An Evening With The Royal Tenenbaums

Columbia College will be putting on Round 10 of its fantastic Cinema Slapdown series this Friday, April 18th. This edition features Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums followed by a spirited debate between Sheldon Patinkin and Tim Kazurinsky (Sweetchuck!) over the movie’s merits (or lack thereof). Previous entries in the series have included CrashIt’s A Wonderful Life, and SuperFly.

We’ve always considered ourselves fans of Anderson’s work (even his commercials) and have greatly enjoyed repeat viewings of this movie in spite of its shockingly dark turn. Where it falls in the cinema canon of “great works” we’ll leave up to Patinkin and Kazurinsky to decide.

Cinema Slapdown Round 10: The Royal Tenenbaums, Friday April 18, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., Free Admission, Columbia College Film Row Cinema, 1104 S. Wabash, 8th Floor. Call 312-344-6708 for more information. (link)

Readers in Chicagoland. If you go, send us a report! 

Karen Patch talks costume design

Costume designer for Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums, Karen Patch is currently featured in an article on W‘s website called “Dressing the Part.”

(Mary Zophres, Jacqueline Durran and Karen Patch, from W)

Marc Jacobs “most influenced” by The Royal Tenenbaums

Paris fashion week is in full swing and Marc Jacobs, as usual, has been impressing the critics. We of course know that Marc Jacobs (creative director for Louis Vuitton) had a close working relationship with Wes Anderson on The Darjeeling Limited with the creating of the spectacular luggage and suits used by Francis and his brothers. But in the Guardian piece it seems that the film that “most influences” Jacobs his The Royal Tenenbaums:

Louis Vuitton only started making clothes 10 years ago under the aegis of Marc Jacobs, almost 150 years after the label first knocked out the ubiquitous bags. But its fashion division has become a credible player and last year the label achieved record growth. As if to rub in the American-ness, Jacobs has said that the film that influences him most is not Breakfast at Tiffany’s but The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson’s offbeat film about a dysfunctional family.

Anderson was also in attendance at this show (as was Sofia Coppola and many others).

These Days

A rather lovely version of “These Days” (from The Royal Tenenbaums) by St. Vincent, found thanks to aerolls.

indieWIRE: “Mr. Anderson, welcome back, we missed you”

From IndieWIRE’s 2007 critics’ poll:

“The idea that ‘The Darjeeling Limited’ is somehow lazy Anderson redux amazes me. It’s a huge leap forward — the first movie to feature characters that aren’t emotionally constipated, and the suffocating over-designed tableaux are taken in an unexpected direction: there’s too much stuff to take in, so you don’t bother. As opposed to that awful games closet in ‘The Royal Tenenbaums.'” – Vadim Rizov

“Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” marked the greatest evolutionary leap forward by a major American filmmaker this year. He was so far ahead of everybody this year that almost nobody recognized what, exactly, he was doing. There are no epiphanies in the movie, only thwarted potential epiphanies and almost-epiphanies, experienced by brothers who narrate every feeling they have, add soundtrack music to their real world experiences and generally seem hell-bent on narrating their own autobiographies in real time…. They plan and execute their spiritual odyssey as if it were a shopping spree. They’re metaphysical consumerists. That’s America circa 2007. Anderson has evolved, yet his critics — lovers and haters alike — are still reviewing ‘The Royal Tenenbaums.'” – Matt Zoller Seitz

Poster sale

Preface: We have no affiliation with, so we make no profit from this plug., a site probably most famous for their free shipping, is having a buy one, get one free sale on posters (mostly 11″ x 17″ reproductions). And, they have a very nice selection of Wes Anderson posters.

Search for…

“Underclass Overachiever / Weary Former Success”

I have neglected to post Ed Hardy’s most recent article in his Wes Anderson blog-a-thon, UNDERCLASS OVERACHIEVER/WEARY FORMER SUCCESS: Character Types in the Films of Wes Anderson. Through this admission, I am countering my own act of neglect. Well played.

A little teaser:

The two lead characters in Wes Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket (1996), Anthony and Dignan, established two main character types that have been articulated through the remainder of his films. Dignan, played by Owen Wilson, represents the Underclass Overachiever, and Anthony, played by his brother Luke Wilson, represents the Weary Former Success. Depth of character and variety of experience has made for a stunning series of characters throughout Anderons’s films, culminating in Steve Zissou, who is a synthesis of the two main types and is, in many ways, presaged by Royal Tenenbaum.

Tidbits from the ‘net.

[deleted]I also came upon an article from the Winter 2007 ed. of Cinema Journal: “La Camera-Crayola: Authorship Comes of Age in the Cinema of Wes Anderson” by Devin Orgeron (NC State Univ.).

Like the semicultish but relatively short-lived electronic frenzy to recreate and sell the Team Zissou Adidas sneaker, the clip [the American Express commercial] has taken on a life of its own on the Internet, become another potentially coveted and collectible Anderson product, a part of the Anderson lifestyle [author’s italics], characterized by the director’s simultaneous self-deprecation and self-aggrandizement. Critical for us, indeed, is the centrality of Anderson himself within the Andersonian mise-en-scène. Directed by Anderson or not, the spot, claiming to advertise the recognizable credit card, ends up as an advertisement for Anderson himself, his cinematic form, his thematic fascination with the individual, and his network of support… Anderson’s installment is particularly interesting, perhaps, because of its fit within a body of work similarly concerned with the delicate production of personal identity, here reduced to an array of identifiable, imitable, and, as a consequence, even laughable stylistic and thematic characteristics (61-62).

URL: Orgeron article

Quoting the web

David Poland wonders:

Is The Darjeeling Limited Fox Searchlight’s secret weapon of 2007 or just a happy Wes Anderson comedy? (link)

Jake Coyle, writing for the AP, argues that the last decade of film has been far better than the AFI Top 100 suggests:

According to the American Film Institute’s new list of the 100 greatest films, the last 10 years have produced only four great ones: “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (No. 50), “Saving Private Ryan” (No. 71), “Titanic” (No. 83) and “The Sixth Sense” (No. 89).

I get bloated just typing those titles. Granted, the last 10 years have been a historically weak period for films. They can’t touch Hollywood’s golden era of the ’40s, or the heralded ’70s, when maverick directors roamed the studios.

But surely, there’s been more to see in the last decade than Haley Joel Osment whispering “I see dead people.” (Pssst: I’ve seen better movies.)…

Wes Anderson’s classically quirky comedy “Rushmore” is far more than a cult flick. In a long comic lineage of oddballs, Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) tops them all.

Many others that weren’t on the ballot are also deserving. Two that could sit comfortably on the shelf next to “Rushmore” are “Election” and the Coen brothers'”The Big Lebowski.” The latter rises to the level of classic — after all, its whole premise is film noir held up to the funhouse mirror of “The Dude.” (link)

Jeffrey Wells dished up some harsh criticism of Wes in relation to his sometimes-collaborator Noah Baumbach. You can read it here, if you’d like. I would like to hear your comments over on the message board.