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.

Continue reading “If I Can Dream {archive}”

A Real Buddy Picture {archive}


Newsweek, December 7, 1998

Two young friends make an adorable new comedy about passion and prep school. Go, Rushmore!
by Jeff Giles

You think you know a person. Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson have been friends for nearly 10 years. After graduating from the University of Texas, they wrote a caper flick called Bottle Rocket. Anderson directed the movie. Wilson turned in a hilarious performance as Dignan, a zealous loser who tries to get his buddies excited about a life of crime, shouting orders into a walkie-talkie and launching every half-baked robbery attempt by barking, “Let’s get lucky!” Bottle Rocket was a winning debut. But, like Dignan, it underperformed. Tonight, in a restaurant in Dallas, Wilson reveals just how disillusioned he was when the movie was released in 1996. As he puts it, “I was exploring a career in the armed services.” Across the table, Anderson looks up, confused: “What are you talking about? You’re making that up, right? You called the Army?” And the Navy, it seems. And the Marines.

Continue reading “A Real Buddy Picture {archive}”

“The Buddy System” {archive}


Rolling Stone, October 29, 1998

Current Project Rushmore, an off-kilter comedy that’s one of the funniest, most intelligent teen flicks since the heyday of John Hughes. Like their previous movie, Bottle Rocket, it was co-written by the twenty-something duo and directed by Anderson. Rushmore stars Bill Murray and is set at an all-boys private school.

Inauspicious Meeting Anderson: “We went to school together [at the University of Texas at Austin] and were in a play-writing class. We never spoke the entire semester. There were only eight people in the class, and everyone sat around a long table, and we sat in desks in opposite corners of the room. A mutual friend introduced us the next semester.” Wilson: “We recognized each other from that class: ‘There’s that jerk who wouldn’t take part, who thought he was too good. Who does he think he is? This brooding outsider.'”

Continue reading ““The Buddy System” {archive}”

“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.

Continue reading ““Rebel Yell” {archive}”

“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.”

Continue reading ““Who’s Laughing Now?” {archive}”

“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.

Continue reading ““The New Kids” {archive}”