Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Irritatingly ingenious

Wes Anderson is an ingenious director who has always bothered me for some reason. His visual flair is uncanny, his characters are sad and quirky, his humour is dry and his screenplays verge on perfection, so I should like this guy, right? And sadly despite the fact that I can name several details I really love about his work, I just don't like the big picture. I can even say that his movies downright annoy me.

It all started with The Royal Tenenbaums: great cast, unique characters, twisted story and basically beautiful but oh so unnerving. This is a movie that has it all on paper but crumbles on the screen, making me wonder: bad writing or bad acting? Basically neither but Anderson's distinct type of intellectual humour doesn't always work. You know this is supposed to be funny but that's as far as it goes. Some will love it, others like myself will simply cringe at the awkward but splendidly shot psychedelic scenes.

I'm not going to condemn Anderson completely because I only saw The Royal Tenenbaums but the experience was so disturbing that I haven't been able to watch any of his films since which could actually be quite good, great even.

Anyway, Wes Anderson isn't just a director and screenwriter, he's also involved in the production, design and music so he's basically quite the renaissance man. His style is a visual delight full of bright colors, intricate details and an overall retro feel. His films (or should I say film) are heartfelt, clever and very poignant intertwined with dry humor and subtly shot, giving his work a very independent atmosphere. His characters, finally, are flawed, real and wildly original misfits so why can't I like them?

He also has a habit of working with the same people over and over such as: Owen Wilson with whom he co-wrote three movies and actors as Bill Murray, Anjelica Huston and Jason Schwartzman to name a few. We should all be blessed with such talented friends.

Now the reason I decided to mention my love-hate relationship with Wes is not because I like to complain but because I'd love to see his next movie. Not because I'm a masochist but because it's a remarkable stop-motion picture, and George Clooney had something to do with it. George Clooney, funny and fair as always, will be portraying The Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the children's book by the same name written by Roald Dahl. So we have Clooney, stop-motion and Dahl, not your run of the mill Wes Anderson flick, right?

Who knows, maybe I'll warm up to the guy. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Limited look promising enough so maybe, just maybe I'll end up adoring Anderson afterall.

No comments: