Rarely can an audience determine the director of a film by watching only a short clip of their work. A couple people that come to mind are Alfred Hitchcock, Tim Burton, and Martin Scorsese. Their films are constructed on their own terms, with unmistakable worlds. Another worthy directory to add to the list would surely be Wes Anderson. His films have a distinct aesthetic that is often dubbed as “quirky.” He walks the line between absurd and artful, comical and heartfelt, weird and genuine. The visual composition of his movies is stunning and unique. This is likely due to his specific vision and determination to bring it to life.
Anderson’s latest film was released in the US on March 7th and is playing in theaters now. It’s called The Grand Budapest Hotel and has already received critical acclaim and an 8.4 rating by about 12,500 IMDB users. If you’re not already familiar with Anderson’s previous work, I highly suggest checking it out before going to the theater. I would start would these…
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
This is an American comedy-drama released in 2004 including stars such as Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Jeff Goldblum, Anjelica Huston, and Owen Wilson. Bill Murray portrays Steve Zissou, an eccentric oceanographer and documentarian. In his latest documentary at sea, a creature described as a “jaguar shark” eats his best friend. For his next project, Zissou is determined to find the jaguar shark and exact his revenge. The film unravels into a series of strange events and circumstances, ultimately leaving you laughing and heart warmed at the same time.
This is a more recent film of Anderson’s that released in 2012. Star-studded once again, Moonrise Kingdom includes Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, and Jason Schwartzman. It is set on an island off the coast of New England in summer, 1965. Two twelve-year-olds have fallen in love and make a pact to run away together into the wilderness. Various authorities, including parents, the police, and a “khaki-scout” troop, try to hunt the pair down. The community is turned upside down in this endearing adventure tale.
The Royal Tenenbaums
Released in 2001, The Royal Tenenbaums tells the story of an estranged family of former child prodigies. The children experienced great success while they were younger but even greater failure after their father, Royal, leaves them. They reunite when Royal, portrayed by Gene Hackman, falsely announces he has a terminal illness. The film is ironic, absurd, hilarious, and strangely relatable.