Wes Anderson

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Wes Anderson

Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American film director, film producer, screenwriter, and actor. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative style.


Personal life

In 2013, Anderson was reportedly in a relationship with Lebanese writer, costume designer and voice actress Juman Malouf.[1][2] He lives in New York City but has spent extensive time in Paris.[3][4]


Interesting aspects to his film making

Visual style

Anderson has been noted for his extensive use of flat space camera moves, obsessively symmetrical compositions, snap-zooms, slow-motion walking shots, a deliberately limited color palette, and hand-made art direction often utilizing miniatures.[5] These stylistic choices give his movies a highly distinctive quality that has provoked much discussion, critical study, supercuts and mash-ups, and even parody. Many writers, critics and even Anderson himself have commented that this gives his movies the feel of being "self-contained worlds", or a "scale model household". According to Michael Chabon, with "a baroque pop bent that is not realist, surrealist or magic realist", but rather might be described as "fabul[ist]". From The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on, Anderson has relied more heavily on stop motion animation and miniatures, even making an entire feature with stop motion animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox.[6]

He features young boys in every single one of his films.

Sometimes in main roles, sometimes just appearing randomly. The only exception is the animated feature, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. However, he included a song by the London oratory School Schola (boys choir) in that film and flew to England to meet the boys in the choir while they were recording.[7] Think about that. He actually made travel plans, booked a flight, packed his bags, went to the airport and flew across the ocean just to meet the boys that were singing one song on his soundtrack. I seriously doubt he makes that much of an effort to meet everyone who's song appears in one of his films.

If the film doesn't call for a lead role by a boy he often just throws in a couple cute boy actors in small roles. In The Darjeeling Limited the main characters help save a group of Indian boys from drowning.[8] In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, a young boy in lederhosen shows up in the end of the film and is given a shoulder ride by the title character. In Bottle Rocket, a boy gives a message to the main star.

However most of his films feature boys in prominent roles. Rushmore is about a high school student, in love with his teacher, who has a much younger "chapel partner" Dirk Calloway. There are all kinds of boys throughout this film including a scene of a much younger boy swimming in a speedo. The Royal Tenenbaums stars two boys who always wear matching Adidas jumpsuits.[9]youtube clip Moonrise Kingdom, features about 1000 boy actors playing the role of "khaki scouts". The film takes place in the 60's so they are wearing a short shorts style uniform.[10] The Grand Budapest Hotel is the story of Zero, a hotel "lobby boy" and his protege, M. Gustof. At the end of the film all the other lobby boy's from nearby hotels appear. Anderson recast many of the same boys from Moonrise Kingdom to play these minor roles in Budapest. Also, a very cute boy is featured in the beginning of the film trying to shoot his grandfather with a rubber band gun.

His films often include sexually taboo subjects.

In Rushmore, the plot is driven by the fact that a young student has fallen in love with his teacher. In The Royal Tenenbaums, a brother and sister have a prolonged romantic relationship. She is his adopted sister. He tells his father Royal about the relationship.

  • Royal: Well, what does she feel about that?
  • Richie: I think she feels confused.
  • Royal: Well, I can understand that, it's probably illegal!
  • Richie: I don't think so, we're not related by blood.
  • Royal: That's true. It's still frowned upon. But then, what isn't these days, right?

Moonrise Kingdom and "the scene". Moonrise Kingdom is the story of two 12 year old lovers. The film includes a scene of the two dancing,kissing and fondling each other in their underwear. When they embrace, the girl tells the boy she can feel his erection pressing into her. He asks if she minds. She tells him she likes it. youtube clip of that scene The scene was surprising to see in a work from a modern US film maker and it did create some controversy.

