Monday, June 3, 2013

Tell Them Anything You Want [DVD]

Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak is a beautiful film about illustrator Maurice Sendak, directed by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze. At only 39 minutes in length, it is a short film, and it consists of little more than a beautifully edited series of interviews with Sendak.

Jonze and Bangs began filming interviews with Sendak in 2003, and the film intersperse bits of their interviews conducted over the course of several years. Jonze and Bangs are out of shot for most of the film—they even edit out many of their own questions and prompts—so the film consists largely of Sendak talking, often poignantly, but always with great wit and humor, about a number of topics, including childhood, death, and children's books. The interviews are spliced together so as to give the whole thing a snappy, informal, feel, and the cinematography is beautiful, adding far more to the film than you would expect in a simple interview.

Fans of Maurice Sendak will, of course, love this film, but I encourage anyone who enjoys a good interview to give it a try. Those who heard Terry Gross's interview with Maurice Sendak will understand why.

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