The three of us, Michael, Lake and I, went to a cinematic dissection today at the SIFF headquarters in the Seattle Center. It was a six hour treatment of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom in the theme of Roger Ebert’s Cinema Interruptus. Lake was quite the devoted scholar throughout the entire duration. His manner was complimented by many. I find his sage behavior particularly notable given his current teething status.
It was pretty absorbing to dive so completely and thoroughly into the film. No stone was left unturned as we collectively went through the scenes frame by frame with a fine tooth comb. Moonrise Kingdom happens to be one of my favorite films so it wasn’t as excruciating as it may sound. We covered many themes as we explored the film together. We drew comparisons of cinematic reference to other landmark films such as Walkabout, Star Trek and others. We admired the brilliance of the framework established by Wes Anderson. We appreciated that this allows that the actors may truly shine. We analyzed the symbolism and technical aspects of the richness of the sets, as well as the multifaceted story of the characters and how all this together saturates the senses. We felt that the meticulous orderliness and visual symmetry of the film balanced the chaos of the family dynamics and characters’ minds.
Primarily I reveled in the purity with which the characters Sam and Suzy fall in love. This is in sharp contrast to the juvenile behaviors of the film’s adult characters. The children’s wisdom and maturity shines as they model a genuine love affair.
I enjoyed describing how meaningful these characters are to me. It especially meant a lot to share this when the audience pedantically disparaged their relationship odyssey. Sam and Suzy are an unlikely pair, to be fair. They are both lonely and misunderstood for different reasons, yet what they find in each other is a friend who accepts them wholly and then also continuously seeks to understand them. I find this simple act of acceptance to be incredibly powerful. This anecdote illustrates the profundity when Suzy catches a fish that Sam then cooks over the fire for their dinner. Sam goes on to suggest her kitten might like the fish scraps. She says that her kitten only eats kitten food. Screen shot of fish derived kitten food cans. Instead of arguing the inanity of her statement he nods and moves on to suggest they make an inventory of their travel items. To me, the acts of curiosity and kindness they show each other give Moonrise Kingdom it’s heart.
So after our six hours of scolarly dissection I’m left with this: Suzy and Sam are inspirational in the decency of their regard for each other and their aligned purpose. Sure, it’s whimsical and campy and fantastical. It’s also a richly woven epic love story.
Our children have so much to teach us. If we choose to listen. Lake endorses it!