...strictly for the sake of the exercise, set aside for a moment any and all scenes showing 12 year olds in their underwear, it comes across as a disturbing and problematic fable...We don't live in a world free from an ugly word like pedophilia...Moonrise Kingdom doesn't just tell the story of two young runaways: It romanticizes them. It condones their actions...Moonrise Kingdom isn't so much a sadly sweet fable as it is a parental nightmare—one where barely pubescent children run away together, fumbling with each other's bodies as any and all adult voices of reason are drowned out by the coming storm.[11]

One IMDB user titled their review "Sick, twisted, and still boring.":

This movie was extremely disappointing. Either Wes Anderson is a pedophile in disguise, or he's got some strange ideas about the need to display child sexuality that we, as a population, should NOT be comfortable with. Even if he didn't realize what he was doing was twisted, someone should have told him. No, pedophilia can't exactly be helped or controlled, but it certainly shouldn't be encouraged! Regardless of the lack of nudity, a 12 year old girl and boy fondling each other in their underwear? This kind of display of child sexuality is never okay, it blurs the line that we do NOT want to cross. The child violence is another thing, although it was done a little better than something like Hunger Games, because of the added humor....but who was this movie really made for? Who's the audience? I've seen previous Anderson films, and I guess I'm not sure what led to this one being made.

He took what could have been an interesting story, gave it lackluster dialog, unnecessary character development for some, while not enough for others, and threw borderline kiddie porn in there, making it boring and perverse.[12]

NY Mag joked:

These 12-year-olds do some heavy petting—second base, to be anatomically exact—that’s sure to arouse controversy, with Americans calling for Anderson’s arrest and the French for a sexier director’s cut.[13]

On the other hand, Mother Jones, in an article titled "Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom" Is Not Sadomasochistic Kiddie Porn" had this to say of the scene:

the scene is an admirable meditation on the fact that kids fumble to come to terms with their sexual desires long before parents or bodies would like them to. It plays less like a spicy loss of innocence, and more like a frequently overlooked extension of it. Leave it to Wes Anderson to turn the moment—half-naked children groping at each other, bleeding, talking about hard-ons—into something that feels at once playful, tasteful, and bracingly real.[14]

Most interestingly, this particular scene really stressed Wes Anderson himself out:

One part of a scene was vehemently not rehearsed, though. After they run away, Sam and Suzy share a romantic moment, and a dance, on a beach. On screen or off, it was the first kiss for both Ms. Hayward and Mr. Gilman, but “I was the one that’s most nervous,” Mr. Anderson said.

“I did not feel terribly comfortable directing it, even though I felt like the scene had real innocence about it,” he said. “I talked to the parents and tried to make the parents take care of it as much as possible before.”

“We rehearsed it once,” he continued, “and we did some dancing but they never kissed during the rehearsal. We just figured out the choreography, but then I kept canceling it. It ended up being the final shot of the movie.”[15]


The Squid and the Whale, which Wes produced, features a 12 year old boy who, on numerous occasions, masturbates and then spreads his semen throughout his school, smearing it on the walls and on library books. The little boy also gets drunk and naked and tries to put a condom on. It falls off because the boy is still too small to wear a condom. 

In The Grand Budapest Hotel, the lead character, M. Gustave, a bisexual man, is a gerontophile (a person with the sexual preference for the elderly). He "takes care of" all the old women who visit the hotel by having sex with them.

  • M. Gustave: [Of Mme. Celine] She was dynamite in the sack, by the way.
  • Zero: ...She was 84, Monsieur Gustave.
  • M. Gustave: Mmm, I've had older. When you're young, it's all filet steak, but as the years go by, you have to move on to the cheap cuts. Which is fine with me, because I like those. More flavorful, or so they say.

In another scene in Grand Budapest a possible boylove relationship hinted at. M. Gustave and Zero, the lobby boy, are being harassed by soldiers on a train.

All the soldiers snap to attention as a young officer appears in the doorway. He is well-groomed and clean-shaven. He wears a dress-grey uniform with a cape. He is Henckels. The first soldier hands him the scrap of paper and starts to explain the situation – but M. Gustave interrupts calmly with blood trickling from his nose:

  • M. GUSTAVE: This is outrageous. The young man works for me at the Grand Budapest Hotel in Nebelsbad.

Henckels turns suddenly to M. Gustave. He stares. He says in a quiet voice:

  • HENCKELS: M. Gustave?

