Some of you may have seen this Kogonada video about Wes Anderson's centered framing and symmetry, and if you haven't I recommend checking out kogonadas channel for some other cool videos.

Now this video shows different clips from Wes Anderson movies with a line drawn down the middle to show how centered they are. It comes off as revelatory, with some comments even saying things like "It is so awesome that you could find the pattern of this unbelievable director , actually my favorite, wes anderson , so special in his own way" . . . .

My problem is Wes' style and use of symmetry is not only blatanly obvious, it's obnoxious (imo). You could just as easily run that center line over any of his movies and come up with an hour and a half long video for the internet.

For some reason, Wes Anderson occupies a weird pedestal for the general public. He is mainstream and accessible, yet has a quirky style with obnoxious framing, grandios dialogue, and 'fun' color palettes. Because of these quirks, the gen public lauds him and acts like he is an arthouse director or someone totally weeeird. In my lower level cinema class, 90% of the class listed Wes Anderson as one of their favorite directors, usually next to Tarantino.

What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that Wes Anderson is the artsy director of basic people, for lack of a better term (I'd say plebs but some may take me to seriously ;) )

Basic people see these quirks and color patterns and hear the 'fun!' fast dialogue and go "wow he's so artsy, what a creative genius." Without the flair, his movies tell rather dull or at least predicatable stories. The Grand Budapest Hotel, for a recent example, is your average cat and mouse chase with a "surprise!" predictable twist at the end. This happens every time an Anderson flick releases. People love it and hype it up as amazingly funny, creative, quirky, etc. but I always hate it.

That being said, I respect Anderson's vision; he clearly has mad love for the French New Wave and has an idea of what he wants to do so more power to him, But I have no idea why the general public seems to think of him as one of the best directors out there, because there are hundreds more talented and interesting than he (opinion). So he can maintain a consisitent, centered, frame, sure, but that distracts me more than adds to the film.

What do y'all think about him? Oh and before anyone says it, no, watching your favorite Wes Anderson movie will not change my mind.


user-inactivated:

I have the complete opposite opinion of you. Have you seen Bottle Rocket? It is his first film and completely lacks the grandiose Anderson visual aesthetic. Still has Anderson dialogue.

    He is mainstream and accessible, yet has a quirky style with obnoxious framing, grandios dialogue, and 'fun' color palettes. Because of these quirks, the gen public lauds him and acts like he is an arthouse director or someone totally weeeird. In my lower level cinema class, 90% of the class listed Wes Anderson as one of their favorite directors, usually next to Tarantino.

Compared to mainstream cinema he is weird. Tarantino's quirk is his storytelling format. Anderson's is his visual style which personally I appreciate as totally unrealistic. Movies have a burden of being 1:1 representations of reality, what you through the lens is, excluding cgi, an accurate representation of reality. Wes Anderson deliberately break this through his visual style. They are meant to be a false, idealized reality. For example in The Grand Budapest Agatha is described as having a birthmark that looks like Mexico and in the movie it is literally in the shape of Mexico. Everything in TGB is exaggerated because it is based on storytelling of Zero, not reality.

I think he is one of the best directors out there because 1. Obviously. I like his movies and find them enjoyable on every successive viewing. 2. He has a unique visual style that he has mastered. 3. His dialogue is different and interesting. When Suzy asks Sam if Snoopy was a good dog and Sam says "Who's to say?" Man that just connected with me I love it. 4. He writes original screenplays which I appreciate.

I feel like I'm just rambling and I dont think there is anything that will change your mind. If you don't like the style of his movies you will hate them because they are drenched in his aesthetic. I also think that just because his style is bold and in your face doesnt make it bad, just polarizing.


posted by shappyrohman: 1283 days ago