Preamble : To fully enjoy and get the maximum leverage from the contents of this book, I highly recommend the reader to watch (all, if possible) of Wes Anderson’s films first. For those who already have, you’re in for a treat. :]
The Wes Anderson Collection is a rich and thorough discussion/dissection of the director’s full repertoire of films (from Rocket Bottom to Moonrise Kingdom). Through conversations with the author Matt Zoller Seitz, Wes Anderson gives us illuminating insights into his ideas, motivations and inspirations, served with hearty amounts of production stills, reference images, concept sketches, storyboards and more.
(above and below) The entire book is replete with visuals from other great films that have in one way or another influenced and inspired the director. Hitchcock’s closing sequence for Rear Mirror (above left) gathers many future Anderson signatures into one filmic moment : a continuous shot that directs the viewer’s attention through camera movement instead of cuts.
(above) Wes Anderson is also a big fan of Michael Mann’s films – in Rushmore he pays tribute to Heat in 2 sequences. (below) The author and WA talks about Spielberg, whom the director refers to as “the silent master of the long take”, in reference to the Marion’s drinking scene early in the film. Just looking at the still just makes me want to watch the entire film all over again.
(above right) More homages : The Go Kart sequence in The Royal Tenenbaums is a nod to Gene Hackman’s The French Connection, and the text that appears across the screen to the rhythm of dialogue is a shout out to Peanuts.
(above) Production stills from Anderson’s stop motion animated film Fantastic Mr Fox, adapted from Roald Dahl’s novel. There is a dedicated art book ( read review here ) that delves deeper into the art of the film, and an upcoming Criterion blu-ray which is already on my wish list.
(below) Anderson talks about his choice of 16mm film for Moonrise Kingdom and the demise of the format near the end of the book.
This book is not only a great treat for fans of Wes Anderson’s films but also an excellent resource for the craft of film-making (art direction, production design, cinematography, costume design, the works). I’m going to read it from cover to cover, and then do it again. Very highly recommended.
The Wes Anderson Collection details :
– Dimensions – 10 x 12 inches x 1.2 inches ( see wacom pen in above picture for size reference )
– 336 pages
– Hard cover, full color pictures
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