Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

“Where the Wild Things Are” (2009)



Many critics, commentators, or simple serious film goers believe we live in a time of decadence, a decaying time when serious, groundbreaking, ambitious films are harder and harder to find. I disagree. It is possible that in no other time since film exists did we have so many intelligent and sensitive filmmakers working. Among several threads, usually built around cultural roots (the Mexican, the korean), we have a number of contemporary creators who collectively and individually created new solutions, innovated in lasting ways, while producing a highly personal and sincere kind of film. Jonze, Gondry, Kaufman (maybe we can extend this to Medem). I find “Malkovich” and “sunshine” two fundamental milestones of this kind of film. If you consider Medem, a couple more works should be considered fundamental.

What is it about? Links, connections, mind exploration, imagination rooted on how imagination works. Portals, transitions, muddy grounds for uneasy minds. This is essential post modern cinema stuff. As watchers, we become spectators of someone’s mind, visitors of that mind, many times, like here, literally visitors. This film invests that notion with the idea of the creation of a whole complete world (borrowed from a book), filled with perfectly defined characters, each a fraction of the whole self. Self reference. this, we have Jonze, who renews a certain lyric idea of cinema. Carter Burwell helps; a lot. Jonze does not press on the irony key, like Kaufman does, nor does he become cynical, like Gondry does. He is a lyrical, he invests all his creativity on the poetic envisioning of things, of the world itself, of how it unfolds. The structure in his films is perfectly revealed to us, and leaves no doubt. So we concentrate on the textures of the world, on how feelings ache, on how painful it is to be every fraction (character) of the world he proposes. Malkovich out did every thing, and created something unique. This is his next great thing.

Here, the collective effort of a single mind is visually invested in the creation of a structure, an architectural structure, the fort Max builds in his imagination. In how we watch that structure grow, we watch Max develop his imagined connections with his invented selfs. In a way, the structure, and the vision of that structure (the model) is a world within the world Max creates, and it becomes a character by itself. Landscapes: desert, forest, sea; set the needed moods.

This is a highly sensitive world, like the inside of a body, where everything you touch has the highest impact, like the inside of KW, where Max hides. It’s a world of doors, windows, connections. Sex.

My opinion: 4/5

This comment on IMDb


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