Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Let's see how far I can get by recycling my old material...

I didn't know the Wes Anderson-backlash-backlash had started until I read this post on Alarm.

Oh, well... At the risk of being unfashionable, I stand by what I wrote about Anderson in my first post on this blog:

Anderson is a gifted visual stylist and his movies have a unique tone of half-serious, half-ironic melancholy. But that’s really Anderson’s only trick. It’s not a bad trick, necessarily, and when it works, like in the pool scene in Rushmore, it can be quite affecting, but it’s hardly something to build a career on.

One of the things I’ve always found exciting about watching movies made by talented young directors is the inventiveness they bring to their filmmaking. Citizen Kane, The 400 Blows, Before the Revolution, and Mean Streets aren’t perfect movies by any means (Citizen Kane is the most superficial of the great movies and The 400 Blows too readily and uncritically embraces its adolescent protagonist's point-of-view), but part of what makes them so wonderful is that they were made by guys who wanted to try out everything they thought they knew about filmmaking, who were still young enough not to care about doing it the “right” way, and who were talented enough to actually pull it off. These movies are overflowing with their filmmakers’ inventiveness—so much so that they’re almost overwhelming to watch and the technique they’re made with often overpowers the slight stories they’re trying to tell. But Wes Anderson’s one trick, by itself, isn’t enough to impress me for more than a few minutes—which leaves nothing but the slight story and Anderson’s disaffected adolescent’s worldview.

1 comment:

tirade25 said...

Wes Anderson movies have good points - but I think that overall they are unfocused and too deliberate. I did like Owen Wilson on drugs in the Royal T's though. And Bill Murray is good in Rushmore. But it's certainly no Caddyshack.