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-   -   What's the Big Deal with Wes Anderson (https://forum.dvdtalk.com/movie-talk/420823-whats-big-deal-wes-anderson.html)

The Bus 05-02-05 06:37 AM

I think it's interesting that he uses such straight-ahead shots. No one else in film can make such simple shots look so fresh or new.

Look at his movies. Almost every single shot is dead-on straight, composed at an even sight line, like every scene is a diorama. It's awesome.

Michael Corvin 05-02-05 07:47 AM


Originally Posted by NatrlBornThrllr
[rant]

The term "snob" is thrown around way too frequently on these forums. The guy makes comedic films. If they cater to the sense of humor of a given viewer, that makes him a snob? Christ, people, movies are movies. To call somebody a snob because they don't mind reading subtitles, or because they have an appreciation for a certain type of humor is just plain silly.

That said, I have no problem admitting that I'm a snob when it comes to film. I pride myself on the fact that I've seen films that most of my friends have never heard of, gone on to expose them to said films, and finally bask in the fact that they enjoyed (some of) those movies as much as I do. I scoff at those who refuse to watch 75% of the available movies solely because they "don't like to read subtitles." I look down my nose at people who have never heard of some of the most acclaimed directors of all time, solely because they're from another decade/region of the world.

Yeah, I'm a film snob, and I've got no problem admitting that. This should further back the statement I'm trying to make: don't be so quick to throw around that term. To say, "you're a snob because you find dry wit to be appealing" is idiotic.

People here need to learn how to articulate a dislike for a certain branch of cinema without resorting to the use of cliched, ridiculously overused phrases that simply don't fit the context of the discussion. If we were talking about a person who condescends to those that don't like Wes Anderson's films, somebody that says, "you don't think it's funny because you don't get it," then yeah, it'd be appropriate to call them a snob. However, to say that a certain type of comedy/direction/whatever is made for snobs, that's just...meh, nevermind.

[/rant]

-JP

Let me ask you one thing. Do you know anyone that went to film school? If you did then you wouldn't have a problem with my post. They seem like they are superior because they like WA and because I don't, I am a feeble minded person who has no taste in film. I never said he made films for film snobs, it just happens to turn out that way. He could commit the biggist pile of dogshit to celluloid and his audience would praise it as high art and the best thing committed to film since Citizen Kane. So the term "snob" was aptly applied for this group of people dispite you thinking the contrary.

But then again, I never said I didn't like/ or "get" his movies, they are mediocre at best, just very overrated.

LiquidSky 05-02-05 08:30 AM


Originally Posted by FinkPish
I like Wes Anderson for the exact reason that he isn't completely accessible; that he has a unique vision that isn't for everyone. And I'm not saying that to be snobbish or superior; I just enjoy the fact that he does things differently than what most other directors would do with the same material. I also like his sense of humor and irony, which makes me want to see more of his stuff. I like the fact that he writes his own stuff, so everything you see on the screen is fully his own, and not something that a studio decided on.

Agree.

jmoneta 05-02-05 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by The Monkees
I go to a film school where everyone loves this man and his movies. Also most of the people I know love his movies. I don't understand what the big deal is. I personally don't like ANY of his movies. I just finished watching The Life Aquatic, it had it's moments but overall was pretty crapified.

So what's up?

Sorry, I never attended film school. For those of us lay people, could you perhaps expand on your evaluation? Is crapified the technical term for some poor film-making technique?

JacksModernLife 05-02-05 08:53 AM

I always get the feeling a lot of people say they 'adore' his films just to sound sophisticated. I didn't like Bottle Rocket or Rushmore or Life Aquatic.... Sometimes I feel like he has "the emperor's new clothes" syndrome, as in somehow it gets out there that these films are "genius" and then the normal joe crowd perpetuates it...somehow thinking they are geniuses by association.


I will admit that I own The Royal Tenenbaums, but I felt that was a great character/interaction film and the actors REALLY made that movie. Yes the dialogue was funny, but I couldn't imagine it with different actors. Actually a lot of my friends (I'm 19) really enjoy TRT as well.

