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Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders
October 27, 2013 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Wes Anderson's The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders Last night Ed Norton hosted Saturday Night Live, and this short film trailer parody was the standout.

Previously, and before that, and before that.
posted by Iris Gambol (60 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite

 
Weapons: Picture of Edith Piaf. Assault rifle. Little flag.
posted by Think_Long at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2013 [5 favorites]


So funny. Shocked there were no Bill Murray references.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:29 AM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Speaking as a Wes Anderson fan: yes. Exactly this.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:30 AM on October 27, 2013


I would watch that movie 100 times.
posted by xingcat at 10:31 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I see.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:38 AM on October 27, 2013


They missed an opportunity to tie in The Addams Family (or The Witches) in some way re: Anjelica Huston.

Also, I'm saddened that they didn't use this prosthetic proboscis.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:39 AM on October 27, 2013


I too would watch the hell out of that movie.
posted by aspo at 10:41 AM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


The New York Times calls it "You had me at Wes Anderson."
posted by gagglezoomer at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


That was hilarious.
posted by Nelson at 10:43 AM on October 27, 2013


Main nitpick: Kind of weak to directly refer to The Royal Tenenbaums like that. The stationery joke was much better.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:47 AM on October 27, 2013 [14 favorites]


All morning long, my wife and I have been looking at each other and saying, "Da fuh?"
posted by ColdChef at 10:49 AM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Also: read the Fangoria review!
posted by ColdChef at 10:50 AM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I noticed a lack of Bill Murray too. Is there any sort of bad blood between him and Lorne Michaels? Or do they just not have a cast member who can do a good Bill Murray?
posted by bibliowench at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013


Rustic Etruscan: Main nitpick: Kind of weak to directly refer to The Royal Tenenbaums like that. The stationery joke was much better.

Yeah, and wouldn't it be funnier to find Wes Andersony songs that he didn't already use.
posted by zbsachs at 10:57 AM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


I feel like they could have tied Wes Craven in a bit more directly.

(Or better yet, Kanye Wes Anderson.)
posted by maryr at 11:01 AM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


They also mocked the ACA rollout fiasco.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:42 AM on October 27, 2013


What's the song that starts just before the NYT and Fangoria bit?
posted by kimota at 11:45 AM on October 27, 2013


Townhall.com (which I guess I've never heard of) takes itself a wee bit too seriously. SNL is not liberal propaganda.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:08 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Needs a pan shot of people determinedly walking and talking.

I was going to say it needed some precocious children, but then two showed up.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:15 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dear SNL:

I so enjoyed this and "We Did Stop (the government)." I thought when Andy Samberg left your preproduced digital shorts would not be as funny, but these have been FANTASTIC. More, please!

A fan
posted by onlyconnect at 12:26 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


Shocked there were no Bill Murray references.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:29 AM on October 27 [4 favorites +] [!]


I thought the Alex Baldwin thing at the end was a Murray gag (contrast the alpha male characters Alex is most wellknown for - the corporate exec from 30Rock and the successful salesman from Glengarry Glen Ross with Murray's typical "lovable loser" character these days). I agree it's weird that there wasn't much
posted by Bwithh at 2:19 PM on October 27, 2013


Kind of weak to directly refer to The Royal Tenenbaums like that
Yeah, not enough confidence in the audience
posted by Bwithh at 2:20 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh man, now my ultimate film dream, other than Tilda Swinton playing the Doctor in Doctor Who, is Tilda Swinton in a Wes Anderson horror movie.
posted by Windigo at 2:38 PM on October 27, 2013


I thought the Alex Baldwin thing at the end was a Murray gag (contrast the alpha male characters Alex is most wellknown for - the corporate exec from 30Rock and the successful salesman from Glengarry Glen Ross with Murray's typical "lovable loser" character these days).

Baldwin was the narrator in The Royal Tenenbaums.
posted by one_bean at 2:53 PM on October 27, 2013 [6 favorites]


Nice, but not as nice as Conan's WA Star Wars audition.
posted by jetsetsc at 3:25 PM on October 27, 2013


This is the time of year I like to fantasize about Wes Anderson's Herbert West: Re-animator. It's perfect material for him: the academic setting (Bill Murray as Dean Halsey), the precocious lunatic, the hapless sidekick, the existential angst, the obsessive details. Just add eldritch horror. I'd laugh, I'd cry, I'd curl up whimpering and shivering in the corner. It'd be great!
posted by wobh at 3:28 PM on October 27, 2013 [9 favorites]


Isn't Wes Anderson just his own self-contained parody at this point? I haven't seen his new trailer yet but I assume it doubles as a very astute Wes Anderson joke.
posted by naju at 3:50 PM on October 27, 2013 [12 favorites]


I haven't seen his new trailer yet but I assume it doubles as a very astute Wes Anderson joke.

