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A short introduction to Wes Anderson

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Indie cinema lover or not, it’s likely you’ve crossed paths with Wes Anderson. Arguably, he has spawned his own genre of film – paying great attention to detail in divisive works with a noticeable aesthetic and visual style.

Here’s a guide of where to begin with one of the most respected, beloved filmmakers of the 21st Century.

The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014

Anderson’s most recent and financially successful film maps the life of a lobby boy in a popular ski resort, Zero, who becomes Gustave’s friend and protégé. Gustave, the prestigious concierge, prides himself on providing outstanding service to hotel guests, but the two get swept up in an elaborate heist after they fall into the hands of expensive artwork.

The cinematography takes Anderson’s love of panache to a new level – making it possibly his most vibrant movie yet. The hotel itself stands somewhat superficial in impressive establishing shots, with the excessive amount of care in each scene commending his stylistic signature.

The Royal Tenenbaums, 2001

The third movie of Anderson’s to be co-written by Owen Wilson sees a drama/comedy about a New York family of prodigies and misfits. The narrative follows the lives of three siblings, the children of Royal Tenenbaum and once wife Etheline, seeing their great success in childhood, and eventual disappointment in adulthood.

The film expands Anderson’s style, particularly through deep-rooted symmetry in his compositions and the 1927 sans-serif font used conscientiously throughout as a textual ingredient. The Royal Tenenbaums also hosts an ensemble cast of Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Murray – another worthwhile mention.

Moonrise Kingdom 

Moonrise Kingdom see’s 12-year-old scouts Sam and Suzy fall in love and run away together until a violent storm forces a group of adults to set out a search party. Above all, the warm vibrancy of the rich colour palette creates a nurturing backdrop for Anderson’s determined initiative of evoking emotion.

The muted overtone of yellow elevates colour as a signified nostalgia, much like the warm, whimsical tale of pubescent love. 

Once you become familar with Anderson and his styles, the complexity and beauty of his style emerges all the more. Still, Wes Anderson’s cinema is not a circumstance of style over substance. His concern with nostalgia and particularly desire in childhood brings forward a fastidious attention, making him one of cinema’s great auteurs.

Isle of Dogs will be released the 30th of March, distributed by 20th Century Fox.

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