New book by Derek Hill, with a chapter on Wes Anderson

Derek Hill’s great new book, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers: An Excursion Into the American New Wave, is out in the U.K. and coming soon to North America.  More soon…

(Click to pre-order: for Americanos)

(Britishers, Little Englanders, and other UK residents, order: Amazon | Waterstone’s | Blackwell)

Rushmore an Entertainment Weekly “New Classic”

Entertainment Weekly ranked Rushmore #22 on its recent “New Classics” list of films made between 1983 and 2008.

Wes Anderson’s breakthrough comedy is, like its predecessor The Graduate, a mannered, idiosyncratic, and hilarious coming-of-age tale that makes amazing use of its rock soundtrack and features a decidedly odd love triangle: Bill Murray’s middle-aged businessman, Olivia Williams’ widowed teacher, and, of course, Jason Schwartzman’s ardent schoolboy.

We find the list objectionable on multiple fronts. Where are the other Wes Anderson films? And, Titanic and Die Hard both made the top 10. Hmm… but nice to see Rushmore recognized…

Wes and Jason talk about their favorite Hal Ashby films

(sorry for the lack of updates as of late… more soon!)

GOOD Magazine has a great set of mini-essays/interviews on one of my favorite directors, Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude).

Jason on Harold and Maude:

He was the first actor that I ever felt close to. And I also think that I had never seen a film that was happy and sad and funny all at once. I was used to clear-cut genres. This is a Comedy. This is Drama. Harold and Maude, to my 17-year-old mind, was a whole new place. Anything could happen. I guess my life just kind of made sense to me in a single moment. I felt not so bad. And I watched it over and over while making Rushmore (thank you, Mom).

Wes on The Last Detail:

Whenever I am getting ready to make a movie I look at other movies I love in order to answer the same recurring question: How is this done, again? I can never seem to remember, and I don’t mean that to be glib. I also hope people don’t throw it back in my face. Making a movie is very complicated, and it seems like kind of a miracle when it actually works out. Hal Ashby made five or six great movies in a row, and that seems to be practically unheard of.

Thanks to reader j. for this link.

Fantastically Flawed Fathers

Kim Morgan wrote an intriguing piece for the Huffington Post on Father’s Day examining “five fantastically flawed fathers” from film. These include Nicholas Cage in Raising Arizona, Ryan O’Neal in Paper Moon, and of course Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Wes Anderson taps into that childhood yearning we have for our past, how it’s as rose colored as Royal’s dress shirts but at the same time, lonely, bitter and neglected. Anderson makes something beautiful about all this, without being sloppy and we come to not only adore Royal but trust his advice.

Don’t forget to steal the grandkids and hop a dump truck to show your family love sometime soon!

Misdirected Fan Mail

From SF0:

“INSTRUCTIONS: Scan the phonebook until you find someone with the same name as a famous celebrity. Send them fan mail.”

NOTE: Rushmore Academy thinks fake fan mail silly. Instead we support sending REAL fan mail to your favorite directors, gaffers, and Best Boys.

Vulpes Vuples

The Guardian paper in the UK published an informative article on foxes recently. Natually our man Wes’ new film in production gets a mention:

Did you know?

Wes Anderson, the film director behind The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic, is working on a big-screen animated version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story The Fantastic Mr Fox. George Clooney will play the lead role. Naturally.

Other fascinating facts and observations are noted as well:

And their loud love-making – does that not bother you?

Yeah, quite frightening. It sounds a bit like a baby being strangled. It doesn’t sound like either one of them is enjoying it very much.