CULTURE

Moonrise Kingdom

Director Wes Anderson takes us behind the scenes of his new romantic adventure, opening May 25.


“As a kid, I never spent time in a place quite like this,” Wes ­Anderson says. Once again, the director has gone to great lengths to create an entirely new world out of his imagination—in this case, Camp Ivanhoe, the enchanting island sanctuary of Khaki Scout Troop 55, in his new film, Moonrise Kingdom. “Part of why I made the movie was that I would be allowed to invent an island.” The fablelike story follows precocious 12-year-olds Sam and Suzy (played by newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara ­Hayward) as they fall in love and run away together one summer. “At that age, I was completely floored by love,” Anderson says. “And I wanted to make a movie about being totally unprepared for it.” Also unprepared are Suzy’s parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand), the scouts’ troop leader (Edward Norton), a local sheriff (Bruce Willis), and an authoritarian figure named Social Services (Tilda Swinton)—all of whom struggle to shelter the idealistic runaways from the hardships of adulthood. When Sam makes an impassioned plea defending his and ­Suzy’s exploits, the sheriff—though he agrees with the boy’s logic—can’t condone his behavior, because, he says, “you’re 12 years old.” It’s clear, though, that the lawman is torn between what’s right and what feels right. “He’s thinking, I don’t know…” Anderson says, “but I know I’m supposed to protect you.”

Moonrise Kingdom

“Here I am with Khaki Scout Troup 55 and Kara Hayward, who plays Suzy. This was shot on a farm in Rhode Island. The boy, Sam, has just been struck by lightning.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“This is Mr. Jared Gilman. His character has just gotten married in the previous scene in the camp chapel.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“Bill M. & Francis Mc D. are Suzy’s parents. They’re about to spend the next several hours in cold, fake rain, & you can just feel the excitement.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“Tilda Swinton. She plays a character—an institiution, really—named Social Services. Half Deborah Kerr/ half Maggie Smith.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“A Khaki Scout has escaped. Edward Norton as Scout Master Ward.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“If you found yourself stranded in a jungle, Norton would get you out.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise

“There are so many variations of the classic scout uniform. Coonskin cap is not standard issue. Ms. Hayward prefers a chapeau.”

Photographer: Niko Tavernise
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