“Road to Andersonville” {archive}


Welcome to Andersonville I’m a confirmed Wes Anderson fan, but then you knew that. Rushmore and Bottle Rocket (directed by Anderson, co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson) are among my favorite films of the ’90s. I can’t wait for the next one, something about a family of geniuses living in New York.

But my admiration for Anderson’s sly brand of filmmaking pales next to Jon Doyle and Mark Devitt’s. These guys are serious. How serious? Last February they went on a Wes Anderson pilgrimage, traveling by car from their native Canada to visit various locations Anderson used for Rushmore and Bottle Rocket in Texas. A little strange, I suppose, but also charming in an oddball, Wes Anderson sort of way.

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“On the Road” {archive}


by Andy Jones

When I heard that Wes Anderson was traveling across country on a bus to promote Rushmore, I assumed that he was driving around in a big yellow school bus. I don’t know why. But it seemed very Wes and very Rushmore — which is an odd, riotous, deeply satisfying, crushingly original film that Anderson directed and co-wrote with his good friend Owen Wilson. Both are also responsible for the equally out-there Bottle Rocket. Anyhow, it’s not a school bus. It’s a high-tech tour bus painted bright yellow and Anderson holds court in the back bedroom… with a mirrored ceiling. Very rock star. We caught up with him in Atlanta, early in the morning, between television interviews.

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“Teacher’s Pet” {archive}


“Rushmore” director Wes Anderson talks about his first “collaborative” writing effort, his recent pilgrimage to the home of Pauline Kael and New York telephone booths.


Director Wes Anderson’s rise from cable-access obscurity to Hollywood buzz boy is the stuff of indie auteur reverie. After graduating from the University of Texas, Anderson and his roommate, Owen Wilson, wrote and shot a 15-minute short on a shoestring budget. Through a combination of luck, talent and some well-connected family friends, the film found its way to Hollywood, where it gained the support of producer-director James L. Brooks. Brooks helped the duo hone their screenplay and secure a $5 million budget. The resulting feature, 1996’s “Bottle Rocket,” which starred Wilson and his brother Luke, is the story of a couple of suburban slackers whose aimlessness leads them to commit a series of half-baked heists. Though it opened to critical raves, it was more cult hit than blockbuster, but Hollywood took notice: Anderson commanded an eight-figure budget from Disney for his second feature, “Rushmore.”

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If I Can Dream {archive}

The Everlasting Boyhoods of Wes Anderson
From the Lawnwranglers.com Archive
Film Comment, January/February 1999
by Mark Olsen

Unlike many writer-directors of his generation, Wes Anderson does not view his characters from some distant Olympus of irony. He stands beside them — or rather, just behind them — cheering them on as they chase their miniaturist renditions of the American Dream. The characters who inhabit Anderson’s cinematic universe, a Middle West of the Imagination, embody both sides of William Carlos Williams’ famous edict that the pure products of America go crazy, being, for the most part, both purely American and slightly crazy. Though some might label his people losers, or even invoke that generational curse, slackers, they are in fact ambitious and motivated overreachers, misguided though their energies occasionally are.

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“Rebel Yell” {archive}

PremiereOctober 1998

Who taught you the most about filmmaking? Who inspired you?

Cable access was where I learned about editing and everything. The people I learned the most from were the people that I collaborated with as a writer: my writing partner, Owen Wilson, and Jim Brooks, who was one of the producers of Bottle Rocket.

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“Who’s Laughing Now?” {archive}


Icon Thoughtstyle, September/October 1998

Backed by some big Hollywood players, Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson have two movies, a house in California, and the same life they had in Texas.
by Philip Zabriskie

In high school, Houston-native Wes Anderson directed shorts on a cable-access station and wrote plays, “real crowd pleasers, stuff designed to get a big audience reaction,” says the 29-year-old. “We did a play, The Alamo, that was just like a big war scene. We did one called The Five Maseratis, that all took place in these Maseratis. When I look back, it seems kind of static, because everybody was just sitting in these cars. I always cast myself as the hero. Maybe that was the reason I wanted to do them.”

