Fall will be all about “making mischief”, thanks to the much-anticipated release of the Spike Jonze directed Where the Wild Things Are. The film version of Maurice Sendak’s classic childrens’ book has been in production for years now (since 06 to be exact), with rumors as recent as late ’08 suggesting that the film would be shelved by production company Warner Brothers for being “too dark and disturbing”. Fortunately, with trailers being leaked left and right, a score in the works from Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O and a goldmine of monster-related high-end product lines set to drop, the film will see the light of day this fall!
Published in 1963, the 10-line book is the story of a misbehaving boy named Max who goes on a wild adventure when his room magically transforms into a jungle populated by massive monster “Wild Things”. Although Sendak’s illustrations of the creatures were frightening, Max uses his conniving powers to rule the monsters and is made “the King of all Wild Things”. Being King isn’t all it’s cracked up to be though, so a lonely Max ends up leaving the land of the Wild Things and returning home to his bedroom. Reception of the book was mixed– it was critically acclaimed, but many librarians and educators at the time deemed it “appalling” and “inappropriate for children”. Because the book represents the unknown world of “monsters” as scary creatures that are eventually subdued by a bratty child (who, by the way, is never punished for his “bad behavior”), many parents felt as if the book was sending mixed messages. Basically, grown-ups didn’t like a book that was possibly suggesting to kids that being bad wasn’t all that dangerous, and could even end up making you King!
Despite the book’s unclear motives, it became a bedtime story/thriller cult favorite that had a profound impact on the childhood of many of today’s key taste makers–grown-up hipsters have been going nuts for the damn book for years now! Enter Spike Jonze, known for his visionary work on films such as Being John Malkovich and a slew of super-awesome music videos (click the link for a seriously dope flashback to some of his work!). The auteur has taken a dark surrealist approach to the film, hoping to bring the book’s mysterious nature to the screen with a live-action version. Relying mostly on a handheld camera and nifty animatronics, the director has created an ethereal, spooky feel that the oh-so-cool set is already “making mischief” for. Indeed, Jonze has created a line of Wild Things inspired decks for his skateboard brand Girl Skateboards and monster-inflected skate shoes for Lakai.
Most exciting is Jonze’s collaboration with cutting-edge fashion boutique Opening Ceremony to create lines of high-end products influenced by Sendak’s tale. Jonze revealed to W Magazine that his interest in the cutting-edge bi coastal boutique came about based on the store’s unusual name: “Even the name itself is such a mysterious name. Like, who would name a store Opening Ceremony?” Keeping that incongruity in mind, Jonze knew it was only fitting to collaborate with OC co-founder Humberto Leon and accessories designer Pamela Love to create lines of outerwear and jewelry. The result is a smart, adult-friendly line of jewelry that’s fashion forward and practical at the same time. Love’s leather and metallic based pieces play subtle homage to Max’s monster friends with detailing such as silver horns. Wild Things influences are paired with more trendy themes such as feathers, while tarnished-looking crowns and crescent moons serve as pendants on the too-cute charm bracelet perfect for kids and adults alike.
With product lines aimed at everyone from skatboarding kiddies to the most elite of fashion circles, you have to wonder if the hype will overshadow the actual film. But with Spike Jonze at the helm of it all, and a badass trailer to boot, we seriously doubt that. After all, the man has been the “King of the Wild Things” for years now, just ask his his legions of fans–from celebs to the average movie-goer.
Make sure to check out the film when it hits theaters on October 16th!
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