Welcome to Dissected, where we disassemble a band’s catalog, a director’s filmography, or some other critical pop-culture collection in the abstract. It’s exact science by way of a few beers. The time, we enter the quirky, warmhearted world of Wes Anderson. This article was originally published in 2018 and has been updated.
“I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly bothered or obsessed with detail.” — Wes Anderson
The rococo eccentricity and color palette of Grand Budapest Hotel say otherwise. As does the closet full of lovingly photographed and artfully uneven board games in The Royal Tenenbaums. Or the use of a Satyajit Ray score, dusted off and delicately placed in The Darjeeling Limited (in addition to the Louis Vuitton luggage custom made by Marc Jacobs). And what about the left-set placement of the kitten next to a record player in Moonrise Kindgom; the stage curtains and custom paintings in Rushmore; or the custom, bisected ship in Life Aquatic?!?
Sorry, this haranguing is getting in the way of the point: Wes Anderson may say he’s not obsessed with detail, but his gifts, his knack for those details, they just come naturally for the now-star director. They craft the worlds in which Anderson’s terrific films emerge. They make playgrounds for his flawed characters, his mighty scores and soundtracks, his serio-comic pastiches, and above all, his flawlessly designed images and artistry.
He is Lubitsch, he is Kurosawa, he is Martin Scorsese – he’s the best and quirkiest student to emerge from UT Austin’s film school with a well-curated library of inspiration behind his films, and we’re still obsessing over his work each day. Funny, touching, and obsessive-compulsively easy on the eyes, these are the films of Wes Anderson.
And just because our ranking doesn’t match yours, it doesn’t mean you can’t start one up yourself. Do it Max Fischer style. Just be sure to print it out in Futura.
— Blake Goble