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 RogerEbert.com adapt certain sections of the book on Anderson’s first five pictures: Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The 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
Grand Budapest Hotel
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 Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall.