Ryan Reft, of the Tropics of Meta, has written an interesting piece exploring the role of gender and sexuality in the films of Wes Anderson, highlighting that few filmmakers have made being cuckolded seem so adorable and so tragic. Interested? Check it out here. Reft notes:
Anderson’s embrace of Salinger/Charles Schultz/Roald Dahl universe need not exclude adult realities. In a recent backlash against the backlash, NYC Poet Austin Allen argued that critucs have developed a formula for dismissing Anderson’s work. Throw around the word “twee,” “dollhouse” or any derivation thereof, add a bit of “arrested development” and a dash of retromania and instantly you’ve encompassed the rhetorical structure for Anderson film criticism. Yet, as Allen points out, “whimsy” need not mean flimsy. The best moments, he argues, happen when “adult reality snaps us out of childlike fantasy.” Anderson never avoids these problems but with the help of contributing actors and writers, he is able to weave them into the composition with an understanding that exceeds immature visions of marriage and fidelity.
Oscar season is coming, when December movies will be dumped on us to make the breaking point for an Academy Award consideration. But let’s take a step back and not forget our friend Wes Anderson and his critically acclaimed film Moonrise Kingdom. Slant Magazine has written a terrific article detailing the possible nominations MK might obtain. Read more about it here. Oscar Prospects: Moonrise Kingdom. Slant Magazine hosts a weekly analysis of possible awards contenders and predictions for Oscar nominations.
We’ve stumbled upon a clever tumblr account called KanyeWes. Pretty much your average Kanye West lyrics overlaid onto Wes Anderson stills. Here are some of our favorites so far.
Art by: “We Are Legion” by Aaron Jasinski
Come one, come all to this week’s round-up! We’re excited to announce we have a few new features that will be rolling out in the coming weeks:
- Updated Radio and Library sections
- Polls and Quizzes
- Character Features
- A return to musical features
- …and much more.
And now, for our meat and potatoes, this week’s news:
- (Above): A fresh-faced Wes Anderson as pictured in Esquire, circa February 1999.
- We’re very pleased to learn that Matt Zoller Seitz will be publishing a book on Wes this Spring, with essays on all of his films and an interview with Wes. In the mean time, read pal Derek Hill‘s wonderful book.
- This is old, but getting passed around again, Pussy Goes Grrr’s great examination of a key shot in The Royal Tenenbaums. You can also read their entry for The Film Experience‘s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” series, of which Tenenbaums is the current focus.
- Wes was interviewed on The Treatment podcast and claims that he doesn’t write his films around any specific theme. Mere coincidence, I guess.
- A Quora user thoughtfully posits why Wes’ camera movements seem so unique.
- In case you haven’t yet planned your summer road trip, consider heading to Rhode Island and discovering some of the filming locations for Moonrise Kingdom for yourself.
- And finally, if you’re in Toronto, hopefully you’re aware of tonight’s “This is an Adventure: Wes Anderson Themed Party” at Studio 407. Tonight’s party should be good practice for your WA themed Halloween costume. (hint, hint)
Hello hello! Another Friday, another round-up. Many thanks to my compatriots for posting while I was away. This week brought us some exciting revelations regarding Movie #8, aka The Grand Budapest Hotel. We are thrilled, excited, and just beside ourselves with glee over this news and, as you’d expect, we’ll bring you all of the updates as they come. Now, onward!
- (Above) ANTWRANGLER‘s flickr photostream once again has some excellent behind-the-scenes shots from Moonrise.
- Film Fashion Junkie’s MR fashion style boards manage to capture the essence of a few key characters.
- A great round-up of some Wes-inspired posters. Don’t miss the great reinterpretation of the ‘stars’ of Rushmore.
- Have you been wanting a Camp Ivanhoe shirt of your very own? For only $6? Today is your lucky day. (There’s also a $6 Team Zissou shirt if that’s more your speed.)
- We’re charmed by the Moonrise and Tenenbaums cross stitch projects on amezissou‘s flickr.
- Aphelis explains the inspiration of French photographer Jacques Henri Lartigue on Rushmore and The Life Aquatic.
- Bright Wall Dark Room’s Moonrise Kingdom write-up is half-review, half-personal reflection and wholly excellent.
- Classic(-ish) Interview: Noah Baumbach and Wes Anderson discuss Fantastic Mr. Fox (and many other great things) in this lengthy video from the New York Public Library.
- The Criterion Collection will be releasing a Blu-Ray Edition of The Royal Tenenbaums in August. Preorder at Amazon.
One week later and here we are again. News is slowing down, but the fan-art is speeding up. At this point, we’re in a lull, so we’ll take what we can get. There’s just never enough Anderson news for our liking.
Here we are again, so soon:
As you may expect, around these parts we read a lot of interviews with Wes Anderson. (A lot of interviews.) But very few are worth posting here– the ground is covered, the same questions are asked, and there’s nothing really to report. However, Fast Co. Create’s recent interview with Wes was interesting because we finally got something new– an inside peek into his writing and directing process.
When asked about his writing process:
“[In writing the script], I want to make more than something you visualize, I want to make something you can sit there and read; you can experience the story.”
“I like to have a record of something I wrote out there,” says Anderson. Which is why he publishes his scripts. “I’m sure a lot of the people who buy it never read it because you read a few pages and say, ‘Yes, yes, oh yes, I remember all this stuff,’ and then you can kind of move on. But I just like to at least be able to say, ‘Well, it was published and it existed.’” So the Moonrise Kingdom script was recently put out as an e-book by Faber & Faber, [...] And he’s not exactly celebrating the e-book’s brisk sales. “I asked the guys at Faber, ‘How many have we sold?’ and they said, ‘We’ve already sold 100.’” Anderson pauses. “Oh, so, 100. In three months. Wow, that’s great. We’re doing great.”
Note to Rushmore Academicians: This is a call to action. Let’s help make Wes a little happier and all buy the ebook. For everyone we know.
The rest of the interview covers his decision to film in Rhode Island, set structure, storyboarding scenes, lessons learned from previous films, the challenges of working with young actors, and his musical selections. Again, it’s well worth a read.
And finally, some great news about Movie #8: they hope to start shooting by the end of the year. Read the full article at Fast Co. Create.
Friends, Romans, Countrymen– welcome back into the fold. As you have surely noticed, yes, things are slowing down- down, but not out. There is more to come and much to look forward to: the ever expanding release of Moonrise, award season, more information about Movie #8, films by related artists, and new features (!) on the site. But for now, let’s get to it.
As any person with two ears who has seen an Anderson film can tell you, the soundtrack is vital to the tone and success of the films. For many of the most memorable scenes, it’s impossible to extract the song from the memory or imagine any other song in its place. Try to imagine Margot stepping off the Greenline Bus without Nico. Try to imagine Peter running to catch the train without the Kinks. You can’t and you shouldn’t; the songs are perfect and pairing music with film is an artform in and of itself. Pitchfork interviewed Wes Anderson and Randall Poster separately about their musical influences, their personal music choices, and discovering new music.
Our favorite is this bit from Randall Poster:
Pitchfork: Do you ever think about whether your work with Wes has inspired people to make music, or opened them up to new sounds?
RP: In the course of the 16 years that we’ve worked together, a lot of bands have been born, and I think there have been some inspired by Wes, to a certain degree. And when kids come up to you and they’re like, “Rushmore really opened me up to a whole world of music,” that’s the absolute greatest. Both of us have shared the experience of being the kid in the dark, watching the movie and just saying, “Oh my God, this is the greatest thing I’ve ever seen.” And when you feel like you’ve affected another kid sitting in the dark, that’s a great reward.
The rest of the article can be read over at Pitchfork.
The writer and filmmaker, John Lopez, recently spoke with Wes Anderson on the process of making a “Wes Anderson film.” Check out the full interview here.
No matter how often others deconstruct and mimic Wes Anderson’s style, he almost always nails a note of whimsical enchantment you just won’t get anywhere else short of your first field trip to the Natural History Museum. And his latest, Moonrise Kingdom, has hit the commercial-critical sweet spot — who better to re-create the fastidious fantasies of adolescent love — without Anderson really changing it up: wide-angle tracking shots, check; deadpan delivery, check; Bill Murray’s vague sense of subdued aggression, double check. Which begs the question, how does Wes Anderson make a Wes Anderson film?