Sunday, October 18, 2009

Around "Where The Wild Things Are"

On my way to see Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are, based on the classic by Maurice Sendak, I stopped by a bookstore, where a Wild Things display attracted my attention - it featured not only the original book, and its novel-version by David Eggers, the film's screenwriters, but also books about the movie, dolls and more. I bought a superb coffee-table type volume,The Art Of Maurice Sendak; I discovered the master a few years ago, when he was profiled in The New Yorker, and fell in love with his work.
As for the movie, it's poignant yet tender and funny. The use of natural light reminded me sometimes of the luscious masters of the Renaissance, sometimes of Edward Hopper's icy canvases. Little Max confronts his personal demons, his wild things, through a journey that can only echo in all of us.

To celebrate the release of the film, Vice has asked 24 visual artists from all over the world to give their own take on this work; I got my hands on a copy of the resulting little book, which you can also download here.
I especially like the black and white drawing of Tony Millionaire (left), with its sharp angles and sea beasts straight out of a medieval manuscript, as well as the futuristic, urban and edgy illustration by Ray Sohn (below). The dreamy, textured, almost naive work of Ester Pearl Watson contrasts beautifully with Imiri Sakabashira's sleek, sophisticated Japanese bestiary...

35 comments:

Sam said...

Oooh! That book!! How desirable it is!! Good on you for getting it - what a lovely treat! ...you weren't tempted by the fluffy Maxs and Monsters? I think I would've been! Lovely informative post - thank you!

Laura Neulat said...

I love the colors of the the last pic. I'd love to see the whole book to explore the use of color - as for the images, they're a bit disturbing, but I guess that's the whole point!

Debra said...

I'm not familiar with Maurice Sendak- but Edward Hopper- I adore his work.

giulia said...

Wonderful, M-L. Will be back soon...a wild rumpus is in progress...(seriously).

xoxo

GG & Susan

marie-louise said...

Maurice Sendak, he is a idol for me!

artycho said...

What a treasure you have! I am longing for the film not yet released in the UK!

vintage simple said...

I can't wait to see the film.... It really seems (from the trailers) like they've managed to capture the spirit and magic of the picture book in a really poignant way....not a particularly easy thing to do. And that book you bought sounds fabulous - what a treat!

-maria

Spangler Cummings said...

You amaze me...what a complete review!

drollgirl said...

i sure love this book, and the drawings are just incredible.

i heard mixed reviews of the movie (sadly a very TERRIBLE review on npr), so i am not sure if i should see this movie now or wait for the dvd.

Mary-Laure said...

SAM - actually I was tempted by those fluffy toys, so fun, but Benjy would have thought they were for him and would have just destroyed them!!

DEBRA - you should check out Sendak's books, I'm sure your grandchildren would love them.

GIULIA - wild rumpus? I need to know more! Is Giulia the cat in trouble?

ARTYCHO - ah yes, isn't it annoying when that happens...?

DROLLGIRL - yes, I too read terrible reviews and heard that one on NPR. But I often find that critics are just jaded, and I don't often agree with them.

Debra said...

Mary-Laure~ Thank you for the suggestion-I just ordered In the Night Kitchen.

Solange said...

wow, how nice that you found such an interesting book. I am very curious about the movie, waiting for it to come out in the cinema here...

have a great week!

giulia said...

Yes, indeedy, ma'am. Julie aka Giulia was in trouble earlier today. I had to put her in the bedroom to settle down (she was jumping on my head & trying to dive off it onto the new laptop!).

She's desperate for me to watch her do acrobatics, etc. I cannot come running every time she does a 'come here' call. Which lately, is a lot. Poor girl.

Still waiting to hear outcome of adoption application for a GG companion. But put off another day as the reference-checker has emergency. So. I have the cutest photos of this one but it's not a done deal & I'm afraid to jinx it. Already refer to her too much.

The Rumpus Rebel is asleep out here in living room now, in a big fluffy ivory-colored throw. Sets off her red hair & creamy white areas...& that bubble-gum pink nose. Dontcha know.

ciao to the adorable, Benjy....

xoSusan

niftythriftyowl said...

I need to see that movie!!!

and i posted some puppy pics :-)

Mary-Laure said...

DEBRA - I hope they enjoy it... Keep me posted. The one I have at home is "The sign on Rosie's Door".

GIULIA - I'd love to see Giulia The Cat's acrobatics. I'm sure she's quite talented.
I just CAN'T WAIT to hear more about her friend/companion. Please do keep me posted. I demand pictures.
A friend of a friend found 3 abandoned newborn kittens in her garden last week... The pictures my friend sent me are beyond adorable. Fortunately, they have all found a loving home.

NIFTY... - puppies!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!

janis said...

I am excited to see this movie, Glad you liked it! I didn't realize there were other things created beside the original book and movie. I will have to check them out - thanks for the information Mary-Laure :)

abigail said...

I heard Maurice Sendak on the radio talking about the movie, the book, and respecting the intelligence and complexity of the emotions of children.
It was pretty great.
can't wait to see the movie.

Joyce said...

the pages are action filled and colorful. xoxo

Beth said...

When such illustrations (art) is combined with such a wonderful story, a treasure is created – for both young and old.
Have yet to see the movie but love the book.

Mary-Laure said...

JANIS - I hope you will tell us what you think of the movie on your blog...?

ABIGAIL - do you remember on what station you heard Sendak, and when? I'd really looooooooove to hear the interview!

BETH - it's rare when illustrations and the text go so perfectly together, no? It's a precious and delicate balance.

marie said...

i cant wait to see this! did you know it was filmed in melbourne :)

Mary-Laure said...

MARIE - no, I didn't know! I was wondering where it was shot, because the light is just SO BEAUTIFUL. It all makes sense now!
I'm sure you'll love it.

thereddeer said...

Man I can not wait to see this movie!!! One of my favourite ever childhood books!

Angie Muresan said...

I took my two little monkeys to see it yesterday. One of the pleasures of homeschooling is that we can go to the movies while everyone else is in school. We pretty much had the theater to ourselves, which the kids loved immensely. Afterward we went home and made costumes out of cardboard and left over upholstery velvet and took a walk in the woods, pretending we were wild things ourselves.

Mary-Laure said...

REDDEER - I hope you'll review the movie on your blog...

ANGIE - I am SO happy your little ones liked the movie! It sounds like you all had a magical day.

Esti said...

The books look great. I can't wait to see the movie.

Jill said...

oh, i do want to go see this movie! it is playing right near my house in davis square :) also, i love the book...we had a copy at work when i used to work in a book arts library and i spent a whole quiet summer day reading it. i love his work!

J Elaine said...

Did you sneak Benjy in with you? That would be rad. What a bunch of fun we would have if we all three went to a matinée! Popcorn and croquettes!

J Elaine said...

Do you think he would cooperate?

Mary-Laure said...

JILL - working in an arts book library... it must have been magical. Sometimes I think I missed my calling - librarian.

J ELAINE - cooperate he most certainly would not, as is his wont. At best he's sneak under my shawl and snore - more popcorn for us.

Annie said...

I am so looking forward to seeing this movie. The book looks fab :-).

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

Great display, lovely photos. Can't wait to see the film myself - got a few busy weeks coming up but it's on the list!

apriliniowa said...

We took our son to see the film on Sunday and I may have been the only adult weeping in the theater. All those young wounds. All that wild love.
It was the first children's film I've ever seen that captured my own childhood. And it's soundtrack. I, for one, adored it. As well as your review and references. I hope this finds you well.

Hila said...

Fantastic post Mary-Laure, thanks for this!

Julia said...

Very cool!