Anderson in Berlin, 2005
|Born||Wesley Wales Anderson
May 1, 1969
Houston, Texas, U.S.
|Education||Westchester High School
St. John's School
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter|
Wesley Wales "Wes" Anderson (born May 1, 1969) is an American film director and screenwriter. His films are known for their distinctive visual and narrative style.
He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001 and Moonrise Kingdom in 2012, and for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Film career
- 3 Directing techniques
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Recurring collaborators
- 7 Awards and nominations
- 8 References
- 9 Bibliography
- 10 External links
Wesley Wales Anderson was born on May 1, 1969, in Houston, Texas. He attended St. Francis Episcopal Day School and graduated from St. John's School in Houston in 1987, which he later used as a prominent location throughout Rushmore. Anderson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1990, where he met future frequent collaborator Owen Wilson.
Anderson's first film, Bottle Rocket (1996), based on a short film that he made with Luke and Owen Wilson, was a crime caper focused on a group of young Texans aspiring to achieve major heists. Though well reviewed, it performed poorly at the box office.
Anderson's next film, Rushmore (1998), a quirky comedy about a high school student's crush on an elementary school teacher, starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, was a critical success. Murray has since appeared in every Anderson film to date. In 2000, filmmaker Martin Scorsese praised Bottle Rocket and Rushmore.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Anderson's next comedy-drama film about a successful artistic New York City family and its ostracized patriarch, represented Anderson's greatest success until Moonrise Kingdom in 2012. Earning more than $50 million in domestic box office receipts, the film was nominated for an Academy Award and ranked by an Empire poll as the 159th greatest film ever made.
Anderson's next feature, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), about a Jacques Cousteau-esque documentary filmmaker played by Murray, serves as a classic example of Anderson's style but its critical reception was less favorable than his previous films and its box office did not match the heights of The Royal Tenenbaums. In September 2006, following the disappointing commercial and critical reception of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen released a tongue-in-cheek "letter of intervention" for Anderson's artistic "malaise". Proclaiming themselves to be fans of "World Cinema" and Anderson in particular, they offered Anderson their soundtrack services for his Darjeeling Limited, including lyrics for a title track.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007), about three emotionally distant brothers traveling together on a train in India, reflected the more dramatic tone of The Royal Tennenbaums but faced similar criticisms to The Life Aquatic. Anderson has acknowledged that he went to India to film the 2007 movie, partly as a tribute to the Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, whose "films have also inspired all my other movies in different ways" (the film is dedicated to him). The films starred Anderson staples Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson in addition to Adrien Brody and the script was co-written by Anderson, Schwartzman and Roman Coppola.
Anderson's stop-motion animation adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Fantastic Mr. Fox was released in 2009. Although the film did not earn much more than its production budget, the film was highly praised and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Following the critical success of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson made perhaps his best received film to date, Moonrise Kingdom, which opened the Cannes Film Festival 2012. The film, emblematic of Anderson's style, was a financial success and earned Anderson another Academy Award nomination for his screenplay.
Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), starred Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, and Saoirse Ronan, among many others, along with several of his regular collaborators including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman. Set in the 1930s, it followed the adventures of M. Gustave, the hotel's concierge, making "a marvelous mockery of history, turning its horrors into a series of graceful jokes and mischievous gestures," according to the New York Times. The film represented one of Anderson's greatest critical and commercial successes.[original research?]
Anderson has also created several notable short films. In addition to the original Bottle Rocket short, Anderson made the Paris-set Hotel Chevalier (2007), which was created as a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited and starred Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, and the Italy-set Castello Cavalcanti (2013), which was produced by Prada and starred Jason Schwartzman as an unsuccessful race-car driver. Additionally, he has directed a number of television commercials for companies such as Stella Artois and Prada, including an elaborate American Express ad, in which he starred as himself.
Since Rushmore, each of Anderson's films has been made by his own production company, "American Empirical Pictures".
