Monday, 27 June 2011

Opinions: Wes Anderson is the world's greatest auteur director.

For my entire life I have loved films. This is no understatement. I cannot remember a time I haven't loved sitting down and enjoying an afternoon of film- even if it was 'The Little Mermaid', or 'Matilda'. But, in my later years, I have found myself drawn to a particular genre and style of film, and more and more attuned to the works of auteur director Wes Anderson. To me, now, there is no other director who compares. His films are so personal, emotive and so well suited to my dry sense of humour, it is no exaggeration when I say that my life wouldn't be quite the same without them.
So, here is the complication of my reasons and opinions as to why I think WES ANDERSONS is the world's greatest auteur director


1. He addresses complex situations which other directors (particularly first-time directors) may be intimidated by: parenthood, neglect, unrequited love, dark humour, mental illness, isolation, etc.

2. The depth he examines his characters in is extraordinary- by the time the film stops playing, you understand the characters more so than you do your own friends and family.

3. Anderson's screenplays are phenomenal and poigantly beautiful..."I promise, I will never be your friend", "I wonder if he still remembers me?" to name but a few.

4. The films are emotively powerful in ways least expected.

5. Wes Anderson is a big fan of the Rolling Stones, and their songs have a strong presence in his films. Awesome.

6. He knows a good cast when he sees one- with many of his cast appearing in (nearly) all of his films- Anjelica Houston, Jason Schwarzmann, Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, etc. He must be one amazing director to work with if they keep going back for more.

7. Although there are continuing themes within his work (which are often prominent and clear, in the auteur style) the films are all VERY different- from Darjeeling to the bottom of the ocean (Life Aqautic...).

8. He notably uses a lot of primary colours in his films (particularly in 'The Life Aquatic...') and because I love colour, I dig that.

9. He truly cares about the filmmaking process- being present at every single point of the film's production.

10. He looks out for people he cares about- his brother, Eric Chase Anderson (actor) has appeared in all but one of his films.

11. The films consistenly support a wide variety of characters, and he is generally very unbiased or heavily opinioned when scripting character roles- thus, appealing to a very wide audience.

12. His interests and heros play a huge influence in his work. Like he does in mine.

13. With Wes Anderson's films, you can be transported to a whole new culture in minutes- Paris, India, the ocean, Texas...every film is a learning experience.

14. The narrative in his films is abosorbing. The Royal Tenenbaums, in particular (as narrated by Alec Baldwin) is fast-paced and mesmerising.

14. He is a style icon, let's face it. That's enough reason to love him alone. His films are so classy- Louis Vuitton suitcases are a massive feature of 'The Darjeeling Limited'.

15. He bought Roald Dahl's classic story 'Fanstic Mr Fox' to life with pain-staking stop motion animation. This man deserves a medal.

16. His characters have a running theme of reservedness...and finding it difficult to talk to, or relate, to other people. Just like you and me then...

17. I'm sure I'm not the only one to admit that I relate more to the characters in Wes Anderson's films then I do to most people in real life.

18. Anjelica Houston. Anjelica Houston. Anjelica Houston.

19. In nearly all of his films, Wes Anderson uses the typeface 'Futura' to a vast extent- for film posters, and signage within the films themselves. And Futura is badass.

20. Bill Murray. Bill Murray. Bill Murray.


1. In 2001, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for 'The Royal Tenenbaums'.

2. Anderson is often referred to as an aueteur because of the distinct features throughout his movies, and the fact that he is involved with every single aspect of the film's production.

3. His soundtracks often include folk and rock music, particularly British, being a fan of The Rolling Stones- whose songs feature in several of his films.

4. He studied philosophy at The University of Texas, where he met Owen Wilson, who would go on to star in many of his films (along with his acting brother, Luke Wilson).

5. Anderson went to India to film the 2007, 'The Darjeeling Limited' as a tribute to legendary filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, who was noted as being a huge inspiration in his life. He film is dedicated in his memory.

6. 'The Darjeeling Limited' script was written by Anderson, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola of the legendary Coppola dynasty.

7. Filmmaker Martin Scorsese is a great admirer of Anderson's, notably praising his earliest releases, 'Bottle Rocket', and 'Rushmore' in Esquire magazine.

8. In September 2006, following dissapointing reception from the film 'The Life Aqautic with Steve Zissou', Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen offered their support by providing the soundtrack for the Darjeeling Limited, being huge fans of his work.

9. Owen Wilson, Bill Murray and Eric Chase Anderson (Wes Anderson's brother) and the most frequent actors in his films- each starring in each of his films but one

10. The 2012, 'Moonrise Kingdom' is currently in product and stars, amongst others, Bruce Willis and Bill Murray- the film is set in 1960's Rhode Island when a pair of lovers flee their town, causing a local search party to attempt to find them again.

11. Jarvis Cocker (frontman of band 'Pulp') was hevaily involved in the soundtrack of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', writing the title track, amongst others.

12. Despite the signage on the trains, Indian Railways do not infact run a train service named 'The Darjeeling Limited', however, there is a 'Darjeeling Mail' train.

13. David Bowie's songs feature heavily in 'The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou', however, unusually, they are sung in Portuguese by musician Seu Jorge- with great effect.
14. Gene Wilder was originally offered the role as Royal Tenenbaum in 'The Royal Tenenbaums' but turned it down due to retirement, the part was then took up by Gene Hackman, who went on to recieve a Golden Globe for his performance.

