Watch: Video on the Mise En Scène & Visual Themes of Wes Anderson
Our own Alex Billington has already seen Wes Anderson's latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel (read his review right here), and with the film's release not too far away beginning on March 7th. Now a video essay from Way Too Indie (the same group behind that Darren Aronofsky piece from last week) dives into one of Anderson's most trademark elements: the mise en scène, a term used to describe visual themes that come from cinematography, art direction and production design. Anderson films are easy to spot, and this video uses voiceover from Anderson himself and film clips (some not his own), to offer insight. Watch now!
Here's the video essay Mise En Scène & The Visual Themes of Wes Anderson from Way Too Indie:
Way Too Indie makes specific observations about Anderson's influences:
"The tracking camera, moving from room to room, examining the bourgeoisie and upper class in the films of Luis Buñuel (e.g. El Angel Exterminador) laid the groundwork for the dolly and tracking shots in Anderson’s Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and early sections of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. The frenetic energy and overall zeal found in François Truffaut’s Jules et Jim serves also as the celluloid backbone of most of Anderson’s works, specifically Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. The melancholic swoons of the silver screen’s longing romantics permeate Moonrise Kingdom, Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited and in the romance subplot of Bottle Rocket. These films share the same sort of beautiful yet honest moments found in Jean-Luc Godard’s Pierrot Le Fou."
We'll have to see how Anderson's visual theme continues or even expands with The Grand Budapest Hotel, but Way Too Indie predicts, "Anderson looks to enhance his cinematic oeuvre, incorporating more of an ode to the staged theatrical, in addition to his trademark cinematic styles." In his review, our own Alex Billington says the new film "has all of his trademarks, but it also has a distinct depth to its complex story, with many layers, that makes it more thoughtful than his most recent work. But above all, it's mostly a fun caper." The Grand Budapest Hotel hits limited theaters beginning on March 7th so get ready for more.
And for Wes Anderson fans, watch the trailer for Criterion Collection's release of Fantastic Mr. Fox:
Fantastic Mr. Fox hits Criterion Collection on Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack on February 18th next week.