Wednesday, May 21, 2008

And now for something completely different...

One of Wes Anderson's early career choices was "Zoo Keeper". He wasn't very good.

I found a great podcast recently. It's called The Naked Lunch and it's out of Montreal, Canada. Despite a few small hiccups which prove it's an amateur radio show, it's excellently researched and produced with sound files, music and facts all about movies. Click HERE to get some podcasts for The Naked Lunch. I've particularly enjoyed their series on comic books which became films.

Rare footage of Bang Bus: The Early Years

This morning on my sojourn to work, I decided to listen to their podcast discussing Wes Anderson and his films. I've never really been a fan of his movies such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Ltd. I just don't think they are funny, moving or entertaining. When I saw Life Aquatic (I'm a huge Bill Murray fan from way back since Ghostbusters or maybe even before that), I walked out to have a phone conversation for about 30+ minutes. I was able to pick up the story straight away having missed nothing. I thought that was disappointing and sad.

I love Anderson's choice of stars and the way the movies look. He definitely has a style of his own which reminds me of a dingy small town second hand store. I even like the idea of his films, the core stories especially. What is it then, that makes these movies so unnattractive to me? I just can't seem to sit through an entire one without growing fantastically bored.

James Bond's younger brother was bitter, so bitter.

Is it just that I don't GET Wes Anderson? I hate to think that because I don't believe I'm that simple. I can see what he's trying to do, but it has no effect on me. Kind of like when people tickle you, but they just can't get you to laugh. That's how I feel about Wes Anderson films.

Needless to say I was surprised to learn that the devoted fans not only enjoy Anderson's weird sense of humour, but they find it hilarious! I know it's mean to be a dark comedy, but where's the comedy? Whenever supposedly funny things happen in his films, like the "climactic" ending of Royal Tenanbaums, I struggle to produce a smirk much less a hearty laugh.

Pilot series for Cosby Show competitor cancelled

Some movies aren't for everyone, but I don't think Anderson's films are really for anyone. They are most likely for himself, and shared by a minority who enjoy that type of humour. However, the movies have been somewhat successful, especially in the area of cult film, and people still give him money to make them.

Next Wes Anderson tackles Roald Dahl (who was also very strange so I'm not entirely surprised) with an animated adventure entitled, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Anderson brings in members of his "Wack Pack" for this one as well.

I'm actually pretty annoyed that I don't enjoy Anderson's films. I usually love quirky, left field stuff, especially this stylish. However, I just can't seem to click with this unique individual on any level other than appreciation.

Any Wes Anderson fans out there, comment and tell me why you enjoy his movies!


Anonymous said...

Oh Jen I absolutely adore Wes Andersons films,
The Royal Tenanbaums is defiantly in my top 5, the colour, the music, the eccentric characters. It’s just a total package. I feel when watching these films a total emersion in Andersons world and I think that’s what makes a fab flick. It doesn’t have to be realistic; I just have to want to believe it!
There you go lady!

efrain said...

I really like Wes Anderson movies, but don't feel bad that you might not "get" him. I have always had a feeling that there isn't much to Anderson's filmmaking content. That you don't have to think much to "get" his stories, because he's not really saying much. The films are wonderfully stylish and I love his colors, camera movements, shots and overuse of slo-mo at nonsensical times.

But I sense that his seemingly profound movies are really life-musings from a well-to-do white guy. So upon watching some of his movies, you may think there's some meaning-of-life message, but once you think harder, you realize that it might just be intellectual frat-boy filmmaking.

His ethnic characters always seem stereotypical, veiled in a colorful facade so as to distract from the fact they're just tokens. He always adds in some sort of unnecessary sexualized scene or shot. And his male characters seem a bit misogynistic fools who haven't much regard for women other than for sex. the women aren't always great examples either as they're depressed and/or sex-starved.

okay, i may be generalizing now.

but again, it sounds weird, but i am a fan of his films. i don't like some of his content, but i do like a bit of the odd and awkward humor, some of the dysfunctional family elements, and of course, i love some of his framing, production design and cinematography.

:: efrain