Where the Wild Things Are director Spike Jonze talks with GQ

September 28, 2009 – 1:59 pm

GQ interviews director Spike Jonze on his latest project Where the Wild Things Are, set to open in conventional and IMAX theaters October 16, 2009.

MANY YEARS AGO, when he was a twentysomething skate kid turned video director, Spike Jonze was asked to direct a film adapted from the children’s book Harold and the Purple Crayon. For a year and a half he worked away, planning out an unusual mixture of animation and live action, but this first encounter with the movie industry would not be a happy one.

“I realize now I didn’t really know what I was up against,” he says a little ruefully, “trying to work in a machine like that.” There were so many dispiriting moments along the way: “It had slowly, day by day, moved away from what I was trying to do. I didn’t realize how things get corrupted not all in one fell swoop, they get corrupted millimeter by millimeter by millimeter, and only when you look back and you see where you were trying to go and where you came from, only then do you really realize how far adrift you’ve gone.” On the day the plug was finally pulled, Jonze and his collaborators held a ceremony at sunset to mark their liberation. They carried an eight-foot plastic crayon they had been given to the roof of the twelve-story building they were working in. “We threw it off and watched it fall and then shatter into a million pieces,” he remembers. “And I just had this huge sense of relief.”

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