2012 Film Challenge #51 - Moonrise Kingdom
I intentionally avoided reading anything that had anything to do with Moonrise Kingdom before going to see it.
Critics are insecure. Determined to come across as seasoned and discerning, they cannot allow for genius to exist and everything must have an angle.
Heaven forbid that they should ever profess to liking anything without putting their appreciation into some kind of context.
Critics do not deserve our respect, and they certainly do not deserve our money.
But they do deserve our pity. It must be hard watching and listening to things with those cancerous crabs gnawing at your cortex demanding that you find something to hate.
Not wanting to subject myself to reams of feeble copy concerning empty whimsy (or whatever “angle” those poor bastards chose), when I sat down to watch Moonrise Kingdom, I knew nothing about it that couldn't be gleamed from glancing at its poster.
In January 2011, I had only seen two Wes Anderson films (The Life Aquatic and Rushmore). I have now seen absolutely everything he's ever made. In the past year he's cemented his position amongst my two other heroes of film-making: Without hesitation I now rank him alongside Stanley Kubrick and David Lynch.
All three make such beautiful feasts of films as can be identified as part of their respective canons within seconds. All three also succeed in creating onscreen worlds so real as to feel like a waking-dream (Kubrick) or a relentless nightmare (Lynch).
Wes Anderson, though, creates worlds so wonderful that I never want to leave. So long as his films are playing, everything's OK.
I was genuinely saddened when the credits first began to roll for Moonrise Kingdom. The fun was over, and it was time to return to the horrible, dreary, cynical real world once more.
Wes Anderson films always feel like the most fantastic adventures. Awash with colour, proud uniforms, coffee-house manners, paperback books and handmade elegance, they look as though even the camera on which they were shot was made out of wood and operated by cogwheels.
Fantasy, escapism and willful pretending are just as relevant and real as grime and grit, kids. It's OK to yearn for something ordered, warming and inviting when so much of this world seems designed to make you feel ashamed to be human.