Friday, August 10, 2012

A Rhode Island state of mind

Moonrise Kingdom (at the Landmark Main; dir. Wes Anderson) may not have been my favourite flick so far this year – I have a problem with movies about kids, even ones who act like grown-ups – but it was kind of neat for a special reason. I watched it while vacationing in Rhode Island. You see, MK was actually shot in the renowned “Ocean State,” which, for those who keep track of such things, is the smallest state in the Union and the last of the 13 Colonies to sign the Declaration of Independence. Yes, even RI’ers joke about how small their state is (as I actually heard people doing in a movie theatre corridor), roughly about the size of Essex, Kent and Lambton counties combined.....In any case, what was fun about the film were the various locations where Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) try to evade the grown-ups, who are, after all, rather more childlike than them - natch.....The setting is a fictitious place called New Penzance and the year is 1965, exactly when I was Boy Scout, so I should identify, right? The stellar cast features Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel and Tilda Swinton....RI was a new experience for me and after almost six weeks there I started to become somewhat familiar with the place names. Most of the film is shot around Narragansett Bay, which forms the centre of the state pushed up from Rhode Island Sound and was two blocks from where I stayed in leafy Cranston. Narragansett is also the name of a great traditional RI lager!  The movie’s original site for a scout camp was Block Island, RI’s version of Martha’s Vineyard, but director Anderson never made the fact-finding trip because of choppy seas, according to the Providence Phoenix weekly.....If you have kids you’ll probably like this movie a lot, or so a friend of mine, who has one, said. I don’t but still like kids. Still, you’ve got to wonder why Anderson made this. Reviving childhood memories even though he didn't exist then? More likely because his stuff is generally way offbeat.....The best part were the final credits, where Benjamin Britten’s The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, played in background. It introduces the myriad symphonic instruments as each makes its way into the piece of music. Now, that, for a kid as well as adult, is almost hypnotic.

No comments:

Post a Comment