Three different aspect ratios.
posted by EmGeeJay at 3:55 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I loved how they NAILED the stutter-step, drive-a-truck-through-the-beat, inability of the characters to sound normal when talking to each other.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 4:46 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree that this was a little too on-the-nose with the Royal Tenenbaums references, like they just said "what if we put all this Royal Tenenbaums stuff in a horror movie?" Which is a shame, because as a Wes Anderson fangirl, it's easy to imagine what a Wes Anderson Halloween movie would be like: ghost stories somewhere between Victoriana and mid century dispair, precious costumes, kids bravely fighting monsters once they realized their parents wouldn't be up to the task ... it writes itself! And then at that point, you just have to turn the absurdity up by like 10% to be a successful parody.

Instead, this felt like one of those lame parody movies where literally all they do is reference the hit movie, and that's supposed to be the parody.
posted by lunasol at 4:48 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's weird that you guys think this is too Royal Tenenbaums. I've seen Moonrise Kingdom much more recently than RT, and to me this felt like 90% MK references.
posted by vytae at 5:19 PM on October 27, 2013 [8 favorites]


I enjoyed the Halloween candy bit at the end of the show, probably more than I should have.

These are razor blades but they're still in the pack so this time they'll have to arrest me for generosity.
posted by ckape at 5:26 PM on October 27, 2013


Baldwin was the narrator in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Oh man, I embarrassed myself at a party back when just the trailer was first out by insisting--INSISTING--it was Joe Frank. This was of course before smartphones, back when looking something up online basically meant going into the bedroom and starting up your PC.

I was like five minutes into a monologue about great Joe Frank was, and how wonderful it was that he was getting attention like this and how maybe it would lead to a wider audience, and so on, when a friend's date deadpanned (quite Margot Tennenbaumishly, come think of it) "It's Alec Baldwin."

That shut me up. What could you say? Even without having seen the trailer for over a week, it was so immediately apparent to everyone that OF COURSE it was Alec Baldwin, how could it not be, that I just trailed off with "Yeah, you should check joe Frank's stuff out, I don't know when it's on these days, maybe Napster has some mp3s..." then pretended to go to the restroom but I really did the French Goodbye out the back door.
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:29 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


Seriously though Joe Frank is great.

Though he doesn't really sound like Alec Baldwin at all.
posted by kenko at 5:39 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is delightful.
posted by mrzarquon at 6:48 PM on October 27, 2013


I turned to my husband just after that aired and asked, "Is it wrong that I desperately want to see that movie?"
posted by jburka at 7:51 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


Bill Murray plays a middle-aged orthodontist and bird call aficionado that lives alone in the house next door. He comes to investigate in his pajamas when he hears the screaming. Murray's character is well-spoken but has a few mild personality flaws and an inner core of quiet despair. After joining up with the hiding family, he ends up saving one of the main characters with a makeshift suture made from dental floss. Although the incident is minor, it makes him feels useful and important for the first time in years. In the final scene, during the pan across the remaining characters, Murray is shown teaching an orthodontic procedure to one of the children using her stuffed animal as the patient.
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:32 PM on October 27, 2013 [11 favorites]


Boy, it's like pulling teeth to get SNL audiences to laugh these days! Or wait... It must have something to do with the level of the comedy. This was, umm, sort of funny? They nailed some stuff. But wow, the ONLY good impersonation in this sketch was by Ed Norton! Who the hell are these cast members anyway? Terrible.
posted by ReeMonster at 8:49 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


I also would see this movie, if only because Ed Norton doing an extended Owen Wilson impression would crack me up.

And also because I would listen to Alec Baldwin read the phone book.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 8:50 PM on October 27, 2013 [3 favorites]


A little Moonrise Kingdom heavy, especially in the soundtrack. Then again, it IS the most Wes Andersonyesque thing ever.
posted by Artw at 10:06 PM on October 27, 2013


What's the song that starts just before the NYT and Fangoria bit?

