Fellow cinephiles, let’s play a game of association. Cinema, extreme symmetry, childish adult protagonists and an attentively selected colour gamut – odds are that a majority of you thought of Texas-born and raised movie director Wes Anderson.
Anderson has sculpted his carefully curated self-image through one of a kind approach to filmmaking that has been replicated many times since. His aesthetic is seductive and addictive in ways that the public repeatedly fails to grasp. In more than 15 years of being active, Wes Anderson and his legacy are still a mystery to us. But not anymore.
There are a few theories on where the causation for his success and influence lies. Some would argue that the charm comes from his adults frequently clinging to childhood. One such example would be Jason Schwartzman’s laughably immature character in Rushmore. Similarly, Luke Wilson’s silly refusal to let go and grow up in The Royal Tenenbaums expresses a sort who is equally looked down upon and considered relatable in the modern world.
Akin to Shakespeare’s, Anderson’s themes are universal. They have surpassed the year in which they were presented and apply to the days that followed. That might be another reason why he is still so relevant. The speed at which the planet is changing and altering our own perception has made us seek shelter in what we all afraid to do – keep the child in us. Anderson consciously brushes off this notion and does not even care about what others think. When suggested to make certain modifications in his Fantastic Mr Fox, the director declared, “Yeah, that’s the sort of thing we would do if we were making a film that we wanted people to go and see.”
In defence of the filmmaker himself – he has grown quite a bit, artistically. If you look at the progressive timeline of his work, you will notice his recognisable cachet, but gradual evolution is perceivable as well. His newer movies, like The Grand Budapest Hotel or Hotel Chevalier, display a certain depth that their predecessors do not possess.
Model, Do Not Copy
Anderson’s work has been imitated and used for commercial purposes far and wide. His contribution to the commercial sphere lies in creating a short movie for Prada in 2013 called Candy, as well as a heart-warming 2018 ad for H&M’s adorably titled Come Together.
His art is deeply tailored and focused on getting objects in proportion. This balance has inspired hipsters to create their own content paying homage to the director. Moreover, the meticulousness with which the filmmaker approaches the creation of his movies can be seen in every shot – if you are intrinsically able to appreciate it.
Nevertheless, his movies are simply beautiful, and that is what suffices for most of these creators.
“Everything that you see in a Wes Anderson film is typically, for the most part, eye-pleasing in certain ways, be it the symmetry or the colour palette,” stated Wally Koval, the creator of the Twitter account AccidentallyWesAnderson.
This omnipresence spreads to affect other markets as well. His manoeuvring through and juggling colour and nuances has had a strong impact on designers of all kinds. And if anyone knows how to take advantage of colour, then it is Maltese company Yggdrasil Gaming. It might not be in the same niche as your “barista’s favourite director”, but it comes close. The entertainment industry has extended to encompass an ample selection of branches, including online gaming. The firm’s unique design of video slots found in top-rated casinos online across the globe has helped set it apart from the crowd, much like Anderson and his own creations.
The Visual Appeal
Wes Anderson obviously did not invent symmetry. But the man lives by it, he worships it.
Director of photography of the Isle of Dogs Tristan Oliver, commented, “Wes’s world is one of extreme symmetry and intense detail.” In the fast-paced world with a ridiculously short attention span we live in, one would deem that such eye for detail will be neglected, but Anderson still stands strong.
His persona appears authentic; as if the creative flow pours out of his very essence. This person creates what not even he can verbalise. The otherworldly energy his movies emanate simply cannot be defined by words. We can keep attempting to put his opus in a cage of utterances, but the magic of it still somehow escapes us.
The legacy of Wes Anderson is certain to live on. Right now, the filmmaker is working on his 2020 project The French Dispatch, rumoured to take place in France following the Second World War.