Friday, July 6, 2012

Great shall be the peace of thy children

"And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth."

"But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness."

Suzy is identified as the raven.

This can hardly be an accident considering the amount of careful symbolism amid Anderson's detailed kookery.

Moonrise Kingdom starts with Narration from a Narrator. The appearance of this character sets the story apart from the beginning, resistant to any sort of naturalist reductionism. We're about to enter a Story.

The action takes place on an island and our two love birds (ravens) are islands, apart from the stable mainland of persons united.

Mom: "We're all they've got."
Dad: "It's not enough."

Jeff has rightly pointed out the emphasis on community, but he failed to point out that the primary visual metaphor that Anderson uses for this is the community church, the building that materializes the unity that those in it possess (or ought to possess). In the end, the church becomes the ark which provides salvation from the storm. This metaphor is then extended to the reconciliation of Sam and Suzy with the rest of the Body.

Sam and Suzy, though, are the trailblazers, the pioneers of love, who teach one another to die to self and live for another. It is their example of reckless, sacrificial love that transforms the rest of the community, finally allowing for others to follow in this sacrificial love and bring Sam and Suzy back into an established place of safety within the group.

I like thinking about names, sometimes. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but it works.

Sam = short for Samson, the Mighty Bridegroom, "Man of the Sun"

Suzy = diminutive of Susannah, the "Little Flower" who soaks up the rays of the sun and blossoms, the glory of her bridegroom, beautifying his every initiative.

Moonrise Kingdom is where deeply disturbed children go to die for one another. The long day of bourgeois expectations is over and the rules of the game are left behind in order to chase Wisdom. An unexpected moonrise kingdom takes the place of the works of the day which have failed. The younger sun replaces the elder and shines brighter.

If I've surprised you guys by being so positive, well... I've also surprised myself. I agree with all of your praises and hopefully I've added something new, if minor, to the conversation by giving my slant above.

After a week of thinking about the film, it settled into a nice pleasant place that I couldn't quite ignore without doing violence to the film and to my own honest reaction.

Moonrise Kingdom is definitely Anderson's best. It also fits in nicely with the comedies that I've been championing lately. As far as I'm concerned, MK and JWLaH can co-exist peacefully.

Brandon, let's call a truce.

"For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children."

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