I keep googling snatches of the lyrics (""...says she loves me/but something feels all wrong/I can sense it in her kisses/that this won't be lasting long") but there are zero results. Starting to think it was made just for this.
posted by anazgnos at 11:00 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


Okay, this may end up being more Wes Andersony than Moonrise Kingdom.
posted by Artw at 11:24 PM on October 27, 2013 [2 favorites]


SNL is not liberal propaganda.

You don't understand. Anything not actually written by, and starring actual Tea Party members is liberal propaganda. It also may be liberal propaganda if it fails to include focus-group-tested-as-hilarious jokes about the fatness of Al Gore and/or Michael Moore.

I loved this and yes, I would watch this movie. I regret feeling that he hasn't really had a home run since Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums, though I did enjoy Moonrise Kingdom a lot -- but I have high hopes for Grand Budapest Hotel.

But wow, the ONLY good impersonation in this sketch was by Ed Norton!

Nah, the impersonation of Gwyneth Paltrow playing a non-speaking, smoking part was frighteningly good. But then...

Anyway, I really want to give props to the production designers, as well as camera work and editing -- it was all perfect. It would have been so easy to skimp on (and believe me, I'm watching Season 3 right now, and I suspect the budget for this would have covered that whole year), but they even got Futura right. Especially that one shot when Owen says "Hey, kids, let's go to the panic room!" and you get a pan showing this is a fully-realized multi-room set. What a labor of love. Also, Adrien Brody in a closet full of antique typewriters.
posted by dhartung at 11:26 PM on October 27, 2013


I thought the Girls sketch was pretty funny, so that's two funny things from SNL in a month. End times.
posted by Artw at 11:34 PM on October 27, 2013 [4 favorites]


The "link for outside US" bit is a classy touch. Thanks.
posted by holist at 12:19 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I would watch the shit out of that movie. But, I totally loved Moonrise Kingdom, with all of my heart.
posted by odinsdream at 5:06 AM on October 28, 2013


I would totally see that movie. Plus I am choosing to believe that Bill Murray is in it, and that he is actually the Falcon guy, and the joke is on us that we didn't realize it.
posted by Mchelly at 7:18 AM on October 28, 2013


I regret feeling that he hasn't really had a home run since Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums

That's weird. It's almost like you haven't seen his best film, the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Royal Tenenbaums is pretty overrated.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 7:26 AM on October 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's weird. It's almost like you haven't seen his best film, the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Royal Tenenbaums is pretty overrated.


Man, I haven't been to Wrongtown in ages. They still got that coffee shop there?
posted by Legomancer at 7:30 AM on October 28, 2013 [14 favorites]


SNL is not liberal propaganda.

You don't understand. Anything not written by, and starring actual tea party members is liberal propaganda.


C'mon! SNL kind of is liberal propaganda! Hey, I'm a Democrat, too, but you don't see that many SNL sketches that glorify the 1% and take their POV. The most damage SNL sketches usually do to liberals is mock their incompetence or sincerity (eg., Obamacare rollout, Hillary sketches). But if I were a conservative I can only imagine how appalled and offended I would be by the "We Did Stop (the Government)" sketch that depicted Boehner as a closet bisexual crossdresser and Bachman as a slutty masturbating exhibitionist at an orgy with someone dressed as Uncle Sam!

But this article for example notes that most of the writers and cast are liberal so they will naturally gravitate to jokes that mock conservatives:

Past cast members like Dennis Miller, Victoria Jackson, and apparently Jon Lovitz notwithstanding, the cast of “SNL” typically swings liberal. Liberals have an easier time making fun of conservatives because they believe it, ergo the natural inclination is to poke fun at conservatives instead of making fun of themselves because self-deprecation typically doesn’t work in satire because there’s just too many layers for our small brains to process. . . .

So why did Lorne Michaels choose the Fox and Friends skit instead of the Obama skit? Because he thought it was funnier. Why did he think it was funnier? Because he’s a liberal. Ask a conservative, and I guarandamntee you that he would find the Obama skit funnier, even if Fred Armisen is the worst Obama impersonator on the planet.


