Despite having the tag-line "Based on the Beloved Book by Roald Dahl" emblazoned on its promotional posters, Wes Anderson's stop motion adaptation of Fantastic Mr Fox is not a children's film. At least, not in a conventional sense. Anderson's film may well be five-star-approved by the I-reckoning celebrity tabloid reviewer, and hoards of parents will have bundled their mini-mes into multiplexes across the country to see the film during half-term week, but the Texan auteur has created something in Fantastic Mr Fox that, although having a genuine multi-generational appeal, you do feel heavily leans toward a more mature audience.
Of course, Anderson's aesthetic lends itself to children's cinema superbly; his meticulously methodical cinematography, captivatingly cluttered mise-en-scéne and thick lashings of vivid primary colour create an attractive visual vehicle with which to tell the story of the extraordinary Mr. Fox. However, other aspects of Anderson's style do not make such a successful transition from quirky-films-for-adults to quirky-films-for-children. The dry humour which ran through the veins of Anderson productions such as The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and The Darjeeling Limited (2007) is, I would wager, quite lost on a juvenile audience when pumped through Fantastic Mr Fox, and Anderson's use of understated sexual tension and malapropistic substitution is too frequent to be dismissed by a mere pantomime-dame-wink. In short, I am not entirely convinced whether there is enough beyond the entrancing aesthetic aspect of Mr Fox to keep children from wishing that their parents had taken them to see the latest animated offering from Disney or Dreamworks instead.
Despite my poor attendance at The Crunch open mic night recently (I haven't made an appearance since August due to breaking my foot in early September), I have been selected by Adam Sillman to represent the night at the Dylan Thomas Festival edition of Stuff Happens, a showcase of up and coming local poets held at The Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.
From the 2009 Dylan Thomas Festival brochure:
"The third of our occasional events, where several young, up and coming local poets deliver short, sharp readings between music, Dadaist doodlings and other fun stuff happening!"
For more information, go to the Facebook event page: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=169479122987&ref=ts
or visit The Dylan Thomas Festival website: http://www.dylanthomas.com/index.cfm?articleid=8653
I am one of six poets featured in this month's edition of The Antagonist, an independently-published Cardiff-based magazine which has strong links with the Swansea writing community.
Founded in Minnesota in 2001, The Antagonist has since been through many incarnations, including three websites, a blog and two series of printed magazines. The Antagonist website has recently been given a shiny makeover, which means its content is a bit sparce at the moment, but I still recommend you check it out: http://www.antagonistinternational.com
Also featured in this issue is the very talented Liza Penn-Thomas, a good friend of mine, with her poem ''Icebreaker', one I always enjoy reading. This is the first time that we have been published together, and I hope it will not be the last.
This month's issue is available from the website as a free PDF, or directly from http://filebeam.com/d38484..a75db7b50862c0b6371d094a38
To obtain your free copy type 'Elizabeth' when prompted for the password.