Museum of the Moving Image recently did a retrospective of director David O. Russell’s work to celebrate the release of his fifth film The Fighter, for which he’s nominated for an Academy Award. To kick off the celebration, Russell did a live discussion with friend and sometime collaborator Spike Jonze. Russell offhandedly mentioned The Royal Tenenbaums and was prodded by Jonze to talk about the film, which as you’ll hear Russell is quite fond of. As the clip begins, Russell is talking about showing his first film Spanking The Monkey to his son.
It’s an interesting hour-long talk if you’re a fan of Russell’s work. You can listen to and download the full recording at the Moving Image Source and read a report on the event, including an explanation for an interruption midway through, at The Playlist.
Toronto-based artist & designer Ibraheem Youssef has created some gorgeous, clever movie poster redesigns for Wes Anderson films, as well Tarantino films. Youssef produces concise illustrations that fall somewhere between elegant and raw.
The first wave of these redesigns has earned a lot of attention around the internet. We here at Rushmore Academy have also taken note, and an exclusive Rushmore//Youssef surprise is in the works. It’s a cliffhanger, so keep checking back for more details.
In the meantime, you can purchase the released-as-yet posters in 2 sizes at Ibraheem Youssef’s shop.
So as you may have read on our twitter page (@RushmoreAcademy), Wes was one of the names rumoured to be on Sony’s wishlist of directors for their proposed Spiderman reboot before Marc Webb was chosen. Jeff Loveness has made a parody video based on that possibility, it is below.
In October 2001, audiences at the New York Film Festival viewed the director’s cut of the film The Royal Tenenbaums, the way it was intended it to be seen and heard. The final cut, shown in theaters and released on DVD, changed several of the songs originally used, for a variety of reasons. The two soundtracks released also omit much of the film’s music, including eight tracks of Mark Mothersbaugh’s wonderful score.
Join KZSU Stanford University at 5:00pm PST this Wednesday, 30th December 2009 for a special broadcast of the complete chronological soundtrack music from The Royal Tenenbaums. You will also hear excerpted commentary and interviews with Anderson and music supervisor Randall Poster, as they explain the difficulties in obtaining and replacing certain songs.
That’s where Wes Anderson comes in. The director of “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001), “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou” (2004), “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) and this year’s Roald Dahl adaptation “Fantastic Mr. Fox” is as much a train-set filmmaker as Zemeckis, Jackson and Lucas, and like Fincher, Paul Thomas Anderson (“Punch-Drunk Love,” “There Will Be Blood”), Zemeckis and Spielberg, he’s one of the few prominent Hollywood filmmakers working in the ’70s auteur tradition — and doing it with a style so distinct that it can never be stolen, only imitated. He’s notorious for fretting over every aspect of his movies, from the texture of the clothes to the precise geometric motion of each shot and camera movement to the choice of on-screen font (he prefers variations of Futura). Detractors describe his style as fussy, overcomplicated, even airless — and if one prefers a messier, more spontaneous kind of filmmaking, or a more “invisible” style of direction, Anderson is almost certainly the opposite of fun.
I won’t mount a defense of Anderson as an exciting, imaginative and important filmmaker in this article, because I’ve already done it in a series of video essays.I mention him in this piece because of two particular aspects of his art. One is his commitment to analog moviemaking. He shoots on film and prefers to do everything, special effects included, on the set rather than create them after the fact. Even when he employs digital effects or processes, he calls attention to their artificiality; think of the obviously stop-motion sea creatures in “Aquatic” — or, for that matter, the unruly, roiling fur on the creatures in “Fantastic Mr. Fox” — which the director insisted be fabricated with hard-to-manage animal hair rather than more controllable synthetic hair, because he just liked how it looked.
Be sure to read the full piece at Salon, and leave your comments below. It’s a great essay, and well worth the read.