M. Gustave looks at Henckels, curious. He nods slowly.

  • HENCKELS: My name is Henckels. I’m the son of Dr. and Mrs. Wolfgang Henckels-Bergersdorfer. Do you remember me?
  • M. GUSTAVE: I know exactly who you are. It’s uncanny. You’re little Albert.
  • HENCKELS: I’m terribly embarrassed. (To the soldiers.) Release them.

The soldiers immediately remove the handcuffs from both M. Gustave and Zero while Henckels takes out a notebook and begins to scribble something on a yellow ticket. M. Gustave sits down and presses his pink handkerchief to his nostril. Henckels says as he writes:

  • HENCKELS: Your colleague is stateless. He’ll need to apply for a revised Special Transit Permit, which, honestly, at this point, may be very difficult to acquire. Take this.

Henckels finishes writing, tears the ticket out of his notebook, and hands it to M. Gustave.

  • HENCKELS: It’s temporary, but it’s the best I can offer, I’m afraid.
  • M. GUSTAVE: How’s your wonderful mother?
  • HENCKELS: Very well, thank you.
  • M. GUSTAVE: I adore her. Send my love.
  • HENCKELS: I will.
  • Henckels motions politely for Zero to return to his seat and hands the scrap of paper back to him. Zero tucks it carefully into an envelope. His hands are shaking. Henckels says gently:
  • HENCKELS: Your companion was very kind to me when I was a lonely little boy. (To both M. Gustave and Zero.) My men and I apologize for disturbing you.

Henckels turns coldly to the first soldier. He looks sheepish. He says, robotic, to M. Gustave:

  • SOLDIER 1: I beg your pardon, sir.

Henckels and the soldiers immediately leave the compartment, march down the corridor, and exit the coach. Silence.


Aside from the bisexuality of M. Gustave, bisexuality is a recurring theme in Anderson's films. In The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on of there characters says "We both made bad husbands. But at least I have an excuse, I'm part gay." To which Zissou responds "Everybody is a little."

In summary, Andersons films have included bisexuality, incest, gerontophilia, some kind of weird frotteurism/semen spreading thing and childhood sexuality. Sexual taboo is a prevalent theme throughout Anderson's films, and since he is the writer of all of his films, sexual taboos are on his mind.

Using Britten's music

In Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson features many songs by composer Benjamin Britten, a well known boylover. Several books have been written regarding Britten's pederasty.

I’m definitely very interested in music. I don’t usually think I have something particularly unusual that I’m going to do, but I guess I do often put it a little more up front than other movies do, but there are plenty of movies that do that, too. In this one, Benjamin Britten is a huge part of the whole concept of the movie for me.[16]

Anderson seems to very much enjoy spending time with the boy actors.

pic 1 pic 2 pic 3 pic 4 pic 5 pic 6 pic 7

Childhood is a very central theme throughout his films. About Moonrise Kingdom Anderson had to say:

I think why I made it is because it’s the first movie I made where I had a memory of a feeling that had stuck with me all my life that I’m kind of trying to recreate, which is being twelve years old (or in my case, in fifth grade—however old you are in fifth grade) and being blindsided by falling in love. I don’t know if it’s falling in love, but something like that. In my case, it was somebody who I barely ever spoke to at any time......I started feeling maybe there’s a thematic theme in the movie about the desire of 12-year-olds to have their imagination or their fantasies be real, and the way they can sometimes start to think they are and the desire to enact your fantasies at that age. [17]

When asked about casting the children for Moonrise Kingdom

Wes: In the case of this, it was quite a long process. Then there was this one kid who I watched this QuickTime of him auditioning for the casting director and there was an interview with him after and it was this interview with him that really got me. He was wearing Kareem Abdul Jabbar glasses with a strap.

Jacob: You didn’t put that on him? He was just doing that on his own.

