Friend of the site Owen Bates has had a blog called Metro Line 13 on the site for a few months now. Do check it out; we are interested in hosting at least a few more blogs. Here’s my favorite piece from Owen:
Shakespeare at His Agent
—Come in, sit down. It’s good to see you! How’ve you been?
—Fairest-tempered, if I do self-contemplate.
—Ha-ha, yes! I’m—no, we’re just super. I just got off the phone with the Arts editor at the Times. They want to do a cover for their theater issue, a “day in the life” kind of a thing. I penciled you in for the 5th, alright?
—Well… thou dost perchance infringe upon plans yet earthly laid.
—Could you move things around? This is big.
—In hypothetical rumination, still I know not the consequence of—
—Super. More news: Disney has a TV pitch for you. Everyone knows that Romeo and Juliet died at the end of your play. What this show presupposes is: maybe they didn’t?
—I am not of proper certainty—
—Hold on a sec. Imagine if the two star-crossèd lovers had to put up with a crazy old butler, Bartholomew, that they got from a dead uncle or nobleman or something, and they got dragged into wacky, family-friendly adventures when he just would not sit still. They’ll call it “Wherefore Bart Thou?” That’s the catchphrase, too!
—This seems not to be in accordance with my will for the heritage of my own theatrical composition.
—Shakes-e-poo, I’m not going to beat around the bush. You want to be big. I want you to be big. This is how we get big. Market saturation.
—If it must be so, let it… The conclusion of our dialogue, hast thou reached it?
—Actually: what would you think of “Othello—The Game?”
Derek Hill is the author of the new book Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers, now available in the U.K. (Amazon | Waterstone’s | Blackwell ) and out soon in the U.S. ( Amazon ). He has agreed to write several pieces for the Academy. This is part 2; Derek has decided to offer the section of the book on TDL in its entirety. Enjoy!
‘Is that symbolic? We. Haven’t. Located. Us. Yet!’
– Francis Whitman (Owen Wilson) has his mind blown when he realises that the train he and his brothers have been passengers on is lost.
Anderson has never been averse to addressing mortality head-on in his films, specifically the death of a spouse (Rushmore), parent (The Royal Tenenbaums) or child (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). Although all of his films are ostensibly comedies, there has always been an element of the impermanence of things, of people, that has delicately coaxed an emotional resonance forth from the wackiness. Not particularly original or groundbreaking, but when one considers the frequently bathetic treatment of death in much of American mainstream cinema, Anderson’s unsentimental and realistic treatment of grief is a commendable aspect and intrusion upon his lucid, intensely fabricated theatricality. As much as Anderson has become a master of the elaborate multi-layered mise-en-scene, he also astutely understands the moment to drop back, allowing his characters to feel the brunt of their sorrow without excessive ornamentation. The Darjeeling Limited is as waggish as any of Anderson’s previous work. But at its core is the black hole of loss, the invisible thread that binds us as profoundly (if not more so) than birth.
Derek Hill is the author of the new book Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers, now available in the U.K. (Amazon | Waterstone’s | Blackwell ) and out soon in the U.S. ( Amazon ). He has agreed to write several pieces for the Academy.
First of all, I want to thank Mr. Appleby for inviting me here to blog and for graciously mentioning my book, Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers. The book is the first study of directors Richard Linklater, David O. Russell, Wes Anderson, Spike Jonze, Sofia Coppola, and Michel Gondry as a movement of filmmakers despite their varied aesthetic approaches– a sort of (new) American New Wave in the direct tradition of the French New Wave filmmakers. It’s currently available in the UK and will be released in the US in September.
Perusing the Rushmore Academy message boards, I was taken with the thread asking “how long have you been a Wes fan?” So as a way to introduce myself to the Rushmore Academy, I’ll give my own rambling two cents, but also I’d like to talk about the film that did it… the one that sent me head over heels in love with Anderson’s work.
(Margherita Missoni and Wes Anderson. Article after the break. URL.)