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VIDEO: The Magnificent Andersons

Press Play By Nelson Carvajal | Press Play May 25, 2012 at 1:06PM

Wes Anderson has established himself as an irreplaceable and elusive American storyteller. Yet, for a director who addresses such heavy themes in his work, Anderson himself remains an enigma.
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Wes Anderson has established himself as an irreplaceable and elusive American storyteller. At age 43, Anderson has already made films about the romance of crime (Bottle Rocket), a philanderer's gullibility (Rushmore), the unraveling of a family unit (Royal Tenenbaums), another family’s vitality (Life Aquatic), existential self-examination (Darjeeling Limited) and the impermanence of existence (Fantastic Mr. Fox--in animated form!). Anderson’s new film, Moonrise Kingdom, tackles the perils of young love.

Wes Anderson

Yet, for a director who addresses such heavy themes in his work, Anderson himself remains an enigma. His public persona—sporting a hipster-ish corduroy and scarf-laden wardrobe—suggests that he is quiet, quirky, and undeniably cerebral. His films all share the borrowed visual scheme of his “pantheon of artistic heroes” (Martin Scorsese, Mike Nichols, and Orson Welles, among others). But trying to create a unified director profile for him is trite. Although Anderson seems quite the beaming poster-boy auteur, his films all contain a powerful undercurrent of much darker truths (the negligent father, the denial of failure, 21st century fatalism). If one looks past all the nifty camerawork, droll humor, and spot-on folk-rock soundtracks in the Anderson filmography, it’s obvious that Anderson is conveying the great American narrative of today: a narrative that follows fatherless children, refusing to grow up in an increasingly absurd world.

Nelson Carvajal is an independent digital filmmaker, writer and content creator based out of Chicago, Illinois. His digital short films usually contain appropriated content and have screened at such venues as the London Underground Film Festival. Carvajal runs a blog called FREE CINEMA NOW which boasts the tagline: "Liberating Independent Film And Video From A Prehistoric Value System."

This article is related to: Video, video essay, NELSON CARVAJAL


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