July 19, 2015 7:27 PM   Subscribe

Books in the films of Wes Anderson - a video essay.
posted by Artw (8 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
In the work of Wes Anderson, books and art in general have a strong connection with memory.

I agree with this. Anderson is often parodied regarding his dioramas, but these elaborate reconstructions are just that, a remembering.
posted by Bistle at 9:27 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

The couple bits I didn't recognize were from the 1966 adaptation of Farenheit 451, which I've somehow never seen. Watching a couple bits from the film on youtube, I'm now feeling I need to go through and watch all of Truffaut.
posted by kaibutsu at 9:44 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Sort of related: the newspaper in Fantastic Mr Fox is filled with text from the book.
posted by phunniemee at 10:12 PM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Sub-Filter: Watches in the films of Wes Anderson - a photo blog.
posted by fairmettle at 2:52 AM on July 20, 2015

I have been working my way through Wes Anderson's movies for my Twee Magazine, of course. (Here they are.) Anderson makes a great deal of use of mis en scene to pack additional story into his films. I'm writing about Steve Zissou just now, and there is that famous tour of the boat the Calypso, presented like a cutaway drawing, led by Zissou himself. But aside from Zissou's narration, there are lots of pieces of information packed into the scene. For instance, I believe it is Wolodorsky who is making a birthday cake in the kitchen, and I think the cake says happy birthday to Ogata. These are both terribly small characters, but, in that moment, we find out they are friends, we find out that the Calypso no longer has a professional cook (illustrating the decline of Zissou's fortures), and we find out that one of Team Zissou is having a birthday that Steve has utterly forgotten about, emphasizing his selfishness.

Likewise, there is the library. We see Eleanor in there, reading. Steve tells us that Eleanor built the library, and, if you look closely, all of the Zissou books were written by her. She is, we learn, the only scientist on Team Zissou (but for Steve, who admits he can't really remember the science stuff), and the rest are just people Steve scooped up. She's the only one who has any interest in science, and she's taken responsibility for the scientific aspects of the Zissou documentaries. So when she refuses to go on the final mission, it's more than just that Steve's wife won't support him in his mission of revenge -- it's that Steve has no interest in science anymore.

She's also the driver of the final plot point, as it is her scientific knowledge that allows her to pinpoint the lost bond company stooge, and her parent's money that fund the rescue. She can seem like a small character in the film, and is gone for much of it, but she remain always present on the Calypso, in an unused research library full of books she used.
posted by maxsparber at 8:10 AM on July 20, 2015 [5 favorites]

This is great. Also, I am really excited about his upcoming horror film
posted by popaopee at 8:29 AM on July 20, 2015

Why no cutaway in Grand Budapest? WHY????
posted by Artw at 8:31 AM on July 20, 2015

I'm now feeling I need to go through and watch all of Truffaut.

Do it! Truffaut is wonderful and a big influences on Wes Anderson. At the very least don't miss Day for Night.
posted by Flaffigan at 5:32 PM on July 20, 2015

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