Wes Anderson, 64th Berlin Film Festival 2014
Wesley Wales Anderson|
May 1, 1969
Houston, Texas, U.S.
New York City, New York, U.S.|
Westchester High School|
St. John's School
|Alma mater||University of Texas at Austin|
|Occupation||Film director, film producer, screenwriter, actor|
|Relatives||Eric Chase Anderson (brother)|
He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums in 2001, Moonrise Kingdom in 2012 and The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014, as well as the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature for Fantastic Mr. Fox in 2009. He received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014. He also received the BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2015.
Wesley Wales Anderson was born on May 1, 1969, in Houston, Texas, the son of Texas Ann (Burroughs), a realtor and archaeologist, and Melver Leonard Anderson, who worked in advertising and public relations. He is the second of three boys; his parents divorced when he was eight. His elder brother, Mel, is a physician, and his younger brother, Eric, is a writer and artist whose paintings and designs have appeared in several of Anderson's films. Anderson is of Swedish and Norwegian ancestry.
He graduated from St. John's School in Houston in 1987, which he later used as a prominent location throughout Rushmore. As a child, Anderson made silent films on his father's Super 8 camera, starring his brothers and friends, although his first ambition was to be a writer. Anderson attended college while working part-time as a cinema projectionist. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in philosophy in 1990, where he met future frequent collaborator Owen Wilson.
Anderson's first film, Bottle Rocket (1996), based on a short film that he made with Luke and Owen Wilson, was a crime caper about a group of young Texans aspiring to achieve major heists. Though well reviewed, it performed poorly at the box office.
Anderson's next film, Rushmore (1998), a quirky comedy about a high school student's crush on an elementary school teacher, starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman, was a critical success. Murray has since appeared in every Anderson film to date. In 2000, filmmaker Martin Scorsese praised Bottle Rocket and Rushmore.
The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), Anderson's next comedy-drama film about a successful artistic New York City family and its ostracized patriarch, represented Anderson's greatest success until Moonrise Kingdom in 2012. Earning more than $50 million in domestic box office receipts, The Royal Tenenbaums was nominated for an Academy Award and ranked by an Empire poll as the 159th greatest film ever made.
Anderson's next feature, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), about a Jacques Cousteau-esque documentary filmmaker played by Bill Murray, serves as a classic example of Anderson's style but its critical reception was less favorable than his previous films and its box office did not match the heights of The Royal Tenenbaums. In September 2006, following the disappointing commercial and critical reception of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Steely Dan's Walter Becker and Donald Fagen released a tongue-in-cheek "letter of intervention" for Anderson's artistic "malaise". Proclaiming themselves to be fans of "World Cinema" and Anderson in particular, they offered Anderson their soundtrack services for his The Darjeeling Limited, including lyrics for a title track.
The Darjeeling Limited (2007), about three emotionally distant brothers traveling together on a train in India, reflected the more dramatic tone of The Royal Tenenbaums, but faced similar criticisms to The Life Aquatic. Anderson has acknowledged that he went to India to film the 2007 movie, partly as a tribute to the Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray, whose "films have also inspired all my other movies in different ways" (the film is dedicated to him). The film starred Anderson staples Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson in addition to Adrien Brody, and the script was co-written by Anderson, Schwartzman and Roman Coppola.
Anderson's stop motion animation adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Fantastic Mr Fox was released in 2009. Although not earning much more than its production budget, the film was highly praised and nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.
Following the critical success of Fantastic Mr. Fox, Anderson made Moonrise Kingdom, which opened the Cannes Film Festival 2012. The film, emblematic of Anderson's style, was a financial success and earned Anderson another Academy Award nomination for his screenplay.
Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), starred Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law, F. Murray Abraham, and Saoirse Ronan, among many others, along with several of his regular collaborators including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman. Set in the 1930s, it followed the adventures of M. Gustave, the hotel's concierge, making "a marvelous mockery of history, turning its horrors into a series of graceful jokes and mischievous gestures", according to The New York Times. The film represented one of Anderson's greatest critical and commercial successes, grossing nearly $175 million worldwide and earning dozens of award nominations including nine Oscar nominations with four wins. Anderson received three Oscar nominations, including his first for Best Director for the film.
Anderson has also created several notable short films. In addition to the original Bottle Rocket short, he made the Paris-set Hotel Chevalier (2007), which was created as a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited and starred Jason Schwartzman and Natalie Portman, and the Italy-set Castello Cavalcanti (2013), which was produced by Prada and starred Jason Schwartzman as an unsuccessful race-car driver. Additionally, he has directed a number of television commercials for companies such as Stella Artois and Prada, including an elaborate American Express ad, in which he starred as himself.
Themes and stories
Anderson has chosen to direct mostly fast-paced comedies marked by more serious or melancholic elements, with themes often centered on grief, loss of innocence, parental abandonment, adultery, sibling rivalry and unlikely friendships. His movies have been noted for being unusually character-driven, and by turns both derided and praised with terms like "literary geek chic". The plots of his movies often feature thefts and unexpected disappearances, with a tendency to borrow liberally from the caper genre.
Anderson has been noted for his extensive use of flat space camera moves, obsessively symmetrical compositions, snap-zooms, slow-motion walking shots, a deliberately limited color palette, and hand-made art direction often utilizing miniatures. These stylistic choices give his movies a highly distinctive quality that has provoked much discussion, critical study, supercuts and mash-ups, and even parody. Many writers, critics and even Anderson himself have commented that this gives his movies the feel of being "self-contained worlds", or a "scale model household". According to Michael Chabon, with "a baroque pop bent that is not realist, surrealist or magic realist", but rather might be described as "fabul[ist]".
Anderson frequently uses pop music from the 1960s and '70s on the soundtracks of his films, and one band or musician tends to dominate each soundtrack. In Rushmore, Cat Stevens and British Invasion groups featured prominently, The Royal Tenenbaums included songs recorded by Nico and The Velvet Underground, The Life Aquatic was replete with David Bowie including both originals and covers performed by Seu Jorge, The Kinks appeared on the soundtrack for The Darjeeling Limited and Rushmore, The Beach Boys in Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Hank Williams for Moonrise Kingdom. (Much of Moonrise Kingdom is filled with the music of Benjamin Britten, which is tied to a number of major plot points for that film) The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is mostly set in the 1930s, is notable for being the first Anderson film to eschew using any pop music, and instead used original music composed by Alexandre Desplat. Its soundtrack was the most acclaimed, winning Desplat the Academy Award for Best Original Score, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Score of the Year. The soundtracks for his films have often brought renewed attention to the artists featured, most prominently in the case of "These Days", which was used in The Royal Tenenbaums.
He is the brother of artist Eric Chase Anderson, who illustrated the Criterion Collection releases of Anderson's films (except for Moonrise Kingdom) and provided the voice of Kristofferson Silverfox in Fantastic Mr. Fox.
