I would like to introduce you all to the whimsical world of Wes Anderson. Wes Anderson is known for his idiosyncratic style, marked by his quirky and eccentric characters, colourful compositions, recurring style of cinematography and a picky attention to detail in his films. His filmography includes Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998), The Royal Tenembaums (2001), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Darjeeling Limited (2007), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and the upcoming, Isle of Dogs (2018).
Whimsical Characters of Wes Anderson. Source: MagiQuiz
Bright Colour Palettes
Anderson’s use of colour is one of the most striking of his trademarks because it is so prevalent in every scene. The fictional worlds crafted by Wes Anderson are painted with particular palettes that dye the skies, splatter the buildings and dress the characters which produces a dream-like storybook tale that has made him adored worldwide.
The Royal Tenembaums (2001), MovieInColor
Moonrise Kingdom (2012), WesAndersonPalettes
Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), MoviesInColor
The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), WesAndersonPalettes
The Darjeeling Limited (2007). MovieInColor
The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou (2004) WesAndersonPalettes
His attention to colour is essential to his cinematic world-building, it creates an appropriate space and sets the tone for which the whimsical characters can flourish as well as being aesthetically pleasing for the audience. Heck, to illustrate how prominent his eye for colour is, there is even an entire Tumblr page that is dedicated to the colour palettes of his films.
Obsession with Overhead Tableau Shots
I would like to argue that in some small way, Wes Anderson is partially responsible for the influx of overhead tableau shots that’s now popular on Instagram (usually in the form of flatlays). Or maybe not. Nevertheless, this stylistic choice, lays out inanimate objects on tables, in essence is quite simple, but the challenge is in the spacing, lighting, as well the selection of objects. Its more than that, the table itself is an indication of time, space and most importantly the character itself. No tiny detail is spared as the objects, not to mention their composition, reveal the character’s personality more than their dialogue does.
More often than not, directors avoid symmetry in their film, it feels too stagey for most directors, it lacks a natural visual dynamism to it, unless there is some significant meaning to it. But Wes Anderson turns that concept on its head by completely owning staged storytelling. He grasps it by the throat and makes it his own quirky trademark, an immediately identifiable visual style that has become synonymous with the man’s name itself.
Stop Motion Animation
Wes Anderson has a penchant for stop motion animation, while there are full-blown examples such as Fantastic Mr.Fox (2009) and the upcoming, Isle of Dogs (2018), as well as some of his early films, most notably The Life Aquatic of Steve Zissou (2004) that make creative use of stop motion animation for wildlife and animals. The process of stop motion if you don’t know, is extremely long and painstaking, requiring a ridiculous amount of planning, creativity, and patience.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Source: Rotten Tomatoes
Isle of Dogs (2018) Source: Collider
Source: OpenCulture, Beyond the Frame
Books and art in the filmic world of Wes Anderson generally have a strong connection with memory. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) begins and ends with a book, Fantastic Mr Fox (2009) and The Royal Tenembaums (2001) both start with a book. Books appear throughout his films, the messages that these movies present is that books preserve stories, for which they exist within them and live through them. This emphasises Anderson’s storybook-like visual style and storytelling narrative.
A Style Worth Parodying
His unique style of filmmaking has resulted in his film being some of the most recognizable. His refusal to follow the Hollywood trends led him to a path that he created and started a cliché all of its own. Whether you love it or hate it, or just plain don’t care, the man remains iconic for his visually stunning and quirky productions. People from Network studios, cable TV and Youtubers alike have parodied films using his unique style. From Star Wars, Men in Black to X-men and Spiderman, there’s no denying that people have fallen in love with his style. Wes Anderson have also directed commercials for Prada , H&M, Stella Artois and even a Japanese commercial with Brad Pitt for Softbank. Even CNN presented Obama’s last state of the Union address with a Wes Anderson flair!
His style has become so iconic that fans and photographers all over the world have found bits and pieces of him in the composition of nature and architecture, giving it the title ‘Accidental Wes Anderson’.
