Spike Jonze, Tim Burton and Wes Anderson:

Posted by Dale Townshend on September 11, 2009 in News tagged with

The North American directors, Spike Jonze, Tim Burton and Wes Anderson, well-known for their  particularly bizarre cinematographic aesthetics worldwide, are soon releasing their new films, which are adaptations of classic literature for children: Where the Wild Things Are (1963) by Maurice Sendak, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by Lewis Carroll and Roald Dahl’s  Fantastic Mr Wolf (1970).  The three masterpieces can arguably be labelled as Gothic for children since they deal with different tropes from the Gothic imagination, the little heroine looking for her identity throughout her adventure, a boy dressed up in a wolf suit  who penetrates an apparently nightmarish world dwelled by monsters, his own monsters,  and an anthropomorphic family of wolves, where the father  survives as a villain-hero, hated and loved.

The cinematographic versions of these classics explore their darkest sides; they add a tinge of the Gothic to them.  Although Carroll’s classic has not been considered as an example of Gothic for children, it has undeniably been the core of multiple versions which have added a horrific element to it, such as Rossetti’s Speaking Likenesses (1874). Burton has created a bleak landscape full of mist with characters that mingle the Gothic and the Grotesque. By the same token, Spike Jonze – Being John Malkovich, (1999) and different video clips for artists like Bjork- emphasizes the gloominess in Max’s paralell universe, the one inside his head, where he is a wolf surrounded by furry creatures he is able to tame. Likewise, Wes Anderson, whose films such as The Royal  Tenembaums (2001) are characterized by his caricaturesque personages and some non-sense situations, has created his own independent -from- Hollywood- style, which might suit Roald Dahl’s transgressive text for children. He has used the stop-motion animation, thanks to the initial co-direction of Henry Selick, who left the project to make Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Enjoy the trailers!

Where the Wild Things Are, Release Date: 10/16/09

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, In theatres: March, 2010 

Fantastic Mr Wolf, In theatres: November 2009

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