Wes: No, that was him. And he was funny. I loved him.[18]

||

I’ve worked with kids on different films in the past, and they’re really fun. They tend to be really enthusiastic. It takes a long time to find them, though. I usually set aside a lot of time in advance of a movie with important roles for kids to search, but when you have great ones, they can be a real ace in the hole. All of the actors in the scout troop, they’re our friends now, and I had a great time working with them. There is a little kid in the movie named Jake Ryan, and I cast him in a commercial I did after the movie. Then we just did a little thing coming out this week, a little short with Ben Schwartzman playing his character in the movie and Jake Ryan playing his sidekick, who is always funny.[19]

Anderson definitely loves working with kids. Anderson writes his own films, along with directing them. He specifically chooses to write in boy roles for all of his films.

Filmography

Year Title Director Producer Writer Actor Role Notes
1996 Bottle Rocket yes yes yes Passenger on Bus (uncredited) Co-written with Owen Wilson
1998 Rushmore yes yes yes yes Student (uncredited) Co-written with Owen Wilson
2001 The Royal Tenenbaums yes yes yes yes Tennis Match Commentator (uncredited) Co-written with Owen Wilson
2004 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou yes yes yes Co-written with Noah Baumbach
2005 The Squid and the Whale yes Co-produced with Peter Newman, Charlie Corwin, and Clara Markowicz
2007 The Darjeeling Limited yes yes yes Co-written with Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola
2009 Fantastic Mr. Fox yes yes yes yes Weasel Co-written with Noah Baumbach
2012 Moonrise Kingdom yes yes yes Co-written with Roman Coppola
2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel yes yes yes Co-written with Hugo Guinness (story)
2015 She's Funny That Way yes Co-produced with Noah Baumbach
- Untitled Stop-Motion Animated film about Dogs yes yes Pre-production[20]

External Links

References

  1. Brody, Richard. How "Moonrise Kingdom" Fits into Wes Anderson's Canon. The New Yorker. Retrieved on September 27, 2013.
  2. Brody, Richard. Wild, Wild Wes. The New Yorker. Retrieved on 28 February 2015.
  3. Amsden, David. The Life Obsessive With Wes Anderson. New York Magazine. Retrieved on October 27, 2013.
  4. Kahn, Howie (February 26, 2014). The Life Aesthetic With Wes Anderson. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved on December 19, 2014.
  5. Buono, Alex. How We Did It: The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders. www.alex-buono.com. Retrieved on July 28, 2014.
  6. cite web|last=Vera |first=Noel |url=http://www.bworldonline.com/weekender/content.php?id=86473 |title=Courtesan au chocolat |publisher=Businessworld |accessdate=July 28, 2014}}
  7. https://i.imgur.com/t07VDUO.jpg
  8. http://noiselesschatter.com/2012/05/02/the-10-most-affecting-wes-anderson-moments
  9. http://images.fanpop.com/images/image_uploads/Chas--Ari---Uzi-the-royal-tenenbaums-172607_420_325.jpg
  10. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eE_KVgU1zls/U8dT3naOlbI/AAAAAAAAA3A/dNJkIt62mIk/s1600/vlcsnap2012110315h35m12.png
  11. http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/moonrise-kingdom
  12. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1748122/reviews-225
  13. http://nymag.com/movies/reviews/moonrise-kingdom-oslo-august-31st-2012-5/index1.html
  14. http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2012/05/film-review-moonrise-kingdom-wes-anderson-not-kiddie-porn
  15. http://carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/moonrise-kingdoms-magical-nerve-wracking-moment/?_r=0
  16. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/conversations_with_slate/2012/05/wes_anderson_the_complete_slate_interview_.4.html
  17. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/conversations_with_slate/2012/05/wes_anderson_the_complete_slate_interview_.2.html
  18. http://www.slate.com/articles/podcasts/conversations_with_slate/2012/05/wes_anderson_the_complete_slate_interview_.2.html
  19. http://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2012/06/wes-anderson-moonrise-kingdom-bill-murray-interview
  20. http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/wes-andersons-next-movie-is-a-stop-motion-animated-film-about-dogs-may-also-do-an-anthology-movie-20151009