15. In 'The Royal Tenenbaums' it is noted that the typeface Futura and Futura Bold are used to identify characters within the family, however, Helvetica is used for others, such as Rayleigh St. Clair's books.
16. The narrative for 'The Royal Tenenbaums' went on to inspire 'Arrested Development' creator and writer, Mitch Hurwitz to pursue his ideas for narrative throughout the series (which Ron Howard later took, as well as helping to produce the series).

17. Anderson notes being inspired by Roald Dahl at an early stage, when creating Rushmore he wanted to create his "slightly heightened reality, like a Roald Dahl children's book".

18. Before casting Jason Schwartzman for the role of Max Fischer in 'Rushmore', 1,800 teenagers were auditioned, before Anderson happened to meet the 17-year-old Schwartzman at cousin Sofia Coppola's party.

19. Bill Murray was nominated for a Golden Globe as 'Best Supporting Actor' in 'Rushmore'.

20. The short film, and prequel to 'The Darjeeling Limited' was filmed in Hôtel Raphaël in Paris.


1. Film
2. Director
3. Texas
4. America
5. Families
6. Brothers
7. Love
8. Unrequited
9. Darjeeling
10. Schwarzmann
11. Murray
12. Femme fetale
13. Tenenbaum
14. Roald Dahl
15. Creativity
16. Auteur
17. Screenplay
18. Childhood
19. Cigarette
20. Futura

(In response to the question 'Who is your favourite film director?')

1. Luis Buñuel- Sophie Williams, via Facebook.

2. Wes Craven...-Good Music Feeds My Soul, via Yahoo Answers.

3. Christopher Nolan and Tim Burton- SUPERMAN GIRL, via Yahoo Answers.

4. Edgar Wright- Emily Ward, via Facebook.

5. Gullimero Del Toro- Becki McKechnie, via Facebook.

6. Tie between Peter Jackson and Christopher Nola- Abbey Stapleton, via Facebook.

7. Howard Gorden, now- Darumu J, via Yahoo Answers.

8. Danny Boyle- Kirsty Lea, via Yahoo Answers.

(In response to the previously posted question 'Whose your favourite movie director?' by Albino Wookie, via Yahoo Answers.)

9. Tim Burton. Big Fish, Corpse Bride- I just love his mind in movies- Brent, via Yahoo Answers.

10. Michael Bay. I absolutely love everything this man does. I used to be a big fan of Steven Spielberg, but he doesn't direct anything I like these days.
Bay brings film making in this century with sheer class and brilliance- Film Maniac!, via Yahoo Answers.

11. For me, Ridley Scott: Blade Runner, Alien, Thelma and Louise, Gladiator, American Gangster, Legend, Kingdom of Heaven. He is original, with one of the most unique styles. I just adore him- Ana D, via Yahoo Answers.

12. Michael Mann. His movies are amazing: Heat, Miami Vice, Collateral, Public Enemies- Mimi, via Yahoo Answers.

13. Tim Burton. Especially his films with Johnny Depp in them- Mad Professor, via Yahoo Answers.

14. Oliver Stone has covered some interesting material- GREG B, via Yahoo Answers.

15. Alfred Hitchcock- Leo, via Yahoo Answers.

16. Stanley Kubrick- Carton Size, via Yahoo Answers.

17. David Lean- Wee Trojan, via Yahoo Answers.

18. I'm a big fan of Tim Burton and Michael Bay- pazo, via Yahoo Answers.

19. Quentin Tarintino. I love everything he does- freakazoid, via Yahoo Answers.

20. James Cameron. I think he is a genius. T2: Judgement Day is the quintessential action movie and one of my all-time personal favourites- LInda, via Yahoo Answers.


Jason Schwarzman, Bill Murray and Olivia Williams in Rushmore.

A still from the film 'Rushmore' in which Futura Bold was first heavily used, and remains a trademark 'Anderson' feature in his films today.

Hi everyone, I'd like to introduce you to my God...

The dapper Mr. Fox wearing something quite similar to Wes himself...a true style icon.

The film poster for 'The Darjeeling Limited' whose central cast consisted of Adrien Brody, Owen Wilson and Jason Schwarzman (who co-wrote the screenplay with Anderson and Roman Coppola)- again, Futura Bold is featured in the title, and throughout the film.

Yes, yes you are.

LOVE this picture- taken on location in India. Complete with mustard bathrobe and baby pink boxers. Too attractive for words.

The short film 'Hotel Chevalier' which was shot in Paris as a prequel to 'The Darjeeling Limited'- and recieved as much critical (positive) acclaim as the main feature itself. Definately worth a watch, beautifully composed.

Haha, too true. Any excuse to showcase a bit of Futura Bold is a good excuse in my book.

Shot from 'The Life Aqauatic with Steve Zissou'...upon hunting down the elusive tiger shark.

 Bill Murray, you are just too much babe. "That's the money shot!"

Love this. As I'm such a rediculous fangirl, this is one for the Christmas list.

Film still from 'The Royal Tenenbaums'- It's always a tough call, but I think this is perhaps my favourite of all of Wes Anderson's films. It certainly affected me the most.

Gwenyth Paltrow's finest hour- Margo is one of the greatest woman character's ever written. Honest.

A still from 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', Roald Dahl's classic children's book which Anderson bought to life on screen with the aid of stop-motion animation.

Margo and Richie Tenenbaum. Young love's distorted dream.

Bill Murray IS Steve Zissou- the film and character inspired by Wes Anderson's fascinating hero- Jacques Cousteau.

Wes onset, ammending and tweaking the set design and characters during the filming of 'Fantastic Mr. Fox'.

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