DSS: Wes Anderson Part 3

Hello, Weirdos. Two announcements before we dive into Part 3: 1. There is a new poem available called Maxine in the Writings section. Please give that a read; 2. Isle of Dogs is getting positive early reviews. This week we have two more films to look at, and they are:

I’m starting to see a transition to more playful movies from Anderson, and I’m wondering if Fox is the big turning point. I’ve only seen bits of Darjeeling. Needless to say I’m looking forward to that. Next week I’ll share my thoughts on those two, but for now here are my thoughts on last week's pictures. 

  • The Royal Tenenbaums: Wow. I remember liking this movie as a kid, but I doubt I fully understood it. Now, watching it as an adult, I love it. So much heart in all the characters. Some of the continuing commonalities are: pastel colors; lists; children acting like adults (they're all successful geniuses at a young age); adults acting like children (perhaps making up for the adolescence they lost); a shot of a person in the window of a large wall; an unconventional love triangle (two in this one with the parents & the new suitor, and between Eli, Margot, and Richie); and plays. Anderson's style is in full swing here. Some other things I noticed are connections to Jacques Cousteau, which I didn't realize was the foundation for Life Aquatic until watching later this week, but is has come up on multiple occasions. There are a couple other things I know come up in later movies, but I'll wait until I get there to share those. Tenenbaums is my favorite so far, and possible overall. It's quirky, clever, but also emotional to its core.
  • The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou: I've heard several people mention this film throughout the years. When I watched it this week I felt a little pressure to love it. I did not. I liked and enjoyed it, but it didn't have the same punch for me as Tenenbaums. This marks Anderson's first collaboration with writer Noah Baumbach, and first film not cowritten with Owen Wilson. I felt like something was lost. It felt empty, until the end when we get to feel Zissou's emotion as he finally deals with his losses. Other than that everyone is just sort of there—kind of flat and bland.  Murray does great as the ambitious "prick" Zissou. It was also cool to see the beginnings of Anderson's interest in animation, this time helmed by Henry Selick. I would watch Life Aquatic again, but it was definitely more middling for me than anything else.

That is it this week week, Weirdos. Is anyone else getting excited about Isle of Dogs? I should have a new review coming shortly—don't miss it! And check back next week for Part 4 of the Director Selective Series: Wes Anderson. Thanks for reading. Keep on Creepin'.