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Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Posted on by sam

Sound Moonrise Kingdom

Director: Wes Anderson (2012)

Forgive me Showroom Cinema for I have sinned………..

I’m not sure how many years it’s been since my last……………………Actually I’ve never done confession. I came close once; Tom and I were down in London carrying out auditions for a triple feature short that never ended up getting made, (YoungDumbNumb, before you don’t ask). We had a three hour gap between the last audition (eliminated themself by liking Terminator 3, TERMINATOR 3 IS PAIN) and our cheap train home. Time to kill in our nation’s capital; we wandered around until we heard the unmistakable sounds of people yelling incoherently into megaphones. Hopeful of a protest or one of those famous anti-disability/student/ethnic minority/trade union/human decency metropolitan police kettlings, we decided to investigate. A queue presented itself, joining it, it turned out not to be a queue for traditional police brutality but a one night only catholic pilgrimage of the touring holy remains of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, a woman who spent/wasted her life as a nun/virgin, wrote a memoir about her organised/repetitive life and then was promptly made a saint upon her death. I’d be more scornful but not being a racist, homophobic child-molester with a penchant for torturing Muslims actually makes her the best behaved Saint I’ve ever heard of.

Indie Film Bastion.............. Of Sorts

Much to Tom’s Chagrin (his exact phrase was, you’re a Jew who doesn’t believe in god and I don’t care), I insisted we fulfil our newly attained holy pilgrimage responsibilities to the likely bitter end. So, armed with a flower and a candle, (Tom got a candle) we stood less than transfixed by the site of men in incredibly tall hats sat on chairs. Finally we walked into a large church/abbey/cathedral thing, followed a corridor for what seemed like an hour and dropped the flower off at what can only be described as a decidedly ordinary box/coffin containing holy remains/chocolate (Tom kept his candle because he was, ‘fucked if he wasn’t get something out of it’). On the way out the option of taking confession presented itself, I suggested to Tom we do so, he responded with a look that suggested a catholic confession was the last thing in the world he’d like to do, so we left quickly. That’s the closest I’ve come to doing confession. Also, the concept of confession freaks me out, I don’t know, to me it suggests I’ve done something wrong, but hidden it deep down, not talking about it but unable to deal with it, waiting instead to discuss the matter in a tiny structure (I assume confession booths are tiny, as mentioned I’ve never actually been in one). I don’t think that’s a particularly good or healthy way to live, on the disappointingly frequent occasions I’ve done something wrong, I’d rather hold my hand up and admit to it………… then go into 6 years of self-loathing. I reckon you’re much less likely to molest a child that way.

Sorry dearest Showroom Cinema, I got distracted there, anyway, the point I’m getting at is I haven’t done confession before, so for my first time  I wish to confess the following; I haven’t always been the best patron. I hated Cache/Hidden even though artistic film god Michael Haneke directed it, (Boring, slow, unnecessary, could have been summed up in five minutes/populated by a world of stupid illogical arse-holes/ANNOYING CHILD ACTOR!). I Don’t care for about two thirds of the Sheffield Doc/Fest line-up each year, (Kudos to you for standing up to The Chinese leadership though, that puts you ahead of every world leader currently in office and Google). I’m not particularly impressed by your food menu despite frequent usage of phrases like; Whole Grained, Balsamic, Caramelised and Organic, couldn’t be less enthused by the offer of expensive home-made ice-cream or rooftop gardens with food that costs twenty quid a pop, I have never, nor will ever see the atmospheric contribution of having plants stencilled on a wall and I’m nowhere near cool enough to be impressed by teas named after former British Empire colonies or Disney Princesses. It just seems sometimes that you’re a bit too John Waters before Divine’s death for me. Oh, and there was that unfortunate incident where you (quite possibly illegally) fired that guy who was part of The Industrial Workers of the World Union, my none-existent god that episode led to so many crap emails filling my inbox. Ok four.

Those sources of friction not-withstanding, I’m slowly becoming a convert to your beret-wearing culture. It started when Sheffield proudly erected a car-park in the image of a cheese grater right in the city centre and continued when you started and showing some truly wonderful Eastern European films (Thanks to you I discovered Underground smiley face :-) ). I started to see you as a bastion for people aiming to be something more than cheese grater enthusiasts. The turning point, where I’ve start recommending you dear Showroom has just occurred, thanks to your treatment of Moonrise Kingdom, which incidentally is a film directed by Wes Anderson of Fantastic Mr Fox, Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limted and The Royal Tenenbaums fame (3 out of 4 aint bad).  Since I saw this masterpiece, which incidentally features the indie dream supporting cast of Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwarztman and Bob freakin Balaban, in your screen 2 Showroom Cinema, I’ve recommended it to all and sundry. The problem was no one could find anywhere still showing it, but lo then your next week’s screening times would come out and for at least a fortnight you fought like a tiger to keep Moonrise Kingdom among them. The way in which you kept screening this film has been nothing short of, well a bit short of, well quite a bit short of but still slightly inspiring.

My Father, who didn’t cut off a sixth toe in order to walk normally but ended up with a permanent limp instead, described Moonrise Kingdom as a gem, and I get the feeling you’re a cinema that agrees. You gave some good promotion upon its release and even gave the poster a more prominent position than ‘No Kung Pao Chicken this time’ DocFest. Moonrise is definitely a word of mouth film and you’re approach allowed it to be so. Sure you’ve stopped showing it now, but you kept it going for that extra week or two, and that makes me want to not shake my head at you.

I guess what I’m trying to say Showroom Cinema, is that Moonrise Kingdom, which incidentally is set on one of those New England Island’s usually reserved for depressing films about isolation and also incidentally tells the story of two 12 year olds who decide to go on an adventure, is a great film, a great great great great greaty great great great great film, almost certainly the best I’ll see all year and you made that possible. That Odeon was too busy taking in their latest shipment of overpriced 3-D Glasses, Cineworld’s time is occupied with it’s Imax and can’t be wasted on something set in New England and Meadowhall’s cinema is only for fifteen year olds who find Keith Lemon and stabbing each other funny. You, Showroom Cinema were the King Maker, and what a King, everything about Moonrise Kingdom is sublime from start to finish, everything, I loved watching it and will love owning the DVD.

I’m glad we could come together like this Showroom Cinema, glad we could over-come all those boring adaptations of novels by Haruki Murakami (DanceDanceDance is one of the finest book in existence so if they even try making that one I’ll die inside a little) and weird broadcasts of theatre plays. I mean why broadcast a theatre performance as a film, didn’t work in Dogville for Mr Inappropriate Lars Van Trier so why would the guy who plays Sherlock Holmes change that, walls people, that’s one of the things filmgoers expect to see, not chalk lines. Side-tracked myself again there Showroom Cinema, anyway, I’m glad it’s happened like this, now we can meet each other in your Café/bar (your name for it, I’d go with indie eatery cause that’s what it is), get a couple of over-priced cokes (didn’t do cranberry juice last time I checked), look at the stencilled plants on the wall, then the weird arch thing you have that obscures the toilets and finally into each other’s eyes and not speak.. That right, not speak, words won’t be needed dear Showroom Cinema, instead we’ll just know.

What we’ll know is that Moonrise Kingdom is such a good film, so enjoyable, so splendid, I got scared a film review formatted in any way other than as a letter to your good self would be little more than an exercise in gushy hyperbole and oppositional filmic rhetoric. I also didn’t want to ruin any of the plot hoping that anyone who reads this, (Happens every so often) will immediately go out and wait for Moonrise Kingdom to come out on DVD so they can see it for themselves. Oh, and I also hope this hasn’t disqualified HFP from Showroom Shorts as soon as we make something not quite too crap to be entered…………

Written by Sam ‘It will be better than The Dark Knight Rises before you ask’ McKinstrie

Unnecessarily on twitter as McKinstHFP

See HFP’s videos at www.youtube.com/MrHFProductions

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  • http://happyfingersproductions.com/reviews/film-review-the-master/ Film Review: The Master | | Happy Fingers ProductionsHappy Fingers Productions

    [...] I’d recommend it. In my opinion the best film I’ve seen this year so far has been the sublime Moonrise Kingdom (sadly also one of the worst written reviews on the site), but the film I’ll still be thinking [...]