Wes Anderson
April 14, 2003 9:58 PM   Subscribe

What has Wes Anderson been up to since The Royal Tenenbaums?

...a few unböring tv spots for IKEA's unböring ad campaign. There is a nice site about him which was updated March 18 announcing his fourth film starring, again, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Gwenyth Patltrow, Jason Swartzman and also Nicole Kidman and Robert Musgrave. Of course Mark Mothersbaugh has supposedly signed to do the score.
posted by tomplus2 (32 comments total)
Good news! The Royal Tenenbaums was such a wonderful movie.
posted by RylandDotNet at 10:03 PM on April 14, 2003

I love Ikea. Here in philly, we have the largest Ikea in the US out in the burbs, and it is amazing. Furniture for the people!

Ikea has a really crazy manifesto on the unboring website... it's actually worth reading...
posted by ph00dz at 10:12 PM on April 14, 2003

I welcome the news of an upcoming Wes Anderson movie the way I welcome the coming of spring - I will go see anything he does. I bet people will still be falling in love with 'Rushmore' a hundred years from now.
posted by GriffX at 11:01 PM on April 14, 2003

that lamp commercial is incredible.
posted by cachilders at 11:01 PM on April 14, 2003

"Mothersbaugh say Anderson told him he's 'been thinking about doing a movie that has only Devo music in it, and it might be this one.'" Scary!

Looks like Anderson is writing it alone instead of working with Owen Wilson on the script. I like Wilson's stuff (he's like my generation's Sam Shepard), but I'll look forward to this, too. Love those ikea commercials.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:03 PM on April 14, 2003

Good news! The Royal Tenenbaums was such a wonderful movie.

Oh, if only there was a way that I could sell you the two hours that I wasted watching that movie. The only reason I kept watching was because I kept thinking that somehow it had to get better. I was wrong. Just because quirky worked in "Rushmore," more quirky was not better. Quirky alone is not enough.

*tiptoes away to let the Anderson fans swoon in the thread*
posted by pmurray63 at 11:03 PM on April 14, 2003

that lamp commercial is incredible.

note that Spike Jonze did that one, not Wes.
posted by gluechunk at 11:43 PM on April 14, 2003

Don't forget his first film with the Wilson Bros, Bottle Rocket, which is where the quirk begun.
posted by PenDevil at 12:25 AM on April 15, 2003

oh man, i hope gwynnie-poo drops out....i sort of hoped she'd be like betty hutton in the miracle of morgan's creek, if you know what i mean.

apart from that, YAY!
posted by pxe2000 at 4:26 AM on April 15, 2003

I really didn't get Rushmore. I tried the Royal Tenenbaums as well, same result. YMMV.
posted by viama at 4:49 AM on April 15, 2003

viama (and pmurray): how do you feel about j.d. salinger's glass family stories? just curious.
posted by pxe2000 at 5:29 AM on April 15, 2003

Ikea, Starbucks, and The Gap.

The Unhöly Trinity of consumerism.

Much like the day I was perusing a magazine rack and saw that they had shelved the latest issues of O, Martha Stewart Living and Rosie together like some paper Mount Rushmore of mindlessness.
posted by jonmc at 5:49 AM on April 15, 2003

I loved The Royal Tenenbaums and hated Rushmore so I'm not really sure where I stand.
posted by jalexei at 5:54 AM on April 15, 2003

Oh, if only there was a way that I could sell you the two hours that I wasted watching that movie.

I can see why you might feel that way - Anderson's work isn't always easy to like. The Royal Tenenbaums, like Rushmore (and presumably Bottle Rocket, which I haven't yet seen), is definitely a character driven piece, not much plot, and the performances are very understated and subtle. Despite the occasional vulgarity, it's more witty than funny. It's a lot drier and quirkier than American cinema tends to be, even good American cinema.
posted by RylandDotNet at 5:56 AM on April 15, 2003

Are all the characters going to mope around like they've been lobotomized? Because they did that in his other three movies. A friend keeps telling me to watch, but I'm not going to listen to that friend anymore.
posted by owillis at 6:00 AM on April 15, 2003

Bottle Rocket was great, Rushmore was very good, The Royal Tenenbaums was okay. I guess the next one will show whether it's a career-long decline, or a momentary slip.

Ca-caw! Ca-caw!

Excuse me, that's my posse. I've got to go.
posted by rusty at 6:13 AM on April 15, 2003

owillis: while the moping-around-like-they're-lobotomized complaint might be true of the depressed and disaffected glass tenenbaum clan, that complaint doesn't quite hold up with rushmore. sure, mr blume wasn't the cheeriest guy in the world, but the center of rushmore was max fischer, who i would hardly describe as mopey or lobotomized.
posted by pxe2000 at 6:30 AM on April 15, 2003

Nor was Dignan anything less than wildly animated in Bottle Rocket. The mopiness was an intended characteristic of the Tannenbaums, the crumbled kingdom state of a once larger-than-life clan. It was the point.
posted by cachilders at 6:50 AM on April 15, 2003

The first two films were brilliant. Bottle Rocket featured one of the most hilarious robbery attempts of all time. Rushmore was perfect in its editing, Bill Murray's performance, wry Barry Lyndon tributes, and its colorful sights and sounds. The Royal Tennenbaums was a disaster, an interminable attempt to recreate the magic of the first two films but hardly as heartfelt or original. What can you say about a film when the funniest gag is a wall painting? And I'm sorry but the Futura subtitles have got to go.
posted by ed at 7:10 AM on April 15, 2003

Ca-caw! Ca-caw!

