February 6, 2009
Last night I had the privilege of attending the Portland premiere of CORALINE, and I loved it. If you don’t already have a reason to go see this film — if, say, you hate beauty and pleasure, don’t care for suspense, couldn’t do much with a childlike sense of wonder — then you should go see it anyway, because I wrote some of the dialogue. Not a whole lot — just a few jokes here and there, just enough to feel proud. Hundreds of people, including dozens of my friends at Laika, combined their talents for two long years to make this film, and it’s a splendid relief to know the effort was well spent.
What’s particularly remarkable about this film is the use of 3-D. It’s not an exploitation of the effect, with zombies poking you in the face all the time. It’s much more subtle. The full-color 3-D effect allows the eye to behold all the fine details and beautiful design with more clarity and shape. So if you do see it, be sure to see it in 3-D.
Last night’s premiere at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall was quelle swank, featuring a string quartet beforehand, and then introductions by Phil Knight (owner of LAIKA and also some shoe company), Ted Kulongowski (the fuckin’ GOVERNOR of OREGON), Bill Foster (director of our local International Film Fest), Travis Knight (badass animator, and the best speaker by far) and Henry Sellick (director). After the film we shuffled over to the Portland Art Museum for a gala ball of fine catering and science-fair-style kiosks, where some of the workers on the film were able to explain the process in lifelike reproductions of their own cramped, dishelvled workspaces. Some of the many beautiful sets and puppets were also on display. The food was delish, everyone looked fabulous, and we’re all on pins and needles now, holding our breath as we watch our little Coraline step out into the world.