I think SNL jokes veer liberal more often than not, and frankly I enjoy it that way. Remember the brilliant Palin/Clinton sketch? I'm not going to pretend it didn't take a side -- it's the same side the cast members took, and me too. I'm not going to pretend it's not.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:17 AM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


But propaganda is a very specific form of communication - it has to have a clear intent and agenda of influence. Just because SNL has a liberal perspective does not make it propaganda.
posted by Think_Long at 8:31 AM on October 28, 2013


onlyconnect: " I think SNL jokes veer liberal more often than not, and frankly I enjoy it that way. Remember the brilliant Palin/Clinton sketch? I'm not going to pretend it didn't take a side -- it's the same side the cast members took, and me too. I'm not going to pretend it's not."

There's no disputing that there are more liberals in show business, and therefore more liberals on SNL, but your example is only "liberal" in the "reality has a well-known liberal bias" sense. Hillary Clinton, whatever you think of her politics, is objectively a brilliant woman with a distinguished political career, whereas Sarah Palin was, and is, a total fucking dope who couldn't finish a full term as Alaska's governor. Using parody to even the score would be comedic malpractice, and would come off as clumsy and contrived given the amount of pure-strain comedy gold Palin supplied on a regular basis.

Plus, when you have to make exceptions for Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, and Victoria Jackson, there's a certain "but what about the play, Mrs. Lincoln?" quality to your analysis. Yes, we have Senator Al Franken, but after him, you basically have garden variety Hollywood liberals who might be politically active for a cause that means something to them, but aren't interested in being part of the political pundit class. Meanwhile, Lovitz, Jackson, and of course Miller are frequent Fox News visitors. I mean, when is the last time you saw MSNBC checking in to see what Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell think about politics?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:43 AM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Royal Tenenbaums is pretty overrated.

PREACH.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 2:38 PM on October 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Isn't Wes Anderson just his own self-contained parody at this point? I haven't seen his new trailer yet but I assume it doubles as a very astute Wes Anderson joke.

Okay, this may end up being more Wes Andersony than Moonrise Kingdom.

The Self-Parody Of Wes Anderson
posted by kliuless at 10:14 PM on October 28, 2013


" Increasingly, everything, even works of art, feel like really good BuzzFeed posts: Charming, satisfying, and completely self-contained." (from the Self-Parody linked above.)

This describes the entirety of Wes Anderson's work perfectly. I feel like if you've seen one of his films, there's zero need to see any others unless you just need to press a Wes Anderson Style Lever down in your brain somewhere occasionally. He's not going to break any new ground anytime soon.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:05 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I love cutaway shots!
posted by maryr at 10:02 AM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Anyway, I really want to give props to the production designers, as well as camera work and editing -- it was all perfect. It would have been so easy to skimp on (and believe me, I'm watching Season 3 right now, and I suspect the budget for this would have covered that whole year), but they even got Futura right. Especially that one shot when Owen says "Hey, kids, let's go to the panic room!" and you get a pan showing this is a fully-realized multi-room set. What a labor of love.

That it was, to judge from this terrific account of its making by the SNL Film Unit's DP. The film unit found a location (the disused former home of a Naval surgeon at the Brooklyn Navy Yard), chose the color palette (Royal Tenenbaums dark pink, Life Aquatic faded yellow, and Moonrise Kingdom teal), picked the camera lens (40mm anamorphic Hawk V-series, but a non-anamorphic Optimo 24-290mm for the the binocular-POV shots), rigged the set lights (2k open face bounced off unbleached muslin), and called in a favor from Paul Simon to use "Me and Julio" on the soundtrack.

For all intents and purposes, this is a Wes Anderson short film.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:15 PM on November 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


Holy Shit that debrief was amazing!
posted by odinsdream at 5:08 PM on November 5, 2013


What's the song that starts just before the NYT and Fangoria bit?
posted by kimota at 2:45 PM on October 27


Answered in Doktor Zed's neat link above:

Wes Anderson’s music scores are just as iconic and signature as his art direction and I’m amazed at how well Rhys and Adam nailed the tone. They managed to combine the Kinks-dominant British-invasion sound of “Rushmore”, the twee classical notes of “Tenenbaums” and the percussive sound of “Life Aquatic” and “Moonrise Kingdom” — using only library tracks (with the exception of “Me and Julio” by SNL-pal, Paul Simon).
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:28 PM on November 5, 2013


Man, I was tired. Also meant to include a link to the song.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:06 AM on November 6, 2013


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