I finally saw Moonrise Kingdom! On a massive screen, perfectly projected, the smell of popcorn surrounding me and in the company of a couple of friends. After a while of abstinence I was thrilled to be in a multiplex again, as I must admit, even though I love the arthouse theatres and do much rather support them instead of the big players, the size of the screens, the light intensity of the projectors and the guys selling ice cream from their hawker’s trays in the multiplex do have an appeal to me.
Before I get started on a debate about the various cinema experiences, let’s get to the film…
Moonrise Kingdom tells the tale of a young love. At a Benjamin Britten Opera performance, it’s love at first sight for 12-year-old Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward). They keep in touch via mail (letters as it is 1965) and decide to run away together. Suzy leaves her family behind: three perfect little brothers and her parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), whose advisory book on difficult children she found, immediatly knowing they aren’t reading it because of her brothers (an autobiographical detail from Wes Andersons life). Sam escapes from the Scout Camp Fort Lebanon, where he is the unpopular weirdo of the group.
Both are running from institutions that are meant to be support systems but still change, adjust and ‘fix’ but essentially also deform – especially children. By disappearing from these structures Sam and Suzy negate these and turn the lifes of those left behind upside down.
More than this story Wes Andersons newest film is a tableau vivantes. Every picture is perfectly planned and arranged. Theres so much detail in each one can loose oneself, and to keep up with all the references and cites you have to constantly keep working in order not to miss half of them.
This richness in detail leads to a quite daring amount of artificiality. Wes Anderson doesn’t even try to create authentic scenes, but rather fights this ideal proposed by many of his colleagues. Still the caricatures that are his characters generate authentic emotions in Anderson’s audience. And that’s exactly what I experience as one of the great qualities of Wes Anderson: the authenticity he generates through artificiality.
All the little details and colourful images I took with me from the theatre are currently arranging the picture that will become Moonrise Kingdom in my memory. From day to day this is becoming more positive, because in the cinema the film entertained and amused but it’s real magic is only coming to me now.