Wes Anderson Movie

Wes Anderson (or Wessie, as nobody calls him) is a hugely popular cult filmmaker who remains independent, even though his films are financed by major studios. Wait, what?

Just The Facts

  1. Wes Anderson directed Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited.
  2. His films have themes of discontent, alienation, longing, and elitism.
  3. Bill Murray is in most of them, thus rendering aformentioned points moot but for the fact that Bill Murray is in them.

Cracked on Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a good director. We know this because Martin Scorsese said so - he directs awesome films and we write for the internet - it's a credible influence it's safe to say.

But why should we (that is, you) like Wes Anderson movies? This is difficult to answer because he does divide opinion. For a start, he is well known for what some might call 'indie' films - briefly described thus: involves character derived humour, out of the ordinary events, a rock and roll soundtrack and random bits of slow-motion thrown in during the most mundane periods. Yep, some people think his movies are boring, but they are simply not high enough (or too high, not sure which).

It must be emphasised however that he bears absolutely no relation to films like Garden State which is a sugar coated, saccharine, ipod playlist, completely nut-less affair of a movie and should not be seen and liked by anyone.


A heavy-handed attempt at being quirky

The Filmmaker

Not being some ragged gossip column, who or what he has dated previously seems irrelevant, since no major news source seem interested in either.

Lifelong BFF with the now-famous-because-of-him Wilson brothers, one of whom co-wrote two of his films (not Luke), the other making a living by being as drab and passive as possible (not Owen). Wessie also has a brother (not Owen) who draws the terribly precocious doodles that appear in a lot of his work.

In the end, he's just some neurotic dude who makes quirky films about something-or-other.

What Makes Them Good?

There's no real consensus about what his films are about, only that they're about something, which makes them good. All of Wessie's films follow the same formula: alienated, dysfunctional adolescents/families struggle in pathos to resolve long-standing issues, before humorous/tragic event occurs, leading to life-changing resolution. While this sounds like 90% of all indie films you've ever watched, there are two major forces in play in WA's work:

1. Detail

From the big (tracking shots, overarcing themes, ennui) to the small (the wild amount of detail in said design, i.e. the Tenenbaum house, Zissou's ship, Owen Wilson's face), Wessie is directly involved in every aspect of his films. While this comes off as totally OCD to the common man, it also makes his films unique to the point of being completely obtuse to the viewer. This has been mistranslated by pretentious college kids and even more pretentious adults as the mark of a genius - but more about those types later.

In reality WA seems to have the same overbearing micro-machine management style as an unpleasant boss does, only he's making a movie instead of managing a team of IT workers.

"I said light goldenrod not yellow, asshole!"

2. Bill Murray
Let's face it: Bill Murray is the man. He is Sean Connery and Conan O'Brien impossibly smashed into one. Bill is the best thing to happen to comedy in the past 50 years, easily.. With the raise of an eyebrow or well-put sarcastic aside, Bill still achieved levels of humor most comedians in a lifetime of flailing arms and hyper-blather ever attain.
Thank you for finally stopping
whatever it was you were doing,
Mr. Bill Fucking Murray has appeared in all but one of Wessie's films thus far, and has helped transition Billy Badass Murray from adult-smartass-acting-like-a-kid into sad-old-man-who's-still-whimsical. This can be exampled by the evolution of his facial hair throughout WA's films:
And yet, without Wessie's films, Bill would be relegated to the ninth circle of career hell by voicing CGI Garfield and appearing in Jim Jarmauch films approximately 12 people would ever see.

So Are They Good Or Bad?

Well that depends on what you're looking for in a movie. His films tend to be rather long, and a bit pretentious. They're also directed with flair and feature some outstanding characters. Even with all the trappings of an arthouse snoozefest, there is gunplay and explosions (yes!) in The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, and the only instance of Natalie Portman nudity on record (Darjeeling Limited) in his work.

The biggest downside to Wessie's films are his fans, who tend to be a bit, well, pretentious. This includes legions of hipster college students who think their film major status transforms their opinions into fact, elitist snobs that take one person's uniqueness as their own, and all other various indie/emo/artist-types who find the common shared interest of the general public to be somehow completely original.

Despite (because?) of this, Wes Anderson's films have combined grosses of over $100 million. Note to hipster fucks: just because a film has artistic merit, it could still be intended and enjoyed by a general audience.

Integrity vs.The Future

Whatever one may think of Wes Anderson's films, you have to admit they're loaded with integrity. There are the same melodramatic tricks and gimmicks (suicide, wide shots, death, offbeat soundtracks, regret, slow motion) most movies scramble for in an attempt to engage the viewer, but with WA's films it seems part of the larger whole rather than a one-trick pony.

If there was one filmmaker to emerge from the past 20 years who keeps true to their vision, it would be Wessie. I mean, lesser directors would have cashed in by making family-friendly fare and wide-release them during holiday weekends, but not good old trusty Wes Anderson, no sir.

Oh. Never mind.