Yesterday was a weird day. If you looked carefully at the mental map I made of Mickey’s head the other day, you realize that Uncle Slappy’s Big Box of Weirdness occupies a key position in the top center. I had a traffic accident in the parking lot of Long Middle School yesterday morning, banging bumpers with a lady named Vilma. The sun was in my eyes, and she started to go, then suddenly stopped for no reason I could see. No damage was done to anything but my pride. My wife put her parents, Tatang and Inang, on an airplane yesterday bound for the Philippine Islands, going home for a visit. Afterwards, my wife was feeling mortal, betting me that she was going to die before me even though I have the head start of six incurable diseases and surviving cancer once already. There are no symptoms for her impending heart attack, so I will probably win that bet. But the point is, it was a weird time yesterday to stumble weirdly over a weird and wacky movie on Netflix called Moonrise Kingdom. It is a Romeo and Juliet sort of story about two twelve-year-olds who fall in love at first sight, and though their families try to keep them apart, they end up together. Thankfully it is not a Shakespearian Tragedy where everybody dies at the end, though Sam is struck by lightning and the big storm nearly drowns all the boy scouts. It is more like a Shakespearian Comedy where everybody gets married at the end, though the twelve-year-olds don’t get married at the end… rather, they are married by the middle.
Wes Anderson is the genius director behind movies like;
None of which I have seen, but now have to watch ALL of them sooner or later. Kinda like the mad quest to see every Tim Burton movie ever made. I am one of the few idiots out there who think Dark Shadows was a truly wonderful movie, and along with Edward Scissor-hands, one of the finest things Johnny Depp has ever done.
In Moonrise Kingdom Anderson uses tracking shots at the beginning that shift quickly from one room to the next in a way that invokes an old-time slide show. The story is set in 1965 in Maine, and is filled with all kinds of iconic references to things we 60’s kids all vividly recall.
The movie also tells the love story of Sam and Suzy with a painter’s sense of iconic pictures that focus you on important plot points and themes.
And there are numerous quotable bits that make the movie what we teachers refer to as a text-rich environment, complete with phony kids’ books and maps and notes.
The all-star cast is pretty good, too.
This is now one of my new favorite movies. It is a happy-ending-type fairy tale with no fairies in it. It is full of ineffectual and incompetent adults who have rules of behavior like grown-ups and motivations like goofy kids… just like real life. The plot is driven by the notion that anything you do in life is a mistake, and mistakes have consequences, but you have to do them anyway because, well… that’s life.
Am I telling you that you should watch this movie too? Well, you should… but, no. I am simply gushing about this quirky movie because I like it, and yesterday was a very weird day.