On Tuesday, night, Jake and I went to the Chicago premiere of Where The Wild Things Are.
(See the trailer HERE. I'm not sure how to embed it without everything looking silly.)
It was great. The Music Box was packed head to toe with hipsters — good people watching. Dave Eggers brought Max Records, who plays Max, for a hysterical Q & A before the screening. Afterwards, Spike Jonez and Catherine Keener answered questions, too. I'm bad at reviewing movies, so you can read Jake's review on Chicagoist. But it was good. There was laughter. There were tears. And it didn't ruin the book. I liked it a lot.
We walked home afterwards, me in a fake gold crown they handed out at the door, and I felt so content. For once in a very, very long time, I didn't have to furrow my brow and try to understand any part of that experience.
I hated not understanding things in France. This isn't about language. That is only a teeny part of what I'm talking about. Just because you speak a language does not mean you understand the many cultural layers behind what's going on.
What was there to understand about Where The Wild Things Are? The whole audience grew up reading this book that was originally deemed inappropriate for children. We understood how the book make us feel as kids. We understood what a huge and delicate undertaking it was to translate this iconic piece of literature to the screen. We understood what it meant to have Dave Eggers and Spike Jonez on board for the project. We understood why Spike Jonez was so anti-CGI in creating the wild things. And when some moron asked if wild thing Ira was named after Ira Glass, we understood what an idiotic question that was.
The best part of understanding all these things was that I didn't have to think about them. I simply understood them. Just like that (picture me snapping my fingers). This, my friends, is something I missed dearly about America. It feels good to get it. It feels good to be back.