Anderson's cinematic influences include François Truffaut, Louis Malle, Satyajit Ray, John Huston, Mike Nichols, Hal Ashby, Stanley Kubrick, Orson Welles, and Roman Polanski. According to film critic John P. MacCarthy of America, "his movies are fun to look at but lack substance. In designing vivid, self-contained worlds, he fetishizes material things—clothes, contraptions and structures—while paying scant attention to plot, character development and ideas."
Themes and stories
Anderson has chosen to direct mostly fast-paced comedies marked by more serious or melancholic elements, with themes often centered on grief, loss of innocence, parental abandonment, adultery, sibling rivalry, and unlikely friendships. His movies have been noted for being unusually character-driven, and by turns both derided and praised with terms like "literary geek chic." The plots of his movies often feature thefts and unexpected disappearances, with a tendency to borrow liberally from the caper genre.
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. 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" in Anderson's words, or a "scale model household" according Michael Chabon, with "a baroque Pop bent that is not realist, surrealist, or magic realist" but rather might be described as "fabul[ist]."
Anderson frequently uses pop music from the 1960s and 70s on the soundtracks of his movies, and one band or musician tends to dominate each soundtrack. In Rushmore, Cat Stevens and British Invasion groups featured prominently, The Royal Tenenbaums included multiple songs recorded by Nico and The Velvet Underground, The Life Aquatic was replete with David Bowie including both originals and covers performed by Seu Jorge, The Kinks appeared on the soundtrack for The Darjeeling Limited, The Beach Boys in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Hank Williams for Moonrise Kingdom. The Grand Budapest Hotel is notable for being the first Anderson film to eschew using any pop music from the 1950s, 60s, or 70s, likely due to it being set in the early 1930s. The soundtracks for his movies have often brought renewed attention to the artists featured, most prominently in the case of "These Days" by Nico which was used in The Royal Tenenbaums.
|1996||Bottle Rocket||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Owen Wilson|
|1998||Rushmore||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Owen Wilson|
|2001||The Royal Tenenbaums||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tennis Match Commentator||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 & Clara Markowicz|
|2007||The Darjeeling Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Jason Schwartzman & 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)|
|2014||She's Funny That Way||Yes||Co-produced with Noah Baumbach|
|1992||Bottle Rocket||Yes||Yes||Short film, co-written with Owen Wilson|
|2007||Hotel Chevalier||Yes||Yes||Short film, created as a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited|
|2013||Castello Cavalcanti||Yes||Yes||Short film, created for Prada starring Jason Schwartzman|
Commercials and promotional videos
|2004||American Express: My Life, My Card||Yes||Yes||Yes||Himself||Commercial starring Anderson as himself as he directs an elaborate fake film featuring Jason Schwartzman|
|2008||Softbank||Yes||Japanese commercial filmed in France and starring Brad Pitt|
|2010||Stella Artois: Apartomatic||Yes||Commercial, co-directed with Roman Coppola|
|2012||Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman||Yes||Yes||Promotional short for Moonrise Kingdom|
Anderson's films feature many of the same actors, crew members, and other collaborators, including the Wilson brothers (Owen, Luke, and Andrew), Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Seymour Cassel, Anjelica Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Kumar Pallana and son Dipak Pallana, Stephen Dignan and Brian Tenenbaum, and Eric Chase Anderson (Anderson's brother). Other frequent collaborators include writer Noah Baumbach (who co-wrote The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox, with Anderson co-producing his film The Squid and the Whale), Owen Wilson (who co-wrote three of Anderson's feature films), cinematographer Robert Yeoman (A.S.C.), music supervisor Randall Poster, and composers Mark Mothersbaugh and Alexandre Desplat.
|Film||Adrien Brody||Willem Dafoe||Michael Gambon||Jeff Goldblum||Anjelica Huston||Bill Murray||Jason Schwartzman||Edward Norton||Tilda Swinton||Luke Wilson||Owen Wilson|
|The Royal Tenenbaums||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Darjeeling Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fantastic Mr. Fox||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|The Grand Budapest Hotel||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Awards and nominations
- "The Unique Filmmaking Style of Wes Anderson". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Wes Anderson". Film Reference. 2010.
- "Wes Anderson". Yahoo Movies. 2010.
