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Wednesday is Maurice Sendak night at Cinefamily

September 29, 2009 | 10:15 am


As the opening date for the Spike Jonze film version of "Where the Wild Things Are" looms, one L.A. movie theater is turning its attention back to the author of the iconic children's book. On Wednesday, Cinefamily on Fairfax will hold a tribute to Maurice Sendak.

The Sendakian schedule includes the documentary "Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait of Maurice Sendak," directed by Jonze and Lance Bangs. Bangs, who will be in attendance, will answer questions. Vintage animated adaptations of "Where the Wild Things Are" and "In the Night Kitchen" will be screened, along with short films made by Bangs and Jonze during the production of the new movie. Cinefamily promises the 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."

As Cinefamily has strong familial ties to the independent bookstore Family just up the street, there might even be copies of Sendak's books for sale. Originally published in 1963, "Where the Wild Things Are" has won a Caldecott medal, been an American Library Assn. notable book and has stolen the hearts of generations of wild children. Tickets to the event are $12.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Maurice Sendak. Credit: Skirball Cultural Center