There’s a lot of Wes Anderson in his 2009 adaptation of Fantastic Mr. Fox, possibly as much authorship as Roald Dahl, the author of the book on which the film is based. From the first frame, we can tell that the story is going to be told on a plane, with 90 degree angles being the sharpest turns we take, from the whip-pans of…
Browsing: Wes Anderson
The undisputable king of quirk, director Wes Anderson is quite the icon and for many, an auteur of the filmmaking world. The status he has achieved over the period of just ten years at the helm of only eight feature films is remarkable. If you’ve ever seen a Wes Anderson film, you’ll know exactly when you’re watching a Wes Anderson film. If you’re new to his oeuvre, be prepared to witness something unlike anything you’ve seen in a screwball comedy before. His work is unmistakably distinctive and as much as it is obvious in style it leaves me tongue tied for an adequate or definitive description.
Wes Anderson’s Rushmore (1998) descends genealogically from a host of classical American screen comedies – most of them screwball – that take gleeful pleasure in the dismantling of classist social barriers. These movies are triumphs of transgression, celebrating the moments in which the hard line between polite society and that of the lower classes becomes a fluid membrane. We smile in Midnight (1939) when Don Ameche vaults out of his taxi cab and into a plush ballroom to take Claudette Colbert in his arms, in My Man Godfrey (1936) when house servant William Powell courts Carole Lombard under her wealthy family’s very noses, and in Rushmore when son of the local barber Max Fischer invites a billionaire and a prep school teacher to a play he has mounted in a public school auditorium, where their lives are to be changed forever.
Wes Anderson’s highly anticipated new film The Grand Budapest Hotel, a fantasy-comedy, kicked off the Berlinale 2014. His unique, eighth feature, that he has written and directed, is set in a fictional spa town in the fictional Eastern European country of Zubrowka during the 1930s. Though the location is imaginary, the main story is set during a time that is characterized by a fascist takeover, followed by a Communist period, mirroring European history.
A famous hotel’s legendary concierge strikes up a friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. Stars Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Lea Seydouz, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson and Tony Revolori. Directed by Wes Anderson.
Beyond their entertainment value, films have become time capsules, representing the cultural context from which they were created. For instance, Hollywood films of 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s masked a repressed American culture that was incapable of dealing with its burgeoning sexuality; the Neorealist films of the 1940s and 1950s responded to a broken Italian nation; and the New Wave films of the 1960s and 1970s created radical and dynamic cultures out of dead European national identities. American cinema of the 1990s and 2000s has been marked by a postmodern culture, with such filmmakers as Quentin Tarantino at the helm. This culture manages to reappropriate and remake old cultures, rehashing them into accessible units, such as Glee cast recordings, pastiches, and horror movie remakes. For the most part, this is a dead culture, yet every once in awhile, a filmmaker comes about and offers a shining beacon of hope. For this culture, one of those glimmering hopes is Wes Anderson.
Do you remember your first love? Was it a playground crush? A high-school sweetheart? We’ve all had a first love in our youth, and some of us may remember it more fondly than others. But it’s a universal experience: the feeling of wanting to be with someone more than anything in the world. That innocent and universal human experience is what’s at the center of Wes Anderson’s latest film, Moonrise Kingdom.