Tell Them Anything You Want

Published September 25, 2009 by Graham

As if being an artistic genius weren’t enough, Maurice Sendak is an endlessly fascinating man. His candid, acerbic wit is underscored by a generous intimacy. The shocking jokes spilling out of his mouth come off as invitations to share in a special rapport. And as sharp as his fangs seem to be, most of his jabs are directed inward in hopelessly self-deprecating dismissals. When Sendak gets serious, it’s like listening to a wise sage. He’s verbose yet understated, naturally paring even his conversational speech down into economically worded insights.

Tell Them Anything You Want is Lance Bangs and Spike’s compelling personal document of Sendak’s life during the five years of Where the Wild Things Are’s production. The film airs October 14th on HBO. A special advanced screening will be held at Cinefamily in Los Angeles, this Wednesday, September 30th. Expect the unexpected!

A Tribute To Maurice Sendak

In 1963, with just 10 short sentences, a dark and dreamy emotional landscape of hairy monsters and tropical jungles, and one wannabe feral child, Maurice Sendak created one of the most critically acclaimed and popular childrens’ books of all time– “Where the Wild Things Are”. In this loving tribute to everyone’s first favorite author, the Cinefamily will show original animated adaptations (on 16mm!) of “Where the Wild Things Are” and “In the Night Kitchen”, along with new short films made by Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze while the new live action adaptation of “Wild Things…” was in production. Jonze had been friends with Maurice Sendak for more than five years before he began working on his feature film, and these new short films capture a sometimes melancholy but always wickedly funny Sendak as he reflects on his Depression-era childhood in the Brooklyn shtetl, a joyous day at the World’s Fair, the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, his books “In The Night Kitchen” and “Higgledy Piggledy Pop!”, his two beloved Hermans (Melville, and his German shepherd namesake), and a long-buried secret. Lance Bangs, co-director of Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak will be in attendance!

Tickets - $12

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4 comments so far

  1. Karina says:

    Just bought my tickets. WOohoo!

  2. [...] flier (lovingly illustrated by Stevenfiche) for tomorrow night’s Cinefamily event that we mentioned last week. The evening will consist of Maurice Sendak’s greatest animated adaptations, the [...]

  3. [...] Them Anything You Want, the amazing-amazing documentary about Maurice Sendak by Spike and Lance Bangs, is playing at New York’s IFC Center this Wednesday at 8PM, followed [...]

  4. isabel consuelo says:

    Just saw this on DVD and I was floored! This doc is executed brilliantly and gives insight into the lives of one of the world’s most beloved illustrator/authors. From a haunting and somber childhood, Sendak is filled with boundless love for his siblings and yet is overwhelmed with the darkness of life. This combination of dark and light plays out in many of his stories and is fascinating to learn about. I was touched by Sendak’s authenticity and his stories of his childhood. I would hope that any adult who ever enjoyed his books as a child will watch this film and learn more about the fascinating mind that helped us all learn to imagine.