- "Wes Anderson returns to form with Mr Fox". Times London. 2009.
- "Tour Wes Anderson's High School AKA the Set of Rushmore". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Bottle Rocket". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
- "Bottle Rocket". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- "Film By Film: Wes Anderson On Wes Anderson". Empire Magazine. March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Rushmore". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- Scorsese, Martin (March 2000). "Wes Anderson". Esquire. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- "EMPIRE's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". EMPIRE. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- "Wes is having trouble with the reception". SCREEN Machine. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Becker, Walter; Donald Fagen (August 2006). "Attention Wes Anderson". Steely Dan. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
- "On Ray's Trail". The Statesman. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
- "Wilson & Anderson reminisce over a cup of Darjeeling". Production Weekly. August 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2007.[dead link]
- "Wes Anderson". Los Angeles Times. March 8, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Eisenberg, Eric. "Wes Anderson Says The Grand Budapest Hotel Is Mostly Set in the Late 1920s". Cinema Blend. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- New York Times.
- "Wes Anderson Honors Fellini in a Delightful New Short Film". Slate. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "Wes Anderson's 5 Best Commercials". Indiewire. May 1, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- American Empirical Pictures on IMDB
- "a review of wes anderson's the darjeeling limited « second floor". Floortwo.wordpress.com. October 28, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- Matt Zoller Seitz – The Substance of Style, Pt 3. Examining the Wes Anderson–Hal Ashby connection – Moving Image Source
- Matt Zoller Seitz – The Substance of Style, Pt 3. Examining the Wes Anderson–Hal Ashby connection: – Slant Magazine, posted April 6, 2009.
- "Moonrise Kingdom' Director Wes Anderson on 'Stealing' From Kubrick, Polanski". hollywoodreporter. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- John P. MacCarthy, 'The Art of Hospitality', America, April 7, 2014
- Klein et al, Joshua. "Wes Anderson". They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Buono, Alex. "How We Did It: The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders". www.alex-buono.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Chabon, Michael. "Wes Anderson’s Worlds". New York Review of Books. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Vera, Noel. "Courtesan au chocolat". Businessworld. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Moeckel, Casey. "The Music of Wes Anderson's Cinematic World". Songlyrics.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Inman, Davis (January 2, 2012). "Jackson Browne, 'These Days'". American Songwriter.
- Brody, Richard. "How "Moonrise Kingdom" Fits into Wes Anderson's Canon". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Amsden, David. "The Life Obsessive With Wes Anderson". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- Standen, Dirk (October 19, 2010). "Paper Chase: The Art of Eric Chase Anderson". Style.com. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- Wells, Jeffrey (November 7, 1993). "Lost in Filmland? These Guys Sure Found The Way". The Los Angeles Times.
- According to Matt Zoller Seitz, the author of The Wes Anderson Collection http://www.vulture.com/2013/10/wes-anderson-collection-24-tidbits-matt-zoller-seitz.html
- "5 Signs You're Watching a Wes Anderson Movie". OMGList. March 25, 2008. Retrieved October 17, 2009.[dead link]
- Browning, Mark (2011). Wes Anderson: why his movies matter. Praeger: Santa Barbara, Calif. ISBN 1598843524.
- Special Issue: Wes Anderson & Co. New Review of Film and Television Studies, Volume 10, Issue 1 (2012). ISSN 1740-0309.
- Zoller Seitz, Matt (2013). The Wes Anderson Collection. Harry N. Abrams: New York, New York. ISBN 978-0810997417.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wes Anderson.|
- Wes Anderson at Unsung Films
- Wes Anderson at AllMovie
- Wes Anderson at the Internet Movie Database
- Tête-à-Tête with Nic Harcourt at Los Angeles Times Magazine
- "Into The Deep", in-depth Anderson profile at The Guardian February 12, 2005
- "Wes Anderson", brief profile by Martin Scorsese. Esquire.
- Interview with Wes Anderson for The Darjeeling Limited at Ioncinema.com
- Wes Anderson Interview on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (Video)
- "Notes on Quirky" Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, No.1, 2010