|1996||Bottle Rocket||Yes||Yes||Yes||Passenger on Bus (uncredited)||Co-written with Owen Wilson|
|1998||Rushmore||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Student (uncredited)||Co-written with Owen Wilson|
|2001||The Royal Tenenbaums||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tennis Match Commentator (uncredited)||Co-written with Owen Wilson|
|2004||The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Noah Baumbach|
|2005||The Squid and the Whale||Yes||Co-produced with Peter Newman, Charlie Corwin, and Clara Markowicz|
|2007||The Darjeeling Limited||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola|
|2009||Fantastic Mr. Fox||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Weasel||Co-written with Noah Baumbach|
|2012||Moonrise Kingdom||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Roman Coppola|
|2014||The Grand Budapest Hotel||Yes||Yes||Yes||Co-written with Hugo Guinness (story)|
|2014||She's Funny That Way||Yes||Co-produced with Noah Baumbach|
|-||Untitled Stop-Motion Animated Film||Yes||Yes||Filming|
|1996||Bottle Rocket||Yes||Yes||Short film, co-written with Owen Wilson|
|2007||Hotel Chevalier||Yes||Yes||Short film, created as a prologue to The Darjeeling Limited|
|2013||Castello Cavalcanti||Yes||Yes||Short film, created for Prada starring Jason Schwartzman|
|2016||Come Together||Yes||Yes||Short film, created for H&M starring Adrien Brody|
Commercials and promotional videos
|2004||American Express: My Life, My Card||Yes||Yes||Yes||Himself||Commercial starring Anderson as himself as he directs an elaborate fake film featuring Jason Schwartzman|
|2008||Softbank||Yes||Japanese commercial filmed in France and starring Brad Pitt|
|2010||Stella Artois: Apartomatic||Yes||Commercial, co-directed with Roman Coppola|
|2012||Cousin Ben Troop Screening with Jason Schwartzman||Yes||Yes||Promotional short for Moonrise Kingdom|
Anderson's films feature many recurring actors, crew members, and other collaborators, including the Wilson brothers (Owen, Luke, and Andrew), Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Seymour Cassel, Anjelica Huston, Jason Schwartzman, Kumar Pallana and son Dipak Pallana, Stephen Dignan and Brian Tenenbaum, and Eric Chase Anderson (Anderson's brother). Other frequent collaborators include writer Noah Baumbach (who co-wrote The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Fantastic Mr. Fox, with Anderson co-producing his film The Squid and the Whale), Roman Coppola (as co-writer and second unit director), Owen Wilson (who co-wrote three of Anderson's feature films), cinematographer Robert Yeoman (A.S.C.), music supervisor Randall Poster, and composers Mark Mothersbaugh and Alexandre Desplat.
|Actor/actress||Bottle Rocket (1996)||Rushmore (1998)||The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)||The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)||The Darjeeling Limited (2007)||Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)||Moonrise Kingdom (2012)||The Grand Budapest Hotel (2013)||Untitled Animated Movie|
Awards and nominations
- "The Unique Filmmaking Style of Wes Anderson". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Texas B. Anderson Realtor Biography". Greenwood King Properties. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- "Wes Anderson". Film Reference. 2010.
- "Wes Anderson". Yahoo Movies. 2010.
- "Wes Anderson returns to form with Mr Fox". Times London. 2009.
- Collin, Robbie (February 19, 2014). "Wes Anderson interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- "Wild, Wild Wes". The New Yorker. November 2, 2009. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- "Printing - Wes Anderson - Interview Magazine". Interview Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "Tour Wes Anderson's High School AKA the Set of Rushmore". The Atlantic. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- "Bottle Rocket". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 7, 2007.
- "Bottle Rocket". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- "Film By Film: Wes Anderson On Wes Anderson". Empire Magazine. March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Rushmore". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- Scorsese, Martin (March 2000). "Wes Anderson". Esquire. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
- "EMPIRE's 500 Greatest Movies of All Time". EMPIRE. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- "Wes is having trouble with the reception". SCREEN Machine. Retrieved July 5, 2012.
- Becker, Walter; Donald Fagen (August 2006). "Attention Wes Anderson". Steely Dan. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
- "On Ray's Trail". The Statesman. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
- "Wilson & Anderson reminisce over a cup of Darjeeling". Production Weekly. August 2006. Archived from the original on January 14, 2007. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
- "Wes Anderson". Los Angeles Times. March 8, 2012. Retrieved May 20, 2012.
- Eisenberg, Eric. "Wes Anderson Says The Grand Budapest Hotel Is Mostly Set in the Late 1920s". Cinema Blend. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
- Scott, A. O. (March 6, 2014). "Bittersweet Chocolate on the Pillow – Wes Anderson's 'Grand Budapest Hotel' Is a Complex Caper". New York Times. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "IMDb: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Awards". Retrieved March 7, 2015.
