Part 1 covers Bill Melendez, Orson Welles, and François Truffaut. Part 2 covers Martin Scorsese, Richard Lester, and Mike Nichols. Part 3 covers Hal Ashby. Part 5 will be posted on April 13.

Anderson’s scavenger-hunt aesthetic stands him in good company, alongside Quentin Tarantino, David Gordon Green, James Gray, and the other Anderson, P.T. But what makes Wes Anderson distinctive is the sheer range of art that has fed his imagination—not just recent American and foreign films, but films from 30, 50, even 70 years ago, plus newspaper comics, illustrations, and fiction. The spectrum of influence gives his work a diversity of tone that his imitators typically lack. It is a style of substance.

rushmore = charlie brown

crush on teacher = crush on red haired girl

childish strips

– rushmore – pause on phone to run across bball court to block a layup

– royal tennabuams and toys

– life aquatic has rec center

– darjeering is summer camp

wes anderson = Scorsese

– slow motion to show emotion

– overhead shots

– the whip-pan, panning to most important thing on wall  or person

wes anderson – Richard Lester

– juvenile acts, running towards rec center pool = racing shopping carts

wes anderson = Mike Nichols’s second film, The Graduate

– age gap love stories

– quick dialogue

– structure

– deadpan comedy of manners (the celebrated “plastics” moment)

– dark-night-of-the-soul melodrama (Ben’s revelation to Elaine that he’s sleeping with her mother, the high point of which is an unfocused close-up of Elaine that slowly sharpens again as she absorbs the reality of her predicament)

– over-the-top farce (the climactic melee at the church, ending with Ben grabbing a huge cross, swinging it at the wedding party as if warding off vampires, then using it to seal the doors and trap them inside the building).


the graduate – simon and garfunkel songs


– a genuine affection for underdogs, losers, and eccentrics, a vivid sense of the absurd, an ability to intertwine comedy with tragedy

j.d. salinger:

– Max Fischer, could be Holden reimagined as a Type A personality.

– self-aggrandizing lost soul, a tortured adolescent whose abrasiveness seems partly traceable to the death of a beloved family member (Holden’s brother, Max’s mother).

Anderson’s films, like Salinger’s stories, are filled with loquacious, combative, often hyperachieving individuals who seem fully formed and secure in their identities but who reveal themselves as deeply damaged—by class anxiety, social expectations, and family dysfunction.

– They are too smart by half, and both artists let us know that their characters’ intelligence affords no insurance against despair or death.

– Steve Zissou in The Life Aquatic is a middle-aged Max Fischer, desperately trying to defeat death with art

– The hyperverbal Whitman brothers of The Darjeeling Limited are haunted by their dad’s funeral, literally carry their dead father’s baggage around with them

– Both artists have a knack for what might be called “material synecdoche”—showcasing objects, locations, or articles of clothing that define whole personalities, relationships, or conflicts.