Hiro11 05-02-05 08:54 AM

Reasons I like Wes Anderson:
1. His nerdy/sqaured off framing and deliberately staged-looking compositions. He's like a nerdy Kubrick: everything is controlled and slightly unreal. You either like this effect or it turns you off. However, after seeing one of his movies you can see a still from another one and immediately identify it as Anderson's work. He has a unique style.
2. The details in the movies: backwards dress shirts as smocks, reel-to-reel tape recorders, game closets, monogramed typewriter cases, hand towels with a ship's logo, tape labels for the key rack, beat-up taxis, pirahnas etc. This is a guy who not only likes to make quirky little worlds, but pushes them in your face. This enhances the whole "fairy tale" apsect to the movies.
3. Hilarious dialogue (to me). Max babbling into a cell phone, Owen Wilson's little speach about Custer etc. Really funny stuff. At the same time, everyone is depressed in all of his movies and there's always an undercurrent of sadness and nostalgia.
4. Excellent soundtracks, there havs never been a bad song in a Wes Anderson movie.

Wes Anderson reminds me of They Might Be Giants: overly schooled, slightly precious, but with a saving grace of real wit and sense of timing. So many movies try to do this these days and fail (Napolean Dynamite, for example). Wes Anderson pulls it off. I don't think this is being snobby as I certainly don't look down on people that don't like his movies. They just happens to appeal to me.

LiquidSky 05-02-05 09:14 AM


Originally Posted by JacksModernLife
I always get the feeling a lot of people say they 'adore' his films just to sound sophisticated.

Perhaps some do....but this is not so in my case. I truly like his films/sense of humor.

LiquidSky 05-02-05 09:16 AM


Originally Posted by Hiro11
So many movies try to do this these days and fail (Napolean Dynamite, for example).

Disagree. I thought "NP" was quite funny....along the same lines of Wes Anderson style humor.

thephantom 05-02-05 09:39 AM

I haven't seen Bottle Rocket(up to 5th in a my queue, should be seeing it in a couple months) but Rushmore is one of the better comedies I've seen. TRT was good but like Jacksmodernlife, I was drawn more to the characters. I don't remember the movie being particularly funny. I can remember every single character in that movie but not one line from any of them other than Owen Wilson saying something about Custer. I've only seen it once and it was noisy in the house that day, really need to sit down with it again as I'm sure there's some dialogue and jokes I missed, and maybe see if it comes off better then second time through.

The Live Aquatic was also good in a strange quirky way but it didn't really stand out to me. In fact I'm having a hard time remembering anything about it at all.

wendersfan 05-02-05 10:03 AM

I imagine most people here think of me as a 'film snob'. I don't like Wes Anderson's films very much. I liked <b>Rushmore</b> quite a bit, and I thought <b>Bottle Rocket</b> was nice but nothing special, and I disliked <b>The Royal Tenenbaums</b> quite a bit. Haven't seen his latest yet. Frankly, I don't like much of the contemporary American 'indie' scene much at all - "quirky" seems to be an acceptable replacement for intelligent these days.

Kal-El 05-02-05 10:44 AM

Never seen any of his films. Trailers don't compel me to, synopses about 'em even less so. They just have absolutely no appeal to me whatosever.

uberjoe 05-02-05 10:58 AM

I'm definitely not a film snob (the end of Armaggedon makes me teary), but I really like Anderson's films. I especially loved The Life Aquatic, and can't wait for the Criterion next week. Just because someone likes something you don't doesn't automatically make them moronic or snobbish.

Hokeyboy 05-02-05 11:37 AM


Originally Posted by Jay G.
I've never got the point behind these "What's the deal with....." threads. It's like the thread starters are so insecure in their own opinions that they need to confirm that other people don't like a movie/director/actor as well. None of the explainations by the defenders ever seem to satisfy them, not like one can really be rationalized into liking something anyway.