- "Wes Anderson Honors Fellini in a Delightful New Short Film". Slate. November 12, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "Wes Anderson's 5 Best Commercials". Indiewire. May 1, 2013. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
- "a review of wes anderson's the darjeeling limited « second floor". Floortwo.wordpress.com. October 28, 2007. Retrieved December 26, 2012.
- Seitz, Matt Zoller (April 6, 2009). "The Substance of Style, Pt 3. Examining the Wes Anderson–Hal Ashby connection". Moving Image Source. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
- "'Moonrise Kingdom' Director Wes Anderson on 'Stealing' From Kubrick, Polanski". hollywoodreporter. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
- Klein, Joshua; et al. "Wes Anderson". They Shoot Pictures, Don't They?. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Buono, Alex. "How We Did It: The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders". www.alex-buono.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Chabon, Michael. "Wes Anderson's Worlds". New York Review of Books. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Vera, Noel. "Courtesan au chocolat". Businessworld. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Moeckel, Casey. "The Music of Wes Anderson's Cinematic World". Songlyrics.com. Retrieved July 28, 2014.
- Inman, Davis (January 2, 2012). "Jackson Browne, 'These Days'". American Songwriter.
- Brody, Richard. "How "Moonrise Kingdom" Fits into Wes Anderson's Canon". The New Yorker. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
- Brody, Richard. "Wild, Wild Wes". The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
- Amsden, David. "The Life Obsessive With Wes Anderson". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 27, 2013.
- Kahn, Howie (February 26, 2014). "The Life Aesthetic With Wes Anderson". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
- Standen, Dirk (October 19, 2010). "Paper Chase: The Art of Eric Chase Anderson". Style.com. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
- Casey, Dan. "EXCLUSIVE: JEFF GOLDBLUM, BRYAN CRANSTON, AND MORE TO STAR IN WES ANDERSON'S STOP-MOTION ANIMATED DOG MOVIE". Nerdist. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Perez, Rodrigo. "Wes Anderson's Next Movie Is A Stop-Motion Animated Film About Dogs; May Also Do An Anthology Movie". The Playlist. Retrieved 13 October 2015.
- Cabin, Chris (October 27, 2016). "Wes Anderson Confirms His Stop-Motion Animated Dog Movie Is In Production". Collider.com. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
- According to Matt Zoller Seitz, the author of The Wes Anderson Collection http://www.vulture.com/2013/10/wes-anderson-collection-24-tidbits-matt-zoller-seitz.html
- "5 Signs You're Watching a Wes Anderson Movie". OMGList. March 25, 2008. Archived from the original on August 14, 2009. Retrieved October 17, 2009.
- Jagernauth, Kevin. "Bill Murray Joins Wes Anderson's Stop-Motion Animated Movie, Says It's A "Japanese Story"". The Playlist. Indiewire. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
- "2014 SAN FRANCISCO FILM CRITICS AWARDS:Full List of Nominees". San Francisco Film Critics Circle. 2014. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- Browning, Mark (2011). Wes Anderson: why his movies matter. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger. ISBN 1-5988-4352-4.
- "Special Issue: Wes Anderson & Co.". New Review of Film and Television Studies. 10 (1). 2012. ISSN 1740-0309.
- Seitz, Matt Zoller (2013). The Wes Anderson Collection. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 978-0810997417.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wes Anderson.|
- Wes Anderson at Unsung Films
- Wes Anderson at AllMovie
- Wes Anderson at the Internet Movie Database
- Tête-à-Tête with Nic Harcourt at Los Angeles Times Magazine
- "Into The Deep", in-depth Anderson profile at The Guardian February 12, 2005
- "Wes Anderson", brief profile by Martin Scorsese. Esquire.
- Interview with Wes Anderson for The Darjeeling Limited at Ioncinema.com
- Wes Anderson Interview on The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos (Video)
- "Notes on Quirky" Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, No.1, 2010