The Rolling Stones – The Lantern
The fact that the state government closes down today in honor of Veteran’s day provides me with the excuse of going out to see a movie on a school night. Last evening’s showcase was a preview screening of Wes Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
Perhaps what struck me is that this screening of a film that is both animated (in glorious old-school stop-motion fashion) and only rated “PG” was attended by no children whatsoever. It was all adults going to see this adaptation of a kid’s story. And while this film is certainly appropriate for children, particularly in terms of content and plot, this room full of adults was fully entertained and amazed at the beautiful scenery, and idiosyncratic dialogue. While most “kids movies” I can certainly tolerate for 90 minutes, this one had me (and the rest of the audience) laughing out loud.
In fact, this whole event reminded me of the fact that just a few weeks ago, another film, Spike Jonze’s new adaptation of Where The Wild Things Are was released. Again, based on a kid’s book, again merely rated PG. And again, when I went to see it, I found myself in a theatre full of adults who, aside from being dumbfounded at how 10 sentences of text could be expanded into 2 hours of film, wondered at the escape back into the world of Max and his Wild Things. And again, while certainly containing nothing inappropriate for children, this was a film that finally was able to re-tell a great story, with deep characters in a meaningful way to adults.
What’s my hope? My hope is that these two recent films are merely the beginning of a renewed movement toward retelling some classics in a non-trite, meaningful way to all of today’s audiences. Far too often, kids movies are simply escapism, but every so often, one sticks with you (even with Pixar’s last two ventures, Wall-E, and Up).
Here are a few suggestions of future filmic adaptations I’d love to see!
- P.T. Anderson – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
- Martin Scorsese – The Snowy Day
- Joel and Ethan Coen – Millions of Cats
- Terence Malick – The Story of Ping
- Quentin Tarantino – The Story of Ferdinand
- Tim Burton – The Missing Piece
- Charlie Kaufman – Corduroy
Got more suggestions? Post them here!