Director in Focus: Wes Anderson

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With his latest release The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) having swept up a whopping nine Oscar nominations this month, 45 year-old Wes Anderson has certainly stepped into the spotlight. Known for his unique use of tracking shots, symmetrical shot compositions and quirky colour palettes, Anderson is no stranger to the Academy Awards, having been nominated for Best Original Screenplay for The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012), as well as Best Animated Feature for his adaptation of the Roald Dahl novel Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). You don’t have to fall into the ‘indie’ category of film fanatics to recognise his work; his fast-paced comedic style, with a tendency to focus on dysfunctional families and unusual friendships, along with his use of recurring actors (Bill Murray is a frequent star) has given a completely distinctive and original touch to his movies, making them immediately recognisable. Since his début short film Bottle Rocket (1996), Anderson has made a total of ten feature films, and whilst this may not compare to the likes of Tarantino’s credits, his eccentric taste and nostalgic charm certainly provides movie-goers with equally as much satisfaction. February 22nd will tell whether The Grand Budapest Hotel will bag him the first Academy Award of his career.

Did you know?
*Anderson has directed a number of television commercials, including an extravagant American Express advert in which he starred as himself.
*During the filming of “The Royal Tenenbaums” in 2001, Mordecai the hawk was kidnapped and held for ransom. Mordecai and his captors’ whereabouts remain unknown.
*In Moonrise Kingdom, six artists were commissioned to create the jacket covers for the stolen books 12-year-old Suzy packs. Wes Anderson also wrote passages for each of them.

Wes’s Favourites:
*Period settings and antiquity, such as the nostalgic 1960’s set of Moonrise Kingdom (2012).
*Owen Wilson, whom he met at the University of Texas in Austin.
*Satyajit Ray and John Huston; both listed amongst his cinematic influences.

The Film You Should Watch: Anderson’s first Academy Award nomination, Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

 

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