_________________________ Museu do Vinho | Pico Island, Portugal | 1999 • • Located on Pico Island in the Portuguese Azores, the Museu do Vinho or ‘Museum of Wine’ was established in 1999 and is an extension of the Pico Museum • • Located on the premises of the former Convent of the Order of Carlo, dating back to the 17th century, the building constitutes an architectural symbol of the golden phase of the “Vinho Verdelho” cycle on the island • • Wine production on the island dates back to the 15th century, and the forest of secular dragon trees that are part of the landscape date back even further – some an estimated 1000 years old • • The man-made landscape of stone walls (currais) laid out in grid formation running inland from, and parallel to, the rocky shore is uniquely organized in a pattern of vine plots to protect the Verdelho grapes from the harsh winds and seawater • • The lava landslides and the volcanic rocky soil dominate the landscape, so much so that in the tradition of the Portuguese poet, Raul Brandão, Pico is referred to as the Ilha Preta ("Black Island"), for its black volcanic earth • • The museum’s collection is comprised of ethnographic pieces, objects linked to the cycles of wine making. In 2004 the vineyard landscape was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site • • Know more? Please comment below! • • 📸: @mariarampell • ✍️: @wikipedia • #AccidentallyWesAnderson #WesAnderson #VscoArchitecture #Vsco #PicoIsland #SymmetricalMonsters #Portugal #AccidentalWesAnderson #Azores
_________________________ Indian Railways | New Delhi, India | 1845 • • Indian Railways is a state-owned national railway system of India. Operated by the Ministry of Railways, it is the fourth largest railway network in the world with more than 22 million passengers per day • • The first train in India, Red Hill Railway was built by Sir Arthur Cotton for transporting granite stones for road building in 1837. Then in 1853, the first passenger train in India was hauled by 3 steam locomotives, the Sahib, Sindh and Sultan • • In 1897, lighting was introduced by many railway companies in passenger coaches and in February 1925, the first electric passenger train in India ran between Victoria terminus and Kurla • • The re-organisation of railways in India into regional zones began in the early 1950’s when Southern Railway, Central Railway and Western Railway were created • • Shortly after, fans and lights were mandated for all compartments in all classes of passenger accommodation and sleeping accommodation was also introduced. In 1956, the first fully air-conditioned train was introduced between Howrah and Delhi • • On 31st March 2017, Indian Railways announced that the entire rail network in the country will be electrified by 2022 • • Know more? Please comment below! • • 📸: @jodiforsberg • ✍️: @wikipedia • #AccidentallyWesAnderson #WesAnderson #VscoArchitecture #Vsco #SymmetricalMonsters #NewDelhi #AccidentalWesAnderson #India
_________________________ Central Market | San José, Costa Rica | c. 1880 • • San José Central Market (Spanish: Mercado central) is the largest market of the city of San José, Costa Rica. Established in 1880, it occupies an entire block on Avenida Central, 250m northwest of the Parque Central • • It has been remodeled several times throughout the years, but it still keeps its labyrinth-structure, where one may enter and lose itself inside. The market has several doors that flow out into main streets and avenues in the capital city • • The giant structure contains a complex of narrow alleys with over 200 shops, stalls, and cheap restaurants called “sodas” • • A huge range of meats, fish, fruits, vegetables, coffees, and other products are for sale including snakeskin boots and cowboy saddles, herbal remedies, flowers, cooked meals, souvenirs, and local handcrafts • • Costa Rica’s Central Market is not just a commercial place; in fact, it has a life of its own. From sunup to sundown, it has a particular bustle that attracts over 20 thousand people a day • • Know more? Please comment below! • • 📸: @joelr.jj • ✍️: @wikipedia • #AccidentallyWesAnderson #WesAnderson #VscoArchitecture #Vsco #SymmetricalMonsters #CostaRica #AccidentalWesAnderson #SanJose
Of course, there is much more that can be discussed about Wes Anderson films like his use of maps, fonts as well as keeping audiences excited by instantly recognising recurring actors such as Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson in new quirky roles. You just have to explore it yourself and see. If you don’t like one, there are currently 7 other Wes Anderson film you can check out, often there is one that everybody holds dear to and connects with, just give them a try. My favourite is The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), I hold dear to my heart, and yet I can’t help but love The Royal Tenembaums (2001), Rushmore (1998), Moonrise Kingdom (2012). So give them a chance, perhaps you will come love them and be excited for Isle of Dogs (2018), it is a stop motion animation about dogs, what else could you ask for? DOGS!
Written by Tyler Lai