Accidental Wes Anderson: Every Place in the World with a Wes Anderson Aesthetic Gets Documented by Reddit

Wes Ander­son­’s immac­u­late­ly art-direct­ed, imme­di­ate­ly rec­og­niz­able films may take place in a real­i­ty of their own, but that does­n’t mean a real­i­ty with no con­nec­tion to ours. To go by their results, the direc­tor of The Life Aquat­ic, Moon­rise King­dom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel (to name only three of his most visu­al­ly dis­tinc­tive pic­tures) and his col­lab­o­ra­tors have clear­ly immersed them­selves in the very real his­to­ry of the West in the twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry, drink­ing deeply of its fash­ion, its archi­tec­ture, and its indus­tri­al and graph­ic design.

So no mat­ter how fan­ci­ful his con­struct­ed set­tings — The Roy­al Tenen­baums’ dream of New York City, The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­it­ed’s train cross­ing India in quirky old-school splen­dor, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s unspe­cif­ic Alpine mit­teleu­ropa — Ander­son always assem­bles them from prece­dent­ed ele­ments.

And so the habitués of a sub­red­dit called Acci­den­tal Ander­son have set out to post pic­tures of his sources, or places that might well pass for his sources, all over not just Europe, of course — where they found the Vien­nese cafe at the top of the post and the Berlin­er deliv­ery van with wag­on just above — but Amer­i­ca, Asia, the Mid­dle East, and else­where.

Much of a loca­tion’s acci­den­tal Ander­son­ian poten­tial comes down to its geom­e­try and its col­ors: deep reds, bright yel­lows, and espe­cial­ly pale pinks and greens. Many of Ander­son­’s pre­ferred hues appear in the Gold Crest Resort Motel just above, which may strike a fan as hav­ing come right out of an Ander­son pic­ture even more so than the motel he actu­al­ly used in his debut fea­ture Bot­tle Rock­et. The direc­tor has since moved on to much fin­er hostel­ries, which thus form a strong thread among Acci­den­tal Ander­son­’s pop­u­lar post­ings: Flori­da’s Don CeSar Hotel (known as the “Pink Lady”), Cuba’s Hotel Sarato­ga, Switzer­land’s Hotel Belvédère, Italy’s Grand Hotel Mis­ur­nia.

Berlin’s hum­bler Ostel, a themed trib­ute to the design sen­si­bil­i­ties of the for­mer East Ger­many, might also res­onate with the ever-deep­en­ing his­tor­i­cal con­scious­ness of Ander­son­’s movies. (Remem­ber The Grand Budapest Hotel’s tit­u­lar build­ing, sad­ly redone in a util­i­tar­i­an, faint­ly Sovi­et avo­ca­do-and-ochre dur­ing the film’s 1960s pas­sages.)

To think that Ander­son came from a place no less impos­si­bly dis­tant from the realm of mid­cen­tu­ry Europe than Texas, home of the Dal­las music store pic­tured below. Giv­en his increas­ing pop­u­lar­i­ty, it’s hard­ly a sur­prise to see his sig­na­ture aes­thet­ic being not just reflect­ed but adopt­ed around the world. If life con­tin­ues to imi­tate art, Acci­den­tal Ander­son­’s con­trib­u­tors will long have their work cut out for them. Pay a vis­it to Acci­den­tal Ander­son here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Wes Ander­son Movie Sets Recre­at­ed in Cute, Minia­ture Dio­ra­mas

The Per­fect Sym­me­try of Wes Anderson’s Movies

The Geo­met­ric Beau­ty of Aki­ra Kuro­sawa and Wes Anderson’s Films

Wes Ander­son Likes the Col­or Red (and Yel­low)

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. He’s at work on the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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