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kottke.org posts about Wes Anderson

CNN previews The State of the Union address in the style of Wes Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 11, 2016

They should have roped Mothersbaugh in on the music, but this was actually really informative! And the Bobby Jindal slow-mo was [kiss-fingers emoji].

Behind the scenes of The Grand Budapest Hotel

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 03, 2015

“DVD extras” is a phrase that’s rapidly receding in the pop cultural rearview mirror, but YouTube is chock full1 of them for many popular movies and shows. Here are a few behind-the-scenes looks at Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Bonus video: how to make a Courtesan au Chocolat from Mendl’s:

  1. “Chock full” is another antique phrase, although I bet people will still be using “chock full” long after “DVD extras”.

A supercut of all Wes Anderson supercuts

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 16, 2015

Posted here purely for the sake of completeness, here is a supercut of every1 supercut, parody, analysis, and compilation of Wes Anderson and his movies, the whole twee ball of wax.

  1. I don’t know if every single one is in there, but there are a lot. I’ve probably linked to at least half of them.

A total clustercuss

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 24, 2015

I hadn’t realized there was so much cussing swearing in Wes Anderson’s movies. Here are some damn examples:

Just realized what the world is missing: the “fuck fuck fuck” scene from the first season of The Wire, but done in the style of (“cuss cuss mothercusser”) and with the characters from Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Wes Anderson color palettes

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 08, 2015

Color palettes derived from Wes Anderson movies.

Wes Anderson Palettes

Wes Anderson Palettes

Books in the films of Wes Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 06, 2015

Books loom large in Wes Anderson’s movies. Several of his films open with opening books and Fantastic Mr. Fox is based on an actual book. Here’s a nicely edited selection of bookish moments from Anderson’s films.

In the work of Wes Anderson, books and art in general have a strong connection with memory. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) begins with a homonymous book, as does Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) begins and ends with a book. Moonrise Kingdom (2012) ends with a painting of a place which no longer exists. These movies have a clear message: books preserve stories, for they exist within them and live on through them.

Trailer for Wes Anderson’s The Shining

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 01, 2015

If you take Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and mix in elements of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, the result is pretty good.

(via devour)

Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 21, 2015

Stephen Biesty

Stephen Biesty

Stephen Biesty is a illustrator for books who draws “illustrations that are unrivaled for their ambitious scope and attention to detail”. I love this but somehow I hadn’t seen any of his apparently quite popular books. Many of them appear to be out of print, but there are some available on Amazon: Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Cross-Sections, Stephen Biesty’s Incredible Everything, and Into the Unknown.

Looking through these illustrations and also thinking about Richard Scarry’s books, I’m reminded of the intricate cross-sections from Wes Anderson’s movies. For instance, the boat from The Life Aquatic:

Life Aquatic Cross Section

Biesty’s first book with this illustration style came out in 1992, the same year a 23-year-old Anderson shot his first short film, Bottle Rocket. But the director’s first real use of the cross-section didn’t happen until The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001, and even then it wasn’t explicit…but the tour of the Tenenbaum house definitely felt detailed in the same way as Biesty’s intricate cross-sectional drawings. I’m not the first person to draw parallels between Anderson’s work and Scarry, but I wonder if Biesty is somewhere in there too. (via @aaroncoleman0)

The Grand Budapest Hotel, now in book form

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 15, 2015

Grand Budapest Hotel Book

As an addendum to his 2013 book, The Wes Anderson Collection, Matt Zoller Seitz has written a book on Anderson’s latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel.

This supplementary, one-volume companion to The Wes Anderson Collection (Abrams 2013) is the only book to take readers behind the scenes of The Grand Budapest Hotel, with in-depth interviews between Anderson and cultural critic and New York Times bestselling author Matt Zoller Seitz. Anderson shares the story behind the film’s conception, the wide variety of sources that inspired it — from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrom landscapes from turn-of-the-century Middle Europe — personal anecdotes about the making of the film, and other reflections on his filmmaking process.

Here’s an interview with Seitz on the book and Inhabiting Wes Anderson’s Universe. This new book will look good next to The Wes Anderson Collection and The Making of Fantastic Mr Fox on my bookshelf.

Update: Martin Venezky is the designer of the book and has shared some spreads from the book. Looks gorgeous.

