Dave Eggers vs the Wild Things
If you’re not already feeling exhausted by the promotional campaign for Where the Wild Things Are, this week’s New Yorker has an interview with the freewheeling Dave Eggers, who has a lot of very interesting things to say about The Wild Things, his novelization of the script of Spike Jonze’s film adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s picture book. You can also read a chapter of Eggers’ novel here, or pre-order a special fur-covered edition from Amazon here (go on, you know you want to).
Meanwhile the extended trailer featuring interviews with Sendak and Jonze which was released a few weeks ago seems to have reappeared on Youtube (at the time of my last post it seemed to have been removed for copyright reasons). Hopefully it won’t vanish again, because it’s really rather wonderful to hear Sendak speak about his creation.
And if you’re a bit bemused by the notion of a novel based on a film adapted from a children’s book, perhaps I could point you to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, a book which was not, in fact, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but Fred Saberhagen’s novelization of Francis Ford Coppola’s movie. Hollywood meet Irony. Irony, this is Hollywood.
I don´t feel much exhaustion for the promotion of The Wild Things, in fact, I feel the opposite, there´s a sort of exhiliration walking into a cinema in Parramatta or Mexico City or wherever and finding that minimalistic poster with the cut-up clawed tree staring at you and all around you are posters for ‘Ice Age 3’, ‘Terminator 4’, ‘Transformers 2’. In the Greater Union cinema in Parramatta that was the only original film poster there. Besides, this has been a long, long time coming. The film was supposed to be out last year and a lot of us lost confidence in the possibility of the film ever seeing the light of day, or the dark of the cinema, as it were. Eggers transition to film seems to have been a success with this film and the Sam Mendes directed Away We Go. Still, I’ll be seeing the film for Spike Jonze’s direction over Eggers writing, and I won’t be reading the novelisation. I’m a big fan of Jonze, so much saw that I’m going to ensure that I’m in the audience when he speaks at MOMA in New York with Sendak about the film in early October. MOMA are doing a definitive retrospective of Jonze’s work, titled, cheekily enough, ‘Spike Jonze: The First 80 Years’. I’ll report back when I’ve seen it and hopefully write something on Jonze and his cinematic endeavours.
I think now that I’ve finally watched it, my brain has managed to tune out to the excessive marketing campaign for Where the Wild Things Are.
Good on them all for managing to squeeze as many marketable products out of this children’s classic. All writers need to make a living somehow, even if they are Dave Eggers.