t help but be filled with absolute joy and happiness as I watched these two brilliant young actors on screen remind us of what it is like to be a kid. I often think about when we lose that naivety. When we all stop living in the moment and start living with fear and, I guess in some sense, in reality. The world through a child’s eyes is such a unique thing, and one that we should all be so lucky to be exposed to.
There is not much more I can say about Moonrise Kingdom that would serve as a reason for you to go and see it. All I know is that for an hour and a half, I was completely lost in my imagination and by the end of the film, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. Stars a typically “Anderson” cast which includes Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman and new comers to the Anderson corner Frances McDormand, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel and Bob Balaban.
Just to make sure I kept up that reminiscent nature of my evening, my next film was a concert style doco on the Beastie Boys, a band I listened to all through high school. After the sad passing of Adam Yauch (MCA) earlier this year, MIFF had decided to show a couple of Beastie Boys doco’s and shorts that were directed by Yauch. The cinema was packed and the screening was kicked off with the hilarious short Fight For Your Right Revisted which I saw for the first time on youtube only a few months back. The short is a really funny “post video clip film” starring so many A-list celebrities that it’s just not possible to mention them all in the one post. I suggest you watch for yourself below:
Anyway after the short was the Beasties doco Awesome, I Fuckin Shot That which was a concert doco that was constructed by the band giving 50 fans at the concert a video camera to shoot their own experience at the 2004 Madison Square Garden concert in New York. What I thought was a good idea in theory was sometimes brilliant but sometimes a bit too much. Perhaps it was the time at night, perhaps I was a touch too tired from other screenings and work, or perhaps it was just plain and simple due to the lo-fi video and the MTV cutting style that my brain just couldn’t handle it. The sequences where the shots were held for longer worked fantastically but unfortunately the quick fire cuts in majority of the opening were just a bit much.
The last 20 minutes or so when the boys are running around backstage for their epic encore of Intergalactic and Sabotage were my favourite as they ran around interacting with the audience in the stands. It also helps that those are two of my favourite Beasties songs.
For the next couple of days my schedule consists of Side by Side, which is a filmmaking doco dealing with the film vs digital debate, Killer Joe which apparently is a little more messed up than I anticipated and Dark Horse, the Todd Solondz film which I’ve been hearing mixed things about…
See you in a couple of days team!