Interview with Wes Anderson’s cinematographer

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 09, 2015

Robert Yeoman has been the cinematographer for all of Wes Anderson’s movies, save for the stop-motion The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Kyle Buchanan at Vulture talked to Yeoman about how he shot nine iconic scenes from Anderson’s films. Of the one-take shot near the end of The Royal Tenenbaums:

We had to triple up on scenes from The Royal Tenenbaums just so we could include this subtly marvelous shot from the finale of the film, where the camera drifts from character to character in the aftermath of an accident. “There were a lot of moving parts, and it was very difficult - Wes was determined to get it in one take and didn’t want to make a cut, so we did, I think, about 20 takes of it,” says Yeoman, who mounted a crane arm to a dolly for fluid movement. “The tough part is that it ends with a very emotional moment between Gene Hackman and Ben Stiller, and this scene was so difficult technically - things didn’t always happen when we wanted them to happen, and we’d have to cut - that it’s a testament to Gene and Ben that they were able to hang in there and really deliver on take 20.” What was going wrong before then? “I don’t want to name names, but there was one actor about two thirds of the way through it who kept blowing his lines, and we’d have to start over again,” says Yeoman. “That was a little frustrating, especially because Gene and Ben were waiting there, getting themselves to a certain place emotionally. I felt bad for them, but that’s just part of making films.”

(thx, greg)

Moonrise Kingdom typeface

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 20, 2014

Tilda Font

Jessica Hische and Font Bureau have teamed up to offer the typeface Hische designed for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. Meet Tilda (great name). Art of the Title interviewed Hische about the typeface last year.

Wes Anderson’s vehicles

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 04, 2014

A compilation of some of the vehicles used in Wes Anderson’s movies, shot from the first-person POV.

(via devour)

The Wes Anderson soundtrack collection

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 29, 2014

Twee out with more than 9 hours of music from Wes Anderson’s movies:

VFX reels for Grand Budapest and Noah

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 25, 2014

LOOK Effects did the visual effects for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel and Darren Aronofsky’s Noah. (via @Colossal)

Forrest Gump by Wes Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 25, 2014

By Louis Paquet, the opening titles of Forrest Gump if it were directed by Wes Anderson.

(via @kyledenlinger)

The design of Grand Budapest Hotel

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 24, 2014

Grand Budapest

The Grand Budapest Hotel is Wes Anderson’s most design-y film, and that’s really saying something. Typography is present in almost every frame; at times, it was almost oppressive. Creative Review interviewed designer Annie Atkins, who was responsible for the film’s graphic design elements.

Oh my goodness, so many signs in the 1960s hotel lobby! I have to give credit to Liliana for this work, as she took care of nearly all of these. She had three sign-writers from Berlin painting non-stop for a week to get them all done in time for our first day of shoot, as that set was first up. Wes and Adam had seen so many examples of quite officious signage in what had been communist East Germany — don’t do this, don’t do that, do this but only like that! The signs really added to the claustrophobic feeling of that set, and Wes had asked for them all to be black with simple white hand-painted lettering — based on the style of the old sign at Yorckstrasse subway station in Berlin.

Grand Budapest Hotel soundtrack

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 13, 2014

Oh hello Grand Budapest Hotel soundtrack on Rdio. Alexandre Desplat. It’s a goooood morning.

Also available for download on Amazon or iTunes if that’s your thing.

The unique visual style of Wes Anderson

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 03, 2014

In his own words, Wes Anderson explains different aspects of his visual style.

Nicely edited together by Nelson Carvajal at Way Too Indie.

Wes Anderson slow motion supercut

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 09, 2014

No one uses slow motion more consistently than Wes Anderson; all his films except Fantastic Mr. Fox use the technique. Here are all the slow-mo scenes from his films strung together:

(via devour)

Castello Cavalcanti

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 13, 2013

Wes Anderson did a short film for Prada. The film contains race cars, Jason Schwartzman, Italy, and tweeness.

(via digg)

Video essay series on Wes Anderson concludes

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 29, 2013

Speaking of Wes Anderson, Matt Zoller Seitz has finished his video essay series on Anderson’s movies. You can find the entire collection of videos on Vimeo and transcripts and notes are on Seitz’s blog. Here are the final two to get you going:

And if that’s not enough for you, here’s the book that the videos are based on.

The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 28, 2013

Wes Anderson is coming out with a new horror movie. Here’s the trailer:

Ha ha just kidding it’s a SNL spoof. Ed Norton does a pretty ripping Owen Wilson.

Wes Anderson’s Star Wars reference

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 22, 2013

Nestled in the midst of Matt Zoller Seitz’s video essay on Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou is this bombshell: the movie contains a Star Wars reference no one seems to have noticed. Seitz synced the scenes for us:

Life Aquatic Star Wars reference

There have to be others, right? Many of Anderson’s films end with all of the characters gathered together like at the medals ceremony in Episode IV…someone even synced up the end of the movie with the closing credits music from Zissou and it works really well:

And of course, there’s Conan O’Brien’s take on what a Star Wars movie directed by Anderson might look like.

