Friday, March 27, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are

I'm a big Maurice Sendak fan (who isn't), and I'm also a big Spike Jonze fan (there are also many of those), so I've been following the development of this film adaptation pretty closely.

As closely as you can follow any production that has been mired down by so many rumours, half-truths, and curious misleads. Things like "the producers are making Jonze re-shoot the entire film because they don't like the effects," to "the producers are making Jonze re-shoot the entire film because they don't like the lead actor's performance," to "the producers have fired Jonze". I am sure there are many, many others...

What's given me hope throughout is this: the production stills I've seen look very promising, Sendak has given it his blessing, Jonze has a great way with visual effects, a way that insists on effects feeling physical (even if they're digital), Dave Eggers (whose fiction I greatly admire) was co-writing the screenplay, and Jim Henson Company was involved in a big way.

Now the trailer is out, it LOOKS like its a clear path to a release later this year, and all is as well as it can be. I think the trailer looks exciting, and hints at an emotional depth that I hope the film has.

I've long admired Sendak primarily for his insistence that kids can TAKE IT. And by "it" I mean the darker realms of human existence. Kids are humans, not "pre-humans," to be treated like idiots.

Consider Sendak's "Higglety Pigglety Pop!" to see how he addresses death, and the loss we feel when a loved one leaves us. Not material for kids? Then why is Sendak so popular?

Anyway, I hope this film is dark, scary, ferocious, angry, tender, loving, comforting, and moving. All those things can co-exist- in life, and in cinema.


jriggity said...

ME too man!!!

BIG Hopes and Hopes for this one.
Could be Pure Magic.


Dead End said...

It's interesting that you mention "Higglety Pigglety Pop," considering that it's being made into a short (by the Madame Tutli-Putli guys no less) that will eventually be on the Where The Wild Things Are DVD.

ChrisW said...

VERY interesting! What a small world. Their company's called Clyde Henry, by the way, but I can't seem to find anything online about this particular project (although I didn't search THAT hard). How do you know this is in the works?

Dead End said...

I'm a student at the University where Clyde Henry are using some of the facilities to shoot at, and I have a few friends who are working for them as production interns.

ChrisW said...

Well, very juicy news! Thanks for sharing (hope Clyde Henry's as happy you shared as I am). ;)

Eric Thivierge said...

I am actually in pre-production for Higglety Pigglety Pop short film. My job was to design and sculpt two characters: the Lion and the Milkman Cat. I meet a couple of times Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski to realise their vision of those two fellows of Sendak story. They know what they want and they are very intense. We are a couple of sfx makeup artist from Montreal working together to built all the characters.

Anyway, I don't want to say more, I don't want to spoil all nice surprises.

But I know they are planning to shoot by the end of May 2009.

I will put exclusive pics of my work on my site when Higglety Pigglety Pop!-Where The Wild Things Are DVD will comes out.

ChrisW said...

Hi Eric: That's a great update, I can't wait to see/learn more... I'll be sure to check out your site. Glad you're not spoiling surprises!

ChrisW said...

Great stuff on your site! Beautiful concepts and creations. The baby-like creature getting it's head and eyes stretched is killer.

Eric Thivierge said...

Exclusive pictures: making of HIGGLETY PIGGLETY POP!

On my official website: