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.

Free Audio: 46 Minute Reading from Dave Eggers’ New Novel, The Circle


Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, has a new book coming out in early October, The Circlea novel about “a young woman who goes to work at an omnipotent technology company and gets sucked into a corporate culture that knows no distinction between work and life, public and private.” Breaking with tradition, The New York Times has placed the novel’s cover on the cover of its own Sunday Magazine. It has also printed a lengthy excerpt from the book. Read it online here, or listen right below (or on iTunes) to a reading of the excerpt by actor Don Graham. It runs 46 minutes.

Stephen King Turns Short Story into a Free Webcomic

Prior to becoming a household name, Stephen King did time as a high school English teacher and a laborer in an industrial laundry. These days, he could insulate his lovely Victorian home with crisp hundreds if such were his whim. Yet it seems he hasn’t forgotten what it’s like to watch every penny, wishing there was enough fat in the budget for the purchase of one measly comic book based on an insanely famous author’s obscure short story…

Are generosity and the remembrance of past struggles motivating King to dole out artist Dennis “X-Men Noir” Calero’s graphic adaptation of his short story, “The Little Green God of Agony,”  for the next seven weeks?

Or is he researching what it feels like to be an undiscovered writer in the digital age, anxiously dangling free content on his website in an attempt to build readership?

Broken into thrice weekly installments to be delivered over a period of eight weeks, King’s story concerns one Andrew Newsome, the sixth richest man in the world, and Kat MacDonald, the exponentially less well-to-do RN caring for him in the wake of a debilitating accident, another subject to which King is no stranger. As of this writing, the comic is only available on the author’s website, though the King juggernaut is so unstoppable, the next move may well be a film, a tv miniseries or a Broadway musical. Maine winters are long and cold. Perhaps even the master of suspense warms to the prospect of some extra insulation.

You can start following the “The Little Green God of Agony” here.

via GalleyCat

The Scotch Pronunciation Guide: Brian Cox Teaches You How To Ask Authentically for 40 Scotches

Some Scotch names are fairly straightforward — Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Laphroaig. Others not so much. I mean, give Bunnahabhain and Caol Ila a try. Well, if you’re a connoisseur struggling to get the pronunciation right, this will serve you well. Esquire has created “The American Man’s Scotch Pronunciation Guide” (though you hardly need to be male to profit from it), which features “esteemed actor and proud Scot” Brian Cox sipping/talking his way through more than 40 brand names. Catch them all here.

via @PartiallyExLife

The Latest, Greatest Cultural Perk of Amazon Prime: Stream Movies and TV Shows to the iPad

When Amazon launched Amazon Prime in 2005, it didn’t offer that much in the way of benefits — just free shipping on Amazon goods. Now if you pony up $79 per year, you get some good cultural perks: You can borrow over 145,000 e-books and read them on your Kindle and devices with Kindle apps. What’s more, you can stream thousands of movies and TV shows through your computer, select blu-ray players and now … drum roll please …. the iPad. Just yesterday, Amazon released its free iPad app, which means that Prime members can start streaming movies on their tablets right away. If you’re not a member, you can always try out a one month Free Trial to Amazon Prime. And if that doesn’t move you, you can simply dive into our collection of 500 Free Movies Online. Ars Technica has more details on the pros and cons of the app here.

Download David Hockney’s Playful Drawings for the iPhone and iPad

Last year, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) in Toronto staged an exhibit of David Hockney’s playful drawings produced with/for the iPhone and iPad. Hockney became an early adopter of Apple’s popular devices and started creating finger-drawn images (using the Brushes app) in 2008. Initially, the English painter only shared his digital drawings with a small circle of friends. Then he decided to make them available to the larger world, presenting them first in Paris in 2010, and then later in Toronto. Here, Hockney explains the basic thinking behind his Fresh Flowers exhibitions.

Throughout the Canadian exhibition, the ROM invited the public to download a series of free images by Hockney. They’re all still online, and we’ve gathered them below. What will you do with them? Put them on your iPhone or iPad, of course. (Find instructions here and here.) Or whatever other device you please.



Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.