The Wes Anderson Collection: The Motion Picture

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 17, 2013

Matt Zoller Seitz is doing a video essay series based on his new book, The Wes Anderson Collection. The first two installments, on Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, are already up:

I love what he says about Rushmore:

There are few perfect movies. This is one of them.

The book and video essays came about because Anderson saw Seitz’s earlier video essay series, The Substance of Style, an examination of Anderson’s stylistic influences. Great resource for fans of Anderson and film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 17, 2013

The first trailer for Wes Anderson’s new movie. This looks great!

RIP, Kumar Pallana

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 10, 2013

Kumar Pallana, one of Wes Anderson’s cast of regulars, has died at age 94. Pallana appears as Kumar in Bottle Rocket, Mr. Littlejeans in Rushmore, and as Pagoda in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Pallana led a massively interesting life before hitting the big screen at nearly 80. Born in colonial India, he lived all around the world, and first made a name for himself as an entertainer in America in the 1950s. Back then he was known as Kumar Of India, and his specialty was spinning plates-he even appeared on Captain Kangaroo in 1961. (Other feats included magic, balancing, swordplay, and juggling-you can see him do a handstand in The Royal Tenenbaums.)

The Wes Anderson Collection

posted by Jason Kottke   Oct 08, 2013

Out today is The Wes Anderson Collection (at Amazon), a coffee-table book about Wes Anderson’s career.

The Wes Anderson Collection is the first in-depth overview of Anderson’s filmography, guiding readers through his life and career. Previously unpublished photos, artwork, and ephemera complement a book-length conversation between Anderson and award-winning critic Matt Zoller Seitz. The interview and images are woven together in a meticulously designed book that captures the spirit of his films: melancholy and playful, wise and childish — and thoroughly original.

Vulture has an excerpt of the chapter on The Royal Tenenbaums.

Q: Gene Hackman - it was always your dream for him to play Royal?
A: It was written for him against his wishes.

Q: I’m gathering he was not an easy person to get.
A: He was difficult to get.

Q: What were his hesitations? Did he ever tell you?
A: Yeah: no money. He’s been doing movies for a long time, and he didn’t want to work sixty days on a movie. I don’t know the last time he had done a movie where he had to be there for the whole movie and the money was not good. There was no money. There were too many movie stars, and there was no way to pay. You can’t pay a million dollars to each actor if you’ve got nine movie stars or whatever it is - that’s half the budget of the movie. I mean, nobody’s going to fund it anymore, so that means it’s scale.

That’s right, Gene Hackman (and probably the rest of them as well) worked for scale on The Royal Tenenbaums.

Anderson also talks about the scene in The Darjeeling Limited where they show everyone on the train:

Q: When you turn to reveal the tiger, what is that, the other side of the train?
A: No, it’s all one car. We gutted a car, and that is a fake forest that we built on the train, and it is a Jim Henson creature on our train car. The whole thing is one take, and I think because we did it that way, while we were doing it, we did feel this electricity, you know? There’s tension in it because it’s all real. Fake but real. I mean, that was the idea. The emotion of it, well — there’s nothing really happening in the scene, you know? They just kind of sit there, but it was a real thing that was happening. But I did at the time have this feeling like “I don’t know.”

Even if it’s fake, it’s real.

Moonrise Kingdom typography

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 23, 2013

The Art of the Title chats with the excellent Jessica Hische about the lettering and type design she did for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom.

To me, that was really fun because if you think about New England in the ’60s… it’s not like most places would be staying on top of the most current trends in type, using typefaces that were released that very year. So, using something from the ’40s made sense to me. If you think about a small, conservative New England town, lord knows all the printers and designers in town are probably still using type from years ago. I think when people think about historical type references, they often don’t think about that. You should be reaching from that time period to 15 - 20 years earlier and then you’ll be getting stuff that’s quote-unquote “current.”

And she’s releasing the typeface commercially so everyone can use it! Yay!

The watches of Fantastic Mr. Fox

posted by Jason Kottke   May 22, 2013

Of course the watches worn by the characters in Fantastic Mr. Fox are going to be classic 70s and 80s timepieces.

Watches, Fantastic Mr Fox

New details about Wes Anderson’s new film

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 28, 2013

Anderson has finished filming his next movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, with the likes of Tilda Swinton, Jude Law, Bill Murray, and Owen Wilson. Screen Daily has some plot details:

The Grand Budapest Hotel tells of a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars and his friendship with a young employee who becomes his trusted protégé. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting, the battle for an enormous family fortune and the slow and then sudden upheavals that transformed Europe during the first half of the 20th century.