Enough said. Fooking genius.
posted by jacknose at 7:23 AM on April 15, 2003

And I also love the scene in Bottle Rocket when Owen Wilson's character, Dignan, says, "They'll never catch me, man, 'cause I'm fuckin' innocent." Then he runs off to save one of his partners in crime and gets captured by the police, over "2000 Man" by the Rolling Stones. He—and the music—are proclaiming who he really is: He's not innocent in the eyes of the law, but he's truly an innocent. For me, it's a transcendent moment. And transcendent moments are in short supply these days.

Martin Scorsese
posted by matteo at 7:26 AM on April 15, 2003

"Mothersbaugh say Anderson told him he's 'been thinking about doing a movie that has only Devo music in it, and it might be this one.'" Scary!

I believe I read somehwere also that for Rushmore, he was considering an all Kinks soundtrack at one point.

"Bob's Gone! He Stole His Car!"
posted by stifford at 7:44 AM on April 15, 2003

miss paltrow in furs, oh yes.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:53 AM on April 15, 2003

In some way, Owen Wilson will forever be Dignan for me. Did anyone else see Behind Enemy Lines and sort of think, "Oh, what's Dignan gotten himself into this time?"
posted by rusty at 7:57 AM on April 15, 2003

Yes rusty, very much so. it's tough, however, to maintain that illusion while watching The Minus Man.
posted by cachilders at 8:04 AM on April 15, 2003

Did anyone else see Behind Enemy Lines and sort of think, "Oh, what's Dignan gotten himself into this time?"

I thought that when I went to see The Haunting, but that question was quickly replaced by "Why did I go to see The Haunting?
posted by stifford at 8:05 AM on April 15, 2003

I'm with ed and pmurray63--Rushmore was one of the great American movies of the 1990s, but the Tenenbaums were a sad heartless pile of quirks that didn't add up to anything. I hope the Wunderkind can recover.
posted by muckster at 8:32 AM on April 15, 2003

Tenenbaums were a sad heartless pile of quirks that didn't add up to anything.

Tenenbaums reminded me of the over achiever family: bunch of want-to-be's. And the quirks that go with it. That's what made me laugh. Plus knowing of the actors, I felt made the movie funnier. Take the Wilson brothers whose characters were best friends even lived next door and wanted to be brothers in the movie; they are in real life.
posted by thomcatspike at 10:15 AM on April 15, 2003

Yes! Tenenbaums is the only Anderson film I've seen, and I really liked it. It stayed with me long after I stopped watching it. Funny and sad at the same time. Every single character in there had this unfulfilled yearning for something.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:35 AM on April 15, 2003

I felt Tenenbaums was more like an Altman epic that requires at least a couple viewings to be better understood and appreciated.
posted by boost ventilator at 10:36 AM on April 15, 2003

Actually, I think Wes Anderson may be our first great postmodern filmmaker (assuming -- hoping -- that he can do it with Number 4). But unlike a literary postmodernist like Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace or William Gaddis who dwells upon consumer or business culture from a higher echelon, Anderson has a way of showing how financial and career-oriented attitudes affect or are perpetuated by the everyman. Most of Anderson's characters are young slacker types with an unclear idea on how to succeed but some kind of tertiary understanding that they must succeed. But they have little idea or motivation to do so, and often need the support of others to come to terms with who they are. Yet, ironically, it is only getting ahead that defines their existence. And this makes Anderson's colorful environments so perfect for his films. Because what else is getting ahead, particularly early in life, but fantasy?

Whether its Dignan and company getting screwed by James Caan, or Luke Wilson bemoaning that he never learned Spanish, or Max Fischer's almost P.T. Barnum-like attempts to be noticed or addressed as a genius, Anderson has nailed capitalist desire on the nose. And when something sweet, such as the love that flits through Rushmore, penetrates the desire of success, we are particularly struck by just how vulnerable the characters are, despite the frequent savagery of their goals (the methodical vengeful battle between Blume and Fischer, with the car brakes systematically snipped and the bicycle carried shoulder-level).

I had hoped with the Gene Hackman character in Tennenbaums that we may have had some clue as to how a Dignan/Fischer might have developed later in life. You had the great backstory of Hackman being disbarred and a great actor like Hackman. But I think Tennenbaums's major problem was that it spread itself far too thin by throwing in too many characters. So we didn't really get the kind of depth that we had in the first two films, and suddenly the technique (Futura, the mid-level close-up framings, the British Invasion soundtrack) became disappointingly transparent, instead of fluid. Hopefully, Anderson's learned his lesson.
posted by ed at 10:43 AM on April 15, 2003

This will be the first one that Wes writes w/o Owen. We'll see how it turns out. I LOVED Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and Royal Tenenbaums. I can't wait to see this next project.

I'm still yelling "ca-caw" to communicate with my brothers, and cheered when Jason Swartzman appeared in an episode of Freaks and Geeks. ...which, I must add, was as character driven and dry as Anderson's films. And the cancellation of the show proves it (people just didn't get it).

Dignan: [points to Bob] He's out.
[points to Anthony]
Dignan: And you're out, too. And I dont think I'm in, either. No gang!
posted by tomplus2 at 3:55 PM on April 15, 2003

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