:thumbsup:

People feel validated by a majority opinion, I guess. Feh. I still don't care for "Shawshank Redemption" or "Magnolia", and no one's taking my toys away.

wendersfan 05-02-05 11:48 AM

One thing I will say in the director's favor - he has tremendous taste in music and the songs he puts in his films are always great and fit/support the film very well.

FinkPish 05-02-05 11:50 AM

Wow, there seem to be a lot of people here who are threatened by others who have opinions different from their own. I can only speak for myself, but to put it simply, I like the movies I like because I like them. I don't like them because I think I should or because I don't want to stick out. And I definitely don't like them because I think it will make me feel better than others.

This attitude of "I didn't like it, so if you do then you must be lying" is bullshit. And the same goes for the opposite: "I did like it, so if you didn't you must be an idiot."

Johnny Zhivago 05-02-05 11:50 AM


Originally Posted by Hiro11
Reasons I like Wes Anderson:
1. His nerdy/sqaured off framing and deliberately staged-looking compositions. He's like a nerdy Kubrick: everything is controlled and slightly unreal. You either like this effect or it turns you off. However, after seeing one of his movies you can see a still from another one and immediately identify it as Anderson's work. He has a unique style.
2. The details in the movies: backwards dress shirts as smocks, reel-to-reel tape recorders, game closets, monogramed typewriter cases, hand towels with a ship's logo, tape labels for the key rack, beat-up taxis, pirahnas etc. This is a guy who not only likes to make quirky little worlds, but pushes them in your face. This enhances the whole "fairy tale" apsect to the movies.
3. Hilarious dialogue (to me). Max babbling into a cell phone, Owen Wilson's little speach about Custer etc. Really funny stuff. At the same time, everyone is depressed in all of his movies and there's always an undercurrent of sadness and nostalgia.
4. Excellent soundtracks, there havs never been a bad song in a Wes Anderson movie.

:up: Pretty much sums it up for me as well... And I'm glad that I'm not the only one that can see a little Kubrick in Wes Anderson's films. They have a look and style all their own. Visually, his films always grab me immediately. Nice post.

majorjoe23 05-02-05 11:51 AM

I'm not sure I would watch Pulp Fiction or the Royal Tennenbaum's with grandma, but if I was forced to choose, I would probably pick the one with less anal rape.

William Fuld 05-02-05 01:35 PM

...but anal rape is universally loved.

Drop 05-02-05 02:39 PM

What I don't get is why some people think there are clear lines in taste. Just because I like something does not mean I will like something else just because it is similar. I was actually expecting The Life Aquatic to be less than mediocre, I ended up enjoying it a lot. Although I would still say it is Anderson's "worst" film. I don't know what to expect from him next, and have no notions wether it will be good or not. I certainly hope it is, just like any movie. The last thing I want to see is a bad film.

PS I would never think of watching Pulp Fiction with my Grandma or Grandpa. On the other hand I would probably think of showing the grandparents a Wes Anderson movie, but only for a second, no way could I imagine them actually watching it.

Julie Walker 05-02-05 02:41 PM

If I had to choose one or the other,I'd choose Pulp Fiction:)

Hey the anal rape is only in one sequence and hardly shown. So it's not 'that' bad and I find the humor in that film a hell of a lot funnier than anything in a Wes Anderson film.

The entire sequence when they accidentally murder Marvin and have to figure out what to do with the body is one of the funniest pieces in the film!


Reservior Dogs has great moments of hilarious dark humor as well.


..and some people are correct that their are those who do pretend to 'like' certain films to feel 'indie' and 'nonmainstream'.

I ran into this girl on the imdb.com and told her she had great taste in film from what was on her list of favorites. It included everything from many genres and decades,including some good cult/obscure stuff along side more well known pictures.

She also mentions her love for Wes Anderson in the profile. As I talked to her,it turned out she had not seen half of the films on her list of hundreds of titles!

