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-   -   I think I just figured out Wes Anderson (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=880329)

DCnDC 08-12-2019 06:28 PM

I think I just figured out Wes Anderson
 
I just watched Fantastic Mr. Fox again. It's the only movie of his that I've ever actually enjoyed, and I think I just figured out why.

His filmmaking style is perfectly suited to Fantastic Mr. Fox because it's a cartoon (stop-motion, but you know what I mean). The characters behave, talk, interact, and react to things in that film in a completely appropriate and expected manner for cartoon characters. But so do all of the characters in his live action films, and that is what is strange and jarring about them. He didn't do anything different for Fantastic Mr. Fox, he made it exactly the same way he makes his other films. Things happen in his films that only happen in cartoons. Seemingly random cuts, obviously and intentionally fake-looking sets, odd dialogue and bizarre plots, highly eccentric characters with strange but very shallow relationships to each other and the "outside" world, it's all an extremely exaggerated caricature of reality, i.e. a cartoon.

Wes Anderson makes cartoons, and most of them just happen to be live-action. Some of his films are much more cartoony than others, but still-- cartoons.

It all makes sense to me now. I still don't like his movies, but I get it.

.

Tamerlane 08-12-2019 06:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCnDC (Post 21802618)
Seemingly random cuts, obviously and intentionally fake-looking sets, odd dialogue and bizarre plots, highly eccentric characters with strange but very shallow relationships to each other and the "outside" world, it's all an extremely exaggerated caricature of reality, i.e. a cartoon.

Probably my favorite Anderson film is Moonrise Kingdom, which he described as a "memory of a fantasy." If you think about it as someone in middle-age fondly looking back at the faded memory of a romantic dream they had when they were twelve it works pretty well.

As something that would ever happen in real life, not so much ;). I'm not sure I'd call it cartoony exactly( though that physics-defying treehouse definitely qualifies ), but it is absolutely meant to be unreal.

Left Hand of Dorkness 08-12-2019 07:01 PM

Whereas for me, I love the book fantastic Mr. Fox, which is a children's book with the most perfect trickster character in it. Roald Dahl was genius at squirming his way into the psyche of a child.

Anderson? He found this perfect gem of a children's book, and was like, "Okay, okay, but what if I turned the trickster into a middle-aged bourgeois fucker having a midlife crisis, who's emasculated by his wife that won't let him have any adventures? Then Fantastic Mr. Fox will be just like every other one of my protagonists!"

This was the movie that turned me from disliking Anderson to thinking he was a villain.


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