Patrick Gosnell, a graduate student and teacher at Texas State University San-Marcos, wrote a piece on his design blog, Gänsefüßchen, exploring the intricate relationship between Wes Anderson and his choice of typeface.
Gosnell notes that “…not since the likes of fellow auteur directors Stanley Kubrick and Woody Allen has a filmmaker so carefully considered their choice of type. With Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson has made yet another typographic decision that has designers trying to ascertain its significance: Archer.” For more on the (possible) significance of this design choice, and other such choices on display in the wonderfully imagined worlds of Wes Anderson, click here.
Ever wondered what the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs would look like in slow motion set to the music of the Kinks? Well, you’re in luck, because the folks over at Conan have created a funny short of Wes Anderson’s (fictional) test reel for Star Wars: Episode VII. Check it out here over at Flavorwire where Judy Berman comments:
Forget Grand Budapest Hotel; any man-child filmmaker worth his daddy issues would drop everything to direct Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII, so of course Wes Anderson has put together some test footage for consideration. And somehow (i.e., they made it up) Conan got their hands on that reel. Titled A Life Galactic, Anderson’s take is just as twee and intricate as you might hope, featuring a stylized showdown between Han and Greedo and the sweetest two-creature motorcycle ride you’ve ever seen.
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.
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?
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.
Wes Anderson’s mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born. It immediately becomes more than a series of events and is transformed into a world with its own rules, in which everything is driven by emotions and desires as convincing as they are magical. “Moonrise Kingdom” creates such a world and takes place on an island that might as well be ruled by Prospero. It’s set in 1965, though it might as well be set at any time…
The success of “Moonrise Kingdom” depends on its understated gravity. None of the actors ever play for laughs or put sardonic spins on their material. We don’t feel they’re kidding. Yes, we know these events are less than likely, and the film’s entire world is fantastical. But what happens in a fantasy can be more involving than what happens in life, and thank goodness for that.