Watch 8 New Video Essays on Wes Anderson’s Films: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums & More

We Wes Ander­son-watch­ers have only just begun eager­ly antic­i­pat­ing the The Grand Budapest Hotel, the direc­tor’s next live-action film star­ing Ralph Fiennes, F. Mur­ray Abra­ham, and new­com­er Tony Revolori (and fea­tur­ing, need we even add, a cer­tain Bill Mur­ray). But see­ing as it won’t appear in the­aters until March of next year, we’ll for now have to busy our­selves with its trail­er and var­i­ous oth­er pieces of Ander­so­ni­ana. Among the most intrigu­ing new items in this group we have a book called The Wes Ander­son Col­lec­tion, an in-depth exam­i­na­tion of Ander­son­’s fil­mog­ra­phy built around a book-length con­ver­sa­tion (think Hitchcock/Truffaut, albeit pos­sessed of a dif­fer­ent sen­si­b­li­ty, to put it mild­ly) with crit­ic Matt Zoller Seitz. The videos here from his blog on adapt cer­tain sec­tions of the book on Ander­son­’s first five pic­tures: Bot­tle Rock­et, Rush­moreThe Roy­al Tenen­baumsThe Life Aquat­ic with Steve Zis­sou, and The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­it­ed. 

The Wes Ander­son Col­lec­tion is a book that was about twen­ty years in the mak­ing,” says Zoller Seitz in the book’s trail­er. “When Wes and Owen Wil­son got their short film Bot­tle Rock­et into the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val, I went to meet them at a burg­er joint in Dal­las. We were play­ing pool togeth­er. I’m pret­ty sure Wes won. About three years ago, our paths crossed again, and the result was this book. I love Wes’ style. I think if he were a writer, he’d be some­body like a Hem­ing­way, who does­n’t use a lot of adjec­tives. He takes var­i­ous influ­ences and turns them into some­thing that’s unique­ly his. There’s a charm, and a famil­iar­i­ty, and an easy­go­ing qual­i­ty to all his movies. His movies reward rewatch­ing.”

Some com­plain that Ander­son “just makes the same movie over and over again,” but giv­en what the film­mak­er has demon­strat­ed of his com­mand of cin­e­ma at this point in his career, you almost might as well also accuse Ozu of just mak­ing the same movie over and over again. “I think the detail-obsessed fetishists are real­ly going to dig this book,” Zoller Seitz adds. If Ander­son hap­pens to count any of those among his fans, this book may well have a chance.

… Hold the phones. The final install­ments are now out, and we’ve added them to the post.

The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­it­ed

Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox

Moon­rise King­dom

Grand Budapest Hotel

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Wes Ander­son from Above. Quentin Taran­ti­no From Below

Bill Mur­ray Intro­duces Wes Anderson’s Moon­rise King­dom (And Plays FDR)

Wes Anderson’s First Short Film: The Black-and-White, Jazz-Scored Bot­tle Rock­et (1992)

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on lit­er­a­ture, film, cities, Asia, and aes­thet­ics. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­lesA Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall.

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