She then drolls on trying to sound 'hip' with "Oh I just love Wes Anderson,he is the greatest filmmaker ever!"(she saw one of his films,but had everything he made on her list of favorites!)..."I really want to see The Brown Bunny,Vicent Gallo is a god of cinema,Buffalo 66 was the greatest film of the 90's!", "Have you seen Napoleon Dynamite? It was the funniest film ever made!!".

Then ever 'indie' film that came out,no matter how terrible. She 'loved' without having seeing it,claiming "Well anything indie,is better than the mainstream!".

Cygnet74 05-02-05 02:46 PM


Originally Posted by Julie Walker
Then ever 'indie' film that came out,no matter how terrible. She 'loved' without having seeing it,claiming "Well anything indie,is better than the mainstream!".

she's just playing the odds.

Julie Walker 05-02-05 03:00 PM

That may be true,but what annoys me the most is how she tries to make every 'indie' film sound so 'deep' and 'meaningful'.

On the plus side,she does like some cool films which I happen to like...and she's very hot as well. But the posuer crap is annoying as hell..and she claims to not be a posuer,lol.

Since you know,she's all goth and everything.

uberjoe 05-02-05 03:29 PM

What kind of grandparents do some of you people have?? My grandmother would have a stroke if she saw "Pulp Fiction." Accidentally blowing someone's head off, cleaning the blood and brains out of the car, drug overdoses, jamming a needle into someone's heart, anal rape, a whole bunch of killings...

Yeah, much more audience-accessible that The Life Aquatic.

LiquidSky 05-02-05 03:44 PM


Originally Posted by Julie Walker
..and some people are correct that their are those who do pretend to 'like' certain films to feel 'indie' and 'nonmainstream'.

I ran into this girl on the imdb.com and told her she had great taste in film from what was on her list of favorites. It included everything from many genres and decades,including some good cult/obscure stuff along side more well known pictures.

She also mentions her love for Wes Anderson in the profile. As I talked to her,it turned out she had not seen half of the films on her list of hundreds of titles!

She then drolls on trying to sound 'hip' with "Oh I just love Wes Anderson,he is the greatest filmmaker ever!"(she saw one of his films,but had everything he made on her list of favorites!)..."I really want to see The Brown Bunny,Vicent Gallo is a god of cinema,Buffalo 66 was the greatest film of the 90's!", "Have you seen Napoleon Dynamite? It was the funniest film ever made!!".

Then ever 'indie' film that came out,no matter how terrible. She 'loved' without having seeing it,claiming "Well anything indie,is better than the mainstream!".

Sure, there are those people who are so insecure that they pretend to like something when they really don't. As I said before, I genuinely enjoy Wes Anderson's films and sense of humor. As for Vincent Gallo, I did not care for "Buffalo 66" but really liked "The Brown Bunny" (mostly due to the cinematography that reminded me of films from the late 1960s/early 1970s). I also thought "Napoleon Dynamite" was hilarious.

I love foreign and indie films but will be the first to admit when I see one I don't care for. :)

Trigger 05-02-05 04:15 PM

I am kinda lukewarm on Wes Anderson... I liked Bottle Rocket and Rushmore was kinda good. I thought TRT was shit... don't know why. I thought Life Aquatic was decent. I think he has the potential to make a really funny movie, but nothing he's made so far has kept me laughing all the way through. That's the part I don't understand about the adoration of a person like this - they claim they laugh their asses off the entire movie and I can't picture it. Much like with that pile of feces, Sideways. Not even a chuckle out of me or anyone else in the theater and yet people everywhere can't stop saying how they were rolling on the floor at it.

I'm a bit of a movie snob I think... but it's not in a way that makes me look cool at all. Like, I hated Independence Day, Titanic, both Xmen movies, all the Batman movies, and shit like that. But then I eat up anything Michael Bay puts out. Bad Boys 2 was fucking great IMO. Over half of my 1500+ DVD collection are in a foreign language with subtitles... just because I like some Kim di duk or wong kar wai films doesn't make me smarter or better than anyone - and most of my asian or foreign films are action or comedy. But I do find it annoying that my opinion becomes worthless once people find out that I like Michael Bay.


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