A debate has emerged over at Hollywood Elsewhere in response to Matt Zoller Seitz’s video essay, part I, on Wes Anderson’s cinematic infuences. The issue, an old one: the alleged decline of Wes Anderson.
My favorite response is from lonniechung:
I think it says more about Wes Anderson as a filmmaker that each of his films are measured against each other. If any of his last three had been his first, he’d still be seen as visionary. I thought Aquatic and Darjeeling were his two most personal and heartbreaking films. It just seems like he’s penalized for having a particular style to how he shoots and writes. All of the “quirky” shit is lazy journalism. The father-son story of Aquatic, the brothers story of Darjeeling, the family story of Tennenbaums, the friendship story of Bottle Rocket are all unique to themselves. Just because the characters he puts on screen tend to show their flaws more than their strengths, it doesn’t mean he’s repeating himself.
For the record, The Darjeeling Limited is my second favorite Wes film, so the “decline” of Wes Anderson is a non-issue for me.
Thoughts? Read on for the discussion that has developed here at the Academy.