All fans of quirky, ultra stylish, twee, dysfunctional cinema can rest assured. Wes Anderson will be back on a screen near you, early next year. The following poster, in all it’s typical Anderson glory, has now been released for The Grand Budapest Hotel:
This has now been followed swiftly by an awesome trailer, found at the link at the bottom of this article.
If that isn’t enough Wes Anderson excitement for you, a book all about him and his films has now come out. Written by Matt Zoller Seiz, the Wes Anderson Collection looks like a real visual treat:
So in celebration of the imminent (if five months is imminent) release of the directors eighth film, here is a beginners guide to the world of Wes Anderson.
All of his films have their oddball characters in dysfunctional relationships. Be it Dignan (Owen Wilson) in Bottle Rocket, Mr Blume (Bill Murray) and Max (Jason Schwartzman) in Rushmore or Royal (Gene Hackman) and his whole family in The Royal Tenenbaums, these characters offer a really strange world view. Yet they are all loveable in their own way. Even when they are being total bastards like Steve Zissou (Murray again) or irresponsible foxes like Mr Fox (George Clooney) you still eventually wind up rooting for them.
Lavish Set Design
Whether it is the family home in The Royal Tenenbaums or the boat on The Life Aquatic, Wes’ films have an unmistakeable look to them. Everything in each shot matters. It might be the wall paper or pictures, books or clothes, it’s all key to each character and it all screams Wes Anderson. So much so that he has even pretty much trademarked the Futura Bold font all for himself.
All of his films are full of great pithy, dry dialogue and one liners that cry out for repeated viewings, just in case you missed them the first time. These films are not obviously comic, they are subtle works of glorious writing. The dry factor is ramped up whenever Bill Murray is on screen, which is in nearly every Anderson film made to date. Which leads us on to…
Many of the same actors cam be found in Anderson’s films. Most common are his former writing partner Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman and of course Bill Murray who has appeared in all but Bottle Rocket. All of his films are littered with a-list ensemble casts that supplement the quirky stories he tells.
Every film involves some sort of family meltdown and usually a resolution of sorts by the end. We have the whole Tenenbaum family, Steve Zissou and his son, the brothers in Darjeeling Limited and almost everyone in Moonrise Kingdom.
Wes Anderson does cool soundtracks. They are AS cool if not cooler than a Tarantino soundtrack. They are mainly made up of British Invasion hits from the sixties (Rushmore) or artists as diverse as Elliot Smith, John Lennon, Nick Drake and The Beach Boys found on other soundtracks. The Life Aquatic even features a soundtrack made up largely of David Bowie songs sung in Portuguese. You could compile a box set of best soundtrack moments quite easily.
Wes usually ends a movie with a final slo-motion edit of all of the main characters doing something together, to serve as the perfect bookend to what is usually a perfect movie. Some people complain that his movies are too similar, too quirky, but to be honest if Anderson ever drops his familiar visual style and eye for detail, then I for one will be gutted.
From Ben Stiller’s Adidas tracksuit, to Bill Murrays Red beanie hat, Jason Schwartzman’s suit and bare feet and most recently the scout outfits on the two runaways in Moonrise Kingdom, the clothing worn by Andersons carefully drawn characters are instantly recognisable, and merchandisable (if thats a word).
- Film: It’s here! The trailer for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel (itsnicethat.com)