Where the “Wild Things” weren’tBy FRANCIS NELSON
Many fans of the popular children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak were looking forward to seeing this classic made into a feature-length presentation. However, some were concerned with how well you could turn a very short book into a full-on movie. Director Spike Jonze took on this task. The book was originally written in 1963, long before most of us students, and some of the faculty, were even born, so there were quite a few who had never heard of “Where the Wild Things Are” until the movie was being made.
For those who are out of the “Wild Things” loop, the story centers on a young boy named Max who runs away from home in a fit of anger because he doesn’t get the attention he feels he deserves. He’s the typical young child who has yet to learn that the world does not (surprise, surprise) revolve around him. He is also very sensitive and throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way. Unlike most boys his age, he runs around wearing wolf-like pajamas and biting small dogs. He also ends up biting his mother in front of her boyfriend, which causes her to yell at him, which in turn causes him to cry and run away.
Max still doesn’t get the whole “cause and effect” concept, so he thinks she is just being mean. Apparently, it’s perfectly okay in his mind to bite people. In case you’re wondering, it’s not. Max runs through the woods until he finds (read: steals) a boat and sets sail across the sea until he reaches an island, where he stumbles upon the Wild Things who look every bit like they fell off the page of a children’s book. The costuming was great in this movie. Simply phenomenal. After Max informs the Wild Things that he has powers, the most violent one of the group, Carol (James Gandolfini), names Max their king instead of eating him.
As king, Max convinces the lot to build a place “where only the things you want to have happen, happen.” He promises that anyone who enters their fortress but is unwanted will have their brains automatically cut out. Over the next few days, Max learns a lesson in the meaning of the expression, “What a tangled web we weave, if we wish to deceive.” Many of the Wild Things, particularly Judith (Catherine O’Hara), begin to doubt Max’s powers and slowly start to turn on him. It ultimately comes crashing down, as do all houses built on lies, leaving a very angry and very violent Carol, who is very hurt as well.
There is a small subplot between Carol and KW (Lauren Ambrose) in which both Wild Things go from being best friends to not wanting to be around each other because of their constant fighting. This is useful because it helps to set up some of the points necessary for the main plot. Through it, Max, as well as the audience, gets a quick lesson on not being jealous of your friends having other friends and most anything can be worked out if only people are willing to try. The movie does get slow around the middle, even for long-time fans, so if you’re new to the whole Wild Things universe, you may even find yourself bored.
I was extremely excited for this movie all summer long and was quite happy to see it with two of my friends who are also huge fans of the book. Unfortunately, if you aren’t a longtime fan, you may not like it as much as we did. I’m giving this movie two ratings simply because of the sharp divide. For long-time fans, the movie gets four stars because this movie was obviously geared towards us and not so much towards enlarging the fan base. For newcomers, I’d rate it three stars, because it’s still a good movie, but you kind of need to be in the inner circle of those who read it growing up to fully appreciate it.
Featured Artist of the Week
Hometown: Frankfort, Ky.
“My name is Megan Sauter and I am a Studio Art Major! My emphasis is in sculpture and ceramics. I love to work with my hands to create three-dimensional sculptures that convey a conceptual meaning. I also enjoy sculpting clay, as well as throwing it on a potter’s wheel. Georgetown College has given me the opportunity to travel abroad to Japan to study a traditional puppet making technique, Karakuri. I hope to go to Italy in the spring to study art at Lorenzo de’ Medici. I am currently in an internship with Anne Elliot, a studio potter in the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. After my undergraduate I intend to get my Masters in Ceramics, once I complete an artist in residency. I am fortunate to have mentors in the Art Department who have challenged me and offered me opportunities that will prepare me for my future.”
A blast from the recent pastBy KRISTEN SNYDER
The Home Economics exhibit features numerous house-warming antiques, such as chinawear for ettiquette and homemade dresses and fabrics with an old sewing machine and pattern booklets. You can find this quaint display showcased in the Cochenour Galleryin the LRC. The exhibit is headed by Art Professor Juilee Decker and her curatorial studies students. This exhibit is open to the public on weekdays from 7:45 am to 1 am but closes at 6 pm on Fridays. The exhibit will run through Nov. 13. Go check it out for a blast from homes of the past.