Wes Anderson and the current wave of "fantastical" filmmakers

by rania
November 11, 2009 8:18 AM
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Fantastical (fantastic + whimsical) is the best word I can come up with to describe the output of Wes Anderson, Michel Gondry, Spike Jonze, Charlie Kaufman, Tim Burton, and sometimes Sophia Coppola.

Their playful, artful films mine the world of daydreams and childhood. I've noticed that the fans of these filmmakers are on average decades younger than the usual art-house crowd.

Anderson has been out in full-throttle Fox publicity-tour-mode for "Fantastic Mr. Fox." I caught him with his regular star, Jason Schwartzman yesterday evening at the cool café/performance space, 92Y Tribeca, where the two were so hilarious I didn't mind that the film was not screened at the event. I can't wait to see it, though-- it looks like a barrel of monkeys.

Here's a tiny glimpse of the audience Q&A, my favorite questions and answers, paraphrased from memory:

Q: What movie would you like to remake?
A: Schwartzman- I'd love to see many filmmakers make the same film, like musicians covering the same song.

Q: Could you talk about the use of Futura in all your films?
A: Anderson- A font question! Stanley Kubrick used it, too, and it's very possible I may have noticed that.

The pair seemed comfortable riffing with each other and giving odd and surprising answers to the usual boilerplate questions asked at these events.

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  • Week of Wonders | November 12, 2009 3:05 AMReply

    zxcvb- You're right, "fantastical