Tag Archives: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Tribute Posters Out of Toronto

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.

IbraheemYoussefPosters

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.

Matt Zoller Seitz and the Directors of the Decade: Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson

Over at SalonMatt Zoller Seitz (freelance critic, and author of one the earliest and best profiles of Wes, and this incredible series of video essays from earlier this year) has been taking a look at some of the most influential directors of the decade in an on-going series of essays. Seitz’s latest examines the work of Robert Zemeckis and Wes Anderson.

An excerpt:

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.

Watch and Chat about The Life Aquatic TONIGHT

zissou-watch-poster

Please join us tonight for the second film in our summer Wes Anderson Film Festival.

What do you need to do to be a part of it? Simple, grab your DVD and at 11pm ET/8pm PT, head on over to the Chat Room, press play, and chat with us during the film.

You can view the Facebook invitation here.

More information about the film after the jump.

Continue reading

Steve Zissou: Scientist

Zissou

Over at the House Next Door, Simon Hsu takes a look at the depiction of Steve Zissou as a scientist.

5. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004): The sense of realness and pathos in Wes Anderson’s film is remarkable, despite the fantasy of the world surrounding its characters: Underwater sea labs, headlight-equipped research dolphins, island-hopping gun battles, etc. This feeling of reality is aided by an undeniable Brechtian self-consciousness, opening with shots of a stage presenting “The Life Aquatic Part 1” to an audience in the film’s world, and closing with the twist that we the real-world viewers have been watching “Part 2” all along. Other examples of this reflexivity exist throughout the film, including jump cuts (boxed up sneakers, cut to sneakers in Bill Murray’s hand, cut to Murray doing toe touch exercises in his new kicks), on-camera documentary filming (Owen Wilson, demonstrating inferior boom mic handling skills), and lateral pans of cross sections of the Belafonte curiously similar to those that Godard/Gorin employ in Tout Va Bien, another highly Brechtian film. All of these strategies heighten the awareness of the protagonist scientist’s mission, exemplifying the primary driving force behind the time, blood and sweat spent on doing what it is we do: The search for truth. Despite the film’s surrealist elements, Zissou faces the same challenges a modern scientist does. Brainstorm, Contact, and Hulk are all conscious of sources of scientific funding, the threat of being shut down and the criticism of scientific peers. But I love that, in Anderson’s film, these predicaments build upon the pathos we derive from the character’s relationships with one another. Zissou is driven to beg his estranged wife for money, more readily demonstrates the acceptance of Ned as his son after learning of Ned’s inheritance and prompts Captain Hennessey to reveal his sexuality. At the end of the film, an initially humorous tumble down a staircase turns sorrowful as Zissou admits he is a “washed up old man with no friends, feeling sorry for himself.” Before his poignant confession, he says to his documenting cameraman “We’ll give them the reality this time.” How many films do?

A San Diego-based cineaste, Simon Hsu does research on protein structure at the UCSD School of Medicine. He is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, and looks forward to an upcoming publication in Biochemistry.

“Being Bill Murray” T-Shirt

The good people at /Film have posted another Bill Murray inspired piece of art, this time a t-shirt by artist Paul O’Sullivan called “Being Bill Murray.” This isn’t the first time Murray’s diverse career has inspired an artist.

The shirt includes three of the four characters Murray has played for Wes Anderson (from left to right): Raleigh St. Clair (The Royal Tenenbaums), Herman Blume (Rushmore), and Steve Zissou (The Life Aquatic with…). No spot for The Businessman from The Darjeeling Limited? What’s the deal? ;)

You can click the picture below to see a bigger version and order one for yourself. (That is, if you’re either a small or an x-large. All other sizes are unfortunately out of stock.)

Murray can currently be seen in his third film with director Jim Jarmusch The Limits of Control which is in limited release and will be expanding throughout the month.