Sunday, June 24, 2012

Book/Movie Pairing: The Family Fang and Moonrise Kingdom

Are you familiar with director Wes Anderson (of Royal Tenenbaums fame)?  I happened to have the great pleasure of watching his new movie, Moonrise Kingdom, this weekend and I absolutely loved it.  Though I've avoided it until now (who knows why?) I am now an ardent fan of his films.  I actually think the only other film of his I've seen is Darjeeling Limited - which is fabulous because that means I've a good number of promising films to enjoy now that I know I love him. ;)

Succinctly put, Moonrise Kingdom is about "A pair of young lovers [who] flee their New England town, [causing] a local search party to fan out and find them."  What makes it work is Anderson's impeccable sense of balance.  Not only did it strike that perfect funny/sad tone, but the characters are at once quite quirky and oh-so-easy to identify with.

I loved this movie.  I wanted to marry it.  Well, not exactly.  But I would like to find a way to plaster on my wall so I can watch it constantly and continuously.  (rated PG-13, btw)

The Family Fang, (if you've read any reviews of it already you may have heard,) has a very Wes Anderson vibe.  The super-quirks, the funny/sad...the ability to talk about serious subjects without being tiresome.  Set against the backdrop of performance art contrasted with imperfect art of raising a family, and told through a series of rather awkward moments, Wilson left me contemplating the blind journey we each make from childhood to adulthood.

Although propulsively readable, it doesn't dip into shallow waters for a minute.  I loved how, instead of spiraling into a mess of neatly-wrapped platitudes, it stayed engaging, funny, and contemplative until the very end.  It left me at once feeling completely satisfied and hungry for more.

"People would call him Professor Fang, which sounded so much like a supervillain that he wasn't sure he could go through with it."

What's your opinion about funny/sad books (and movies) with quirky characters?  Does that perfect balance make your heart sing like it does mine?


  1. Oh, oh, oh. I could just say ditto, but kindred book/movie spirits need more than just a ditto, don't they? I can't wait to see the new Wes Anderson, and I loved The Family Fang. It's heartbreakingly funny and disturbing and well written and all other kinds of good things.

  2. Yay Emily! I'm so glad to have a co-fan. ;) You must see Moonrise Kingdom as soon as may be! Task One upon returning to the States. :) It's interesting to me to read reviews of The Family Fang on GR/LT and see that it was too depressing (etc.) for some people, because it was the perfect balance for me.

  3. I love many of Wes Anderson's movies such as The Royal Tennenbaums, Rushmore, The Life Aquatic....and Darjeeling Limited. I wasn't aware of Moonrise Kingdom and I'm looking forward to watching this good movie esp. since you're so enthusiastic about it! Thank you for the recommendation!

    The Family Fang is on my list of books to read. I've read some reviews that definitely intrigued me. I'm glad to read you liked it and that it's quirky with quirky, awkward characters!


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