Long considered unfilmable, much to the chagrin of Hollywood studios hoping to capitalize on its enduring popularity, Maurice Sendak’s 1963 children’s book Where the Wild Things Are is hardly plot-heavy. At 20 pages and 10 sentences in length, Sendak’s vision is communicated primarily through his handsome, evocative illustrations.
Now, after nearly two decades of false starts and delayed release dates, comes director Spike Jonze’s big-screen adaptation, fleshed out on the written page by Jonze, whose Being John Malkovich (1999) impressed Sendak, and Dave Eggers, author of the bestselling Pulitzer Prize finalist A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.
Were they tempted to take liberties with Sendak’s minimalist prose?
It was an inspired gamble. Julie Powell, then a low-level government employee in her late 20s and looking, as she put it, “to pull myself out of a tailspin of secretarial ennui,” embarked on a quest to follow all 524 recipes detailed in Julia Child’s epic 1961 cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, in the span of a single year. Powell chronicled her experiences in a candid, sharply written blog, and a culinary star was born.
Duncan Jones wasn’t pleased with the state of contemporary science-fiction cinema. So he did something about it.
Best known as the son of music icon David Bowie, Jones, 38 – a.k.a. Zowie Bowie – has established himself as a director of high-concept commercials and low-budget music videos. Now, the College of Wooster graduate, who grew up filming Star Wars-inspired one-stop animation movies on an eight-millimeter camera with his father, has moved to the big screen with his impressively cerebral feature-length debut, Moon.