The most extensive public viewing so far into the creative world of director Spike Jonze's "Where the Wild Things Are" project was unveiled Saturday night at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood. The show is a beautiful thing, and you should make a beeline to the gallery to check it out pronto.
Employing two different spaces in the shopping complex, the WTWTA team offered in one room all the newly minted Where the Wild Things Are commercial fare that is coming out with the movie, including huggable stuffed animals, hip soft T-shirts and, best, full-body creature creations by Christian Joy that will be the hit of any Halloween party this year (at $800); and, in the gallery, dozens of conceptual brainstorming sketches of said Wild Things, the darling semi-sinister monsters of Maurice Sendak's iconic children's book, along with photographs of Jonze and his production crew in action creating the film.
Jonze got his start directing music videos, where he attracted the attention of Beastie Boys, Weezer, Bjork, Sonic Youth and Fatboy Slim fans. He helped launch Jackass, which drew the dudes and the mooks. He directed Being John Malkovich and Adaptation, which electrified the cineastes and New Yorker readers. And for the last few forevers he's been working with lauded publisher/writer Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, The Believer, 826 Foundation) on a film adaptation of Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. A lot of people are looking forward to this thing. It comes out on October 16 in America.
Sonny Gerasimowicz's drawings, which consumed an entire wall of the gallery, captured the essence of Sendak's creation. Some were doodles, some were costume ideas, some were portraits; combined, they emanated an inspired energy.
Designers paid attention to the littlest narrative details in creating the space.
Stills provided little glimpses into the shooting of the film.
Massive photographic prints documenting the filming of Where the Wild Things Are filled the other half of the gallery. People milled about sipping wine and contemplating the price tags for art, which averaged about $700 per.
Jonze's brother Squeak E. Clean apparently DJed, though he wasn't DJing in the hour we were there. The crowd, which was overwhelmingly young and fashionable, walked around with a collected look of shared joy at being blasted back to the Wild Things world, which most haven't visited since they were five or six.
At $800, these potential Halloween costumes will be the hit of any party -- or (celebrities!) Academy Awards ceremony.
In the pop-up shop, stuffed animals and rad T-shirts were stacked next to copies of Maurice Sendak's original book, as well as bound copies of Dave Eggers' adapted script. A gold crown sat on a log. Kids crammed into a hollowed-out tree stump.
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