Tuesday, June 05, 2012

movie notes.

Two films from SIFF stand out for me particularly, and it's no coincidence that they are both about childhood. The first is Hirokazu Koreeda's 'I Wish,' and the second is Wes Anderson's 'Moonrise Kingdom.' I understand now that I am particularly drawn to stories about childhood, about hopes and dreams and journeys, first loves and young sorrows, adventures and homecomings. Movies like 'Hope and Glory,' 'Au Revoir Les Enfants' and 'The 400 Blows' have stayed with me for most of my life, and what I look for now in a film is that same understanding of what it means to be young. There is an innocence and freedom and yet not a care-freeness. There is divorce and separation and being orphaned and being misunderstood by one's parents. There are wars and volcanoes and hurricanes. The gaze is a direct one, and it forces you to look inward.

Koreeda is perhaps a direct heir to Ozu's 'Good Morning,' with that same candidness of purpose in the two young brothers. Planning to bring their parents back together, running through their respective cities like the boys in Truffaut's '400 Blows,' ultimately coming to understand that even if their family is apart, there will always be that tie of brotherhood between them.

Anderson has of course his own visual language, verging on twee and yet for me not too overwhelming so. I have loved his work for a long time, and I will always remember what he said when he won an MTV Movie Award for 'Bottle Rocket.' He said something about how a bottle rocket was a little firecracker that didn't get very high off the ground, but it got as high as it was meant to go. His film named for that little firecracker did exactly that; it went as high as he intended it to go. There is always a sense of meticulous attention to every detail, every gesture, every word. Every film is like a perfectly timed firework that goes exactly where he wants it to go.

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