“I didn’t know what I was going to do, maybe…advertising?” says Dallas-native Owen Wilson, also 29. “I guess movies seemed impossible. It seemed so far away and so difficult to break into.” Anderson and Wilson met at the University of Texas. Anderson was not wearing a monocle, as Wilson claims, but they shared prep-school backgrounds and a similar sense of humor. And, Anderson says, just as “we might think the same things are funny, we might think the same things are sad.”

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“The New Kids” {archive}

Texas Monthly, May 1998

They’re not yet thirty, but they’re playing with the big boys.
by Pamela Colloff

On an overcast afternoon this past winter, a crowd of autograph hounds and hangers-on stood in silent reverence outside Don’s barbershop in Houston, craning for a view of the star rumored to be shooting a film inside. Across the street, while traffic crawled past the white trailers and frenzied production assistants cluttered the sidewalk, gawkers stood on the hoods of their cars, squinting under the white-hot floodlights. But it wasn’t comedian Bill Murray at the center of the disarray; unbeknownst to the crowd, he had already shot his scenes and flown back to New York. Rather, it was Wes Anderson, the gangly 29-year-old director and co-writer of Rushmore, who was pacing the barbershop floor and running his pale hands through his unruly thatch of hair. Wearing a slouchy green cardigan, faded corduroys, and Converse All-Stars, he looked more like a distracted graduate student who had wandered onto the set than someone shooting his second feature for a major studio.

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Production notes from Bottle Rocket {archive}

Sources: Lawnwranglers.com (R.I.P.), from official Bottle Rocket website (Sony Pictures)

Bottle Rocket tells the gently comic story of three devoted, would-be thieves who prove the importance of friendship, honor and duty as they ineptly pursue a life of crime.

Directed by Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket is written by Owen C. Wilson and Wes Anderson. In addition to Owen C. Wilson, Luke Wilson and Robert Musgrave, the film also stars Andrew Wilson, Lumi Cavazos and James Caan as Mr. Henry. Polly Platt and Cynthia Hargrave are the producers. The executive producers are James L. Brooks, Richard Sakai, Barbara Boyle and Michael Taylor. Robert Yeoman is the director of photography; David Wasco is the production designer; David Moritz is the editor. The film is co-produced by Ray Zimmerman and L. M. Kit Carson. Karen Patch is the costume designer. Music is by Mark Mothersbaugh.

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“Slouching toward Hollywood” {archive}

“Slouching toward Hollywood”
September 7, 1995 – Dallas Observer
By Matt Zoller Seitz

Can four young Dallas filmmakers sell their dream-and still keep their souls? Matt Zoller Seitz follows the trail of Bottle Rocket.

Jimmy Caaaaaaan!

Luke Wilson was thrilled. It was November 1994, and the star of The Godfather, Thief, and Misery, icon to two generations of aspiring young actors and a walking template of life’s rougher passages, was jogging beside him on train tracks near a downtown Dallas factory.

A film crew was gathered nearby. They were shooting a scene for the new movie Bottle Rocket. In it, Luke Wilson played a younger thief taken under the wing of an older heist expert–Mr. Henry–played by Caan.

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Lost In Filmland? These Guys Sure Found a Way {archive}

November 7, 1993 – Los Angeles Times
By Jeffrey Wells

Watchers of raw talent, take note: 24-year-old Texas filmmakers Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson hit town Monday. But unlike many Hollywood neophyte arrivals, this duo has already locked a big-studio deal. With James L. Brooks and Columbia Pictures, no less.

Last month, the pair completed a deal with Brooks (“Broadcast News,” and the forthcoming “I’ll Do Anything”) and the studio to back their co-written debut film, “Bottle Rocket,” a dryly comic, low-key drama about a trio of middle-class goofballs who embark on a life of crime. The $5-million-or-so venture, to be directed by Anderson and produced by Brooks, Polly Platt and Cynthia Hargrave, will roll in Dallas sometime in mid-’94, and go out theatrically and in other media through Columbia. The Columbia-Brooks launch sets Anderson and Wilson apart from other young filmmakers — the Hudlin brothers (“Boomerang”), Robert Rodriguez (“El Mariachi”), the Hughes brothers (“Menace II Society”) — who came up hardscrabble-style through independent or self-financed ranks. In fact, the Texas duo had a little help: screenwriter L.M. Kit Carson (“Breathless”), who discovered the pair in late 1991, godfathered the development of the “Bottle Rocket” script and provided the Tinseltown connections.

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