Director of Batman Dead End and the upcoming film Hunter Prey, Sandy Collora, has sent us his thoughts on the Spike Jonez film, Where the Wild Things Are, which as you know, I absolutely loved. Now read what Sandy thought of it below.
When I was a kid, I gauged the coolness of a movie by how badly I wanted to BE someone in it. 'Star Wars' was cool because I wanted to be Han Solo. 'Raiders' was cool because I wanted to be Indiana Jones. As I grew up and found myself working in the film industry, things like opening weekends and box office numbers quickly became the criteria on which movies were judged. At least by the people that were in charge of writing the checks to make them, anyway...
I first read 'Where the Wild Things Are' in the mid seventies and fell in love with it immediately. The whole concept was awesome and I've always been completely fascinated with the artwork. At that time in my life, at seven years old, I related to it kinda like I did the Sid and Marty Krofft shows... It was about a kid, lost in world inhabited by the denizens of his own imagination. Considering the fact that I've spent the better part of my life in my own imagination, I've always revered that book and have read it quite often actually over the years, enjoying the creativity and the freedom of it more and more, every time I read it. Naturally, when I heard they were making it into a movie, I was super excited. Well, I just saw the film and though there are a great many reasons why I absolutely adored it, I'm going to share the most important one with you;
It made me want to BE Max. I haven't felt like that about a film in a really, really long time, and let me tell you, it was wonderful... Even more wonderful than that however, is while nestled in the amazing journey of watching this movie, I realized something; I didn't have to dream about being Max... I AM Max. We all are. We'll never really fly the Millennium Falcon or find the lost Ark of the Covenant, but we can imagine our own worlds, inhabited with all kinds of unearthly creatures of our own design... Hell, I'm even fortunate enough to make a living doing it.
There's a Max inside each and every one of us; A king. Rulers of our own little universes. Even though for some, that inner child sometimes resides only in the deepest, darkest parts of their being, this movie will find it, tap into it, and release it like a beautiful butterfly emerging from its cocoon. The sheer joy of being a child and disappearing into the world of your own imagination, is the greatest of all things in this life. This film not only illustrates that in the most purest and profound of ways, but celebrates it, which is so very important. Young people these days seem to be growing up so fast, they don't really allow themselves to be kids. They're so preoccupied with being grown up, they're missing out on the greatest gift of this life... If they only realized that what they can create in their own imaginations, is so much more important than staring endlessly into their iphones or blackberries, texting and tweeting their youth away.
We look at the world today so critically, so cynically... I had the biggest smile on face through this entire movie because not once, did I even care or acknowledge there was even a world outside the theater I was sitting in. I simply lost myself in this incredible piece of work. It's very refreshing, in this day and age, to see a film so artistic, so beautiful, so... Warm and inviting. A film that's not centered around a gimmick, cut like a music video, over or under saturated, or hurling shaky images at you one after another. On so many levels, 'Where the Wild Things Are' is a such a bold departure from the rut that American cinema has unfortunately fallen into. It proves that adventure, fun, and the limitless palette of imagination available not only to the filmmaker, but to each and every one of us, is paramount when it comes to creating a world, and telling a story in it, through the medium of film.
Every element of this movie speaks both the simplest and yet the most refined and sophisticated grammar of the film language. It is in a word; Brilliant. The script, the cinematography, the costumes, the acting, the music, are incredibly well done. Both as separate elements and as a whole. It is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful movies ever photographed, and I cannot stop listening to the soundtrack... It reminds me so much of the warmth and creative solitude of my own childhood and gives me hope for the future of our industry. Mr. Jonze, Mr. Sendak, Mr. Accord, Karen O and the Kids, and everyone involved in the creative collaboration of bringing this magnificent film to life... Thank you. Thank you so very much.
Go see this film, pick up the soundtrack, and find your inner Max... "Let the wild rumpus start!!!"
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