Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fairy Tale for a Fine Day

Sometimes, only a fable will do.

After yesterday's tornadoes or microbursts (they just keep making up these terms, don't they?), today's crystalline skies and dry air made for a day a photographer friend referred to as cool, bright and beautiful.

It's a description I wouldn't mind being called myself.

And by the time I finished doing my necessaries, I wanted an evening just as wonderful, some sort of lovely escapism, something as exquisite as this day.

So naturally I went to see my first Wes Anderson film.

I know, I know, but somehow I hadn't, so there you have it.

Perhaps because it was my first, I found "Moonrise Kingdom" touching, whimsical and earnest.

And since I revel in period details, watching a film set in 1965 was a visual treat, both for the veracity and the occasional misstep.

Coffee percolators weren't electric, they sat on stoves.

Men wore white socks with black shoes,

Men and boys wore shorts that were actually short (no doubt offensive by today's standards).

No one, not even the island's only policeman, used a seat belt.

Kids sprawled on the floor listening to record players and playing Parcheesi all summer long.

Scout leaders smoked, even when they were doing troop activities.

Twelve-year old girls wore dresses that short and knee socks that high.

All perfectly 1965.

But I would argue that a woman, much less one working for Social Services, would not have worn a pantsuit in 1965.

Pantsuits came into vogue in the late 60s and more so the 70s. By the time pantsuits came in, hats were out.

Also, the young hero asks his heroine if she's depressed. I'm willing to bet the farm that no twelve-year old would have asked that question in 1965.

But that's nitpicking and overall, the evocation of the era of LBJ's "Great Society" was charmingly evoked.

And besides charm, there was the wistful depiction of first love, albeit in a most fantastical setting.

The tale of two kids who run away together to the other side of an island was rife with first passion.

After the two go swimming in the cove, they hang their clothes up to dry.

That affords a golden opportunity for him to paint her in her training bra and high-waisted flowered underpants, which he does wearing his own underwear.

She's brought along her record player (and spare batteries) so they play the French singer Francoise Hardy's record her Grandma had given her, dancing to it on the sand.

Despite their youth, both scenes were sweetly romantic.

And certainly their conversation about what they wanted to do when they grew up was.

"Go on an adventure and not get stuck," she tells him, no doubt already aware that her own parents are very much stuck in lives they couldn't have wanted.

Coincidentally, that's exactly what I want to do when I grow up.

Therein lies today's lesson in film.

When it comes to life, Wes Anderson and I are on the same page.

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