The only way we could get a Wes Anderson and Ridley Scott crossover would be in our dreams. But the next closest thing is the Wes Anderson-produced documentary Escapes, which follows the strange and beautiful life of Hampton Fancher, the former flamenco dancer-turned screenwriter of one of the most iconic sci-fi movies of all time, Blade Runner.
When we made ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, Wes, Roman, Jason, Bill Murray and I all shared a big old house in Newport. It was about as fun as it gets. Like making home movies with your friends in middle school, except it ends up Opening Night at Cannes. We didn’t want it to end so after the premiere we went to Italy for a hang and we’ve kept it up. ‘Grand Budapest’ got handed out for a read the first summer and ‘Isle of Dogs’ was outlined the next. Bill wasn’t with us this summer but we wore his #WilliamMurrayGolf shirts to infuse the idyll with his spirit of fun. And #BMW loaned us incredible rides to get the growing families over the dusty bumpy Tuscan roads to gelato at the town on the hill. If I had to get stranded with a group on an island, I could make it work with these cats.
The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel, by Matt Zoller Seitz (Abrams)
Make this one a two-for-one deal and also pick up esteemed film/TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz’ 2013 book The Wes Anderson Collection, in which Seitz interviews Anderson about all of his pre-Budapest movies. This one, of course, is all about the Oscar-nominated 2014 movie, and like its predecessor, The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel also features a wealth of behind-the-scenes photos and an overall gorgeous layout. It’s eye candy for the brain.
I have been working on a little project to document the history of the online Wes community, starting with this site, which started in 2000 and owes much to a site that came before it called the Lawnwranglers.
I have another part-time job that nobody knows about. It doesn’t pay very well because … well, technically my “boss” doesn’t actually know I hired myself to do the job. But whenever he decides he needs me, I’m certainly ready and waiting. You see, when it comes to the aesthetics of Wes Anderson movies, ol’ Wes and I are like two peas in a pod. It’s almost as if we have an unspoken connection. In fact, I received a message the other day from an MNC reader who had spotted Mr. Anderson in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum observing at a Brueghel wintry scene. My source revealed that she’d overheard Mr. Anderson say he was researching for his next film. Hmmm … sounds to me like my pal Wes could use a hand. How convenient that I keep a compendium of Anderson-esque movie locations on file just for the occasion. Here are my top 20…