Wes and co. had a good night last night in New York at the IFP Gotham Awards. Moonrise Kingdom took home the top prize of the evening, the Best Feature award, which was accepted by Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman, Sam and Suzy themselves. We’ll have more, including pictures of the night, and hopefully the acceptance speech, in the coming days.
The most frequent question that we’ve seen on tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook has been, “When is Moonrise Kingdom opening in my hometown?” If you yourself have asked this question, you are part of the success story of Moonrise‘s platform release strategy.
First, let’s turn to wikipedia for a definition of a platform release:
A platform release is a limited release strategy, whereby the film opens in only a few theaters, then gradually expands to more theaters as word of mouth spreads and the marketing campaign gains momentum. Depending on the film’s success, there is even the possibility to expand into a wide release. The advantage of this strategy is that marketing costs are conserved until a film’s performance has been established. This way, if a film turns out to be very popular or critically acclaimed, the distributor may opt to spend more money than originally planned and push for a wider release; if the movie flops, the distributor can withdraw from the campaign without having spent much money promoting and advertising the film.
As you may have heard, MR opened in only four theaters (two in New York and two in Los Angeles), but the film earned $167,250 per screen, which is highest per-theater box office average for a non-animated film of all time.
Join us after the jump for more thoughts regarding MR‘s success. Continue reading
Wes Anderson has released enchanting animated shorts to accompany the film, “Moonrise Kingdom”. In the film, Suzy (Kara Hayward) packs six ficticious storybooks. Wes wrote passages read from each of the storybooks and decided in April to animate these passages. You can watch them on EW.com here, or in the embed below.
More details below from EW.com:
“I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” he says. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.
To pull off the animated shorts in just six scant weeks, Moonrise Kingdom and Fantastic Mr. Fox producer Jeremy Dawson worked to pair each of the cover jacket artists with professional animators. “We got the artist to do key drawings, and then someone else had to take those key drawings and animate them,” he says. “One of these guys I believe was in Sweden, one in Paris, and one in L.A. They were all over the world and we did it all by Internet. For instance, the one with the hydrogoblin, The Girl From Jupiter – that artist does his work in oil painting, so someone had to kind of emulate that oil painting look in the animation.”
After the cover jacket artists turned in their key illustrations, the animators, says Dawson, finished their work in only two weeks. “I think we all just pitched in and we pulled a lot of favors because it was not like we spent a ton of money doing it,” he says. “People got excited about it because it was a creative thing rather than if they were making a Snickers ad or something.”
The animated shorts and the stories they illustrate are strikingly evocative of an earlier era of children’s and young adult literature. “I think it’s kind of nice that rather than just doing one whole story, [we're] doing these little snippets,” says Dawson. “They’re about imagination — it’s just more like a spark of this story.”
Would the stories hinted at from these books ever be completed? “I think that’s up to Wes,” says Dawson. “I have no doubt he’s capable of doing it.”
So, Mr. Anderson, would you? “Well, I’ll tell you one thing,” says the director. “I’m not gonna write them.”
- (Above) Suzy’s earrings have never looked so good than in this artistic poster by Alex Quinn.
- The Museum of the Moving Image has republished their five-part video series on the Substance of Style for Wes Anderson. The series is extremely detailed, well-researched, and absolutely engrossing. Absolutely recommended.
- Roman Coppola talks with Interview Magazine regarding his experiences co-writing The Darjeeling Limited and Moonrise Kingdom. (Bonus trivia: In the interview, Roman uses the phrase “a memory of a fantasy,” which was coined by an interviewer during Cannes, which was referenced by Wes in his NPR interview.)
- Watch the full 40 minute Moonrise Kingdom press conference from Cannes over here.
- Short List has “alternative” designs for the Moonrise Kingdom poster, some of which we’ve featured here before, but it’s worth taking a look at the whole gallery. Certainly telling that the film inspired so many diverse images.
Coming Soon has the exclusive:
ComingSoon.net had the chance to speak with the auteur filmmaker [Anderson], who revealed that he has prepared a special animated short film designed to serve as a companion piece to Moonrise and that it will premiere online next week.
“[The character of Suzy has] a suitcase full of these young adult fantasy type novels,” Anderson told us. “Sort of sci-fi/fantasy books. We had to invent them and give a little glimpse of each one. Different artists, most of whom very close to the filmmakers, were doing these. In fact, we have now animated them, each little passage, each in the style of the cover of the book. We’ve made a little short film that’s hosted by Bob Balaban, the narrator in our movie. That will come out next week on the internet. It’ll be a little companion piece to the movie.”
Very exciting, we wonder if it’ll be easier to grab hold of than Hotel Chevalier was for the non-iTunes inclined. We’ll keep you posted.
Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward sat down with USA Today to discuss their experience on set including their hobbies, family lives, and their shared first on-screen (and real-life) kiss. The pair seem to be as precious in reality as onscreen:
When Jared mentions a recent film obsession — the 2010 superhero spoof Kick-Ass— he feels obligated to politely mouth the second half of the title.
The video of the stars only increases their appeal:
Read more about Kara and Jared at USA Today.
“Dinner was delicious! I got to sit next to Jared Gilman [her Moonrise Kingdom costar]. . . and across from Harvey Weinstein, who was lovely to meet. . . And Alec Baldwin came to say hello. I love, love him on 30 Rock!”
Fulfilling his role in Moonrise Kingdom as “Narrator,” the great Bob Balaban takes us inside the island of New Penzance, the (fictional) world of Wes’ latest opus.
Parts 2-4 after the jump. Continue reading
(photo credit: Pop Sugar)
Last updated: 16 May 2012, 2:36 pm ET
- Cast photocall
- Cast interview
- Press conference
- Red Carpet
- Bob Balaban (Narrator) has been tweeting photos from his Cannes experience @BobBalaban.
- Telegraph (UK) – “Moonrise Kingdom (the name Sam and Suzy give their secret hideaway) is a worthy addition to Anderson’s canon – his deadpan wit meshes nicely with a generous view of human imperfections. A mood elevator of a movie, it’s an ideal opener to a sunny, blue-skies Cannes.” 4/5 stars
- Time Out London - “This is an American story but it has an unmistakeable French flavour to it. The 1960s setting, the kids on the run and the wild plotting (a bit too wild in the final third), all give it a nouvelle vague feel. It’s an American ‘Pierrot le Fou’ refashioned in retrospect with Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo as pre-teens.” 4/5 stars
- Hollywood Reporter – “Wes Anderson’s Cannes opening-night film is a highly idiosyncratic, impeccable made portrait of young love. A blandly inexpressive title is the worst thing about Moonrise Kingdom, a willfully eccentric pubescent love story in which even the most minute detail has been attended to in the manner of the most obsessive maker of 19th century dollhouses.”
- Variety – “What is childhood if not an island cut off from the grown-up world around it, and what is first love if not a secret cove known only to the two parties caught in its spell? While no less twee than Wes Anderson’s earlier pictures, “Moonrise Kingdom” supplies a poignant metaphor for adolescence itself, in which a universally appealing tale of teenage romance cuts through the smug eccentricity and heightened artificiality with which Anderson has allowed himself to be pigeonholed. A prestigious opening-night slot at Cannes lends luster to Focus’ May 25 release, but not enough to grow his audience.”
- Film Comment - “Key to its magic is the candlelit production of Britten’s opera about Noah’s ark, Noye’s Fludde, which the town is putting on in the wonderfully named Church of St. Jack. Sam first encounters Suzy there while she is costumed as the raven Noah sends off to find dry land, and the film’s giddy denouement unfolds during an actual storm when the community has taken refuge in the church, which stands in for the ark. Children clad as paired animals—in vivid costumes inspired by Camille Saint-Saëns’s Carnival of the Animals—echo the movie’s emphasis on love, friendship, and imagination. Like The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, and like Moonrise Kingdom itself, Noye’s Fludde celebrates beauty in a variety of forms and how it all can come together in a wondrous whole. “
- IndieWire – “There are diehard Wes Anderson fans and then there’s everyone else. “Moonrise Kingdom,” the idiosyncratic auteur’s seventh feature, eagerly pitches itself toward that first group of audiences and ignores the rest. But those open to Anderson quirks will find a rewarding experience littered with warmth and playful humor.”
- Film 4 Blog – “It’s doubtful this will win over any outright Anderson sceptics, but as someone who wasn’t sure about a couple of his more recent films, this is an exciting reaffirmation of talent (I’d say it’s his best since Tenenbaums).”
- Atlantic - “He’s still a filmmaker teetering dangerously on the brink of terminal tweeness, but Sam and Suzy bring out Anderson’s sincere side. “Moonrise Kingdom” is about romantic love, but it’s also about love of books, music, nature, and objects—in many regards, a movie that allows Anderson to be himself in a way most of his recent efforts haven’t. It may fade from memory as the festival proceeds, but for now at least, “Moonrise Kingdom” has me reconsidering a filmmaker I had started to write off.”
- The House Next Door – “Moonrise Kingdom is therefore an unabashed continuation and, what’s more, intensification of the rigorous aesthetic preoccupations and occasionally precious thematic concerns that have long marked Anderson’s films. Since, time and again, adolescent precocity has been his narrative meat and potatoes, he can be given a certain amount of latitude for such indulgences as his obsession with handwritten notes and other kinds of communiqués”
- Press Play – “Moonrise Kingdom is a great success, both within the context of Wes Anderson’s body of work and as a work unto itself.”
- Hitfix – “Gilman and Hayward are exquisite as Sam and Suzy, and I like that they don’t look like polished, perfect Disney Channel kids. They have big personalities that are just starting to come into focus, and they feel like real kids, struggling with the disappointments that are inherent to the maturation process.”
- Little White Lies – “Yet with Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson has made a film about youth that feels like it was ripped from the overactive imagination of a 12-year-old. It’s like a Prairie Home Companion version of Romeo and Juliet as made by a raffish aesthete. But the biggest coup here is that Anderson has finally managed to anchor his trademark whimsy with a sincere and heady romanticism, and by the end, you may even be reaching for your immaculately embroidered handkerchief (or neck scarf) to wipe away the tears.”
- Thompson on Hollywood – “It’s fun watching Anderson manipulate this superb cast, who deliver delicious, precisely scripted comic moments surrounded by such archaic 1965 props as walkie-talkies, megaphones and person-to-person split screen phone calls.”