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?
The Onion’s A.V. Club sat down with Bob Balaban to discuss his experience of working with an auteur and selections from his four-decade career, including when he worked as a translator both on- and off-screen for Francois Truffaut during Close Encounters.
This part especially charmed us:
AVC: There does seem to be a lot of Truffaut in Moonrise Kingdom.
BB: That’s what I thought. I didn’t think of it when I read it, but when I saw the movie, it just leapt out at me. The formality of the movie did not let me see it earlier than that, but when I saw the movie all together, I went, “Truffaut.” I was really sad Truffaut wasn’t watching it, because he would have just been crazy for that seven-minute scene on the island with the boy and the girl. That was Truffaut in a nutshell, the seriousness of kids and the respect you have to give them when you’re dealing with them or portraying them. The not talking down, the specificity of young love, which nobody ever gets, really.
Read the rest of the article over at the A.V. Club.
Welcome back to the Friday News Round-Up! As you may have noticed, things are slowing down a bit around here, but don’t you worry. We still have plenty of Wes Anderson-related splendor to share with you. Let’s get to it!
- (Above) Ezra Petronio, Marc Jacobs, Wes Anderson and Jarvis Cocker lunch in Paris, photo by Katja Rahlwes
- The Very White Self-Indulgence of Wes Anderson Studies is an interesting perspective on the director’s work and his fanbase.
- As there are so many positive reviews of Moonrise Kingdom (now at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes), it’s interesting to read a fairly negative review, this time from The Economist.
- Graphic designer Beth Mathews created a wonderful chart of the primary colors used in the last six Anderson films and notes how true he stays to his brand.
- Film School Rejects has sussed out six filmmaking tips from Wes Anderson, the central theme of which is to remain confident in yourself (which is a good lesson for anyone.)
- On the softer side, Hanniel and Chris had a Wes Anderson-inspired engagement photoshoot.
- Cinematographer Robert Yeoman, who has worked on all of Wes’s live-action feature films, discusses the use of Super 16 film and the technical aspects of the filming process.
- KCRW, a radio station out of California, has interviewed Wes after each of his films and has rounded up the interviews on one page, just for you. The Moonrise Kingdom interview is fairly standard, but it’s still refreshing. (But that’s just one man’s opinion.)
- Classic Interview: Owen Wilson and Wes discuss the writing and making of Bottle Rocket with the New York Times in 1996.
Luke Goodsell of Rotten Tomatoes recently interviewed Wes Anderson and asked the acclaimed director to list his five favorite films. Wes coyly replied “You may have to call it ‘The five movies that I just say, for whatever reason,’” and “I don’t know if I’ll be able to stand behind them as my five favorites, they’ll just be the five I manage to think up right now.” Check out the interview, where, among many things, Wes discusses his inspirations for Moonrise Kingdom, his childhood obsessions, and how his experience in animation affected the way he approached his latest project.
Bill Murray was on the Late Show with David Letterman last night. It was a great appearance, with some really kind words shared about Wes Anderson. There’s also a rare test of Bill Murray’s new hologram technology. US readers can watch the full segment here, about 13 minutes in, right after the second dot.
We’re a little late to post this one, but don’t let its 6-day age turn you off. Jason Schwartzman, interviewed by Jada Yuan for New York Magazine, is at his best. He talks about his childhood experiences, working with Bill Murray, and his friendship with Wes:
So, when Wes calls, do you just drop everything you’re doing to be in his movies? Do you have a say in what you play?
First of all, let me say this: This is one of my best friends in the whole world and I am very, very lucky for that. There are very few people I could say that are my close people that I really, really care about. And I would say that there are an even smaller amount of them that I could say I actually work with, too. And it’s just very lucky. I met Wes on Rushmore. We made a movie together. We stayed in touch through the years. And then this weird thing happens to you personally and you talk about it and then you keep talking, and then all of a sudden it’s twelve years older and you’re like, “Wow, this is my best friend.”
Read the rest of the interview over at The Vulture.
(image via GQ)