An Ode To Wes Anderson
...and his fantastic royal aquatic kingdom.
My goal in life is to one day receive a letter in the mail that will be hand written on tea stain-coloured paper. The letter will be addressed to Miss Bahar Sayed, and when I open it, I will not find a speeding fine or a pointless bank statement. Instead, the lined note paper will read “I approve”, and in the bottom right hand corner of the page will sit Wes Anderson’s autograph.
Maybe I should aim for something more attainable; yes…that though has crossed my mind. But then what fun would my life be without ridiculous daydreams.
Only just have I gotten over Wes Anderson’s most recent work Moonrise Kingdom (2012) to find out that the new year will see a new Wes Anderson film – The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Excitement around Mr. Anderson’s new film has gripped me to the point where all I am thinking and seeing is within the essence of Wes. It has totally consumed me. The majority of my conversations are based around Wes Anderson and I see my friend’s eyes glossing over as I begin to speak to them for the sixth time in a fortnight about Andersons work. And so for my own sanity and for the sake of my relationship’s, I have decided that I will do one final outpour of obsession and devotion to the American auteur…let’s see if I can stick to my word.
So I’ll start from the top, from the beginning. Wesley Wales “Wes” Anderson’s first film, Bottle Rocket (1996) was produced when he was 27 years old. Now, at the age of 44, Wes has written 11 movies, directed 12, and has been the producer in nine films. He has a collection of work that anyone would be proud to get obnoxious over.
Wes Anderson’s style captures you. His films are ones that jump out at you as you skim the shelves of the video-store trying to find something new but something you are sure you will enjoy. It’s simple, it’s perfect, it’s to the point. His films have a wonderful 70’s-esque colour palette. The sets and costumes are flawless, with every hair in place, every costume making sense and every prop in its correct position. Yes, “perfect” is overrated and unnatural, a bit like Paris. But Paris has a right to be overrated because of its authentic beauty, and so do Anderson’s films.
Wes has gone beyond perfection and adopted it as his own unique style. Anything less could be seen as sacrilege. It works because he team’s his perfect colour palette and beautiful sets with straight-to-the-point, witty and child-like lines. Yeah, the three words that I have used to describe his scripts don’t really match…but Wes makes them work, that’s why he is brilliant, a genius. There is nothing behind what you are seeing, it’s just aesthetically pleasing and quirky film’s that help you view the world from the eyes of a child…or the eyes of Wes Anderson.
On top of this blend of perfect, Mr. Anderson continuously works with an impressive group of actors. Kind of like Tim Burton re-using Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp for all.his.films, Anderson does the same. But Anderson’s actor choice doesn’t get tiresome. And how would it? When the catalogue of people who are willing to collaborate with you is a collection of beyond A-List celebrities. The most notable people in Wes’s inner-circle are; Noah Baumbach, Brian Cox, Roman Coppola, Anjelica Huston, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Luke Wilson, Owan Wilson, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Bill Murray, and Bill Murray.
On day (maybe) Wes will include me in on his inner-circle hangs, and ask me for ideas and collaborations into his new films. One day. Maybe.
Next time you find yourself stuck on movie ideas, impress yourself with a Wes Anderson choice. My top two favourite are The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), because I dream of being Margot Tenenbaum and Anderson uses some cool scene transitions and headings. And Moonrise Kingdom (2012), because it is such a simple film idea, but Anderson throws in scenes that catch you of guard and leave you emotionally exhausted.
PS Mr. Anderson, I approve.
Header photo and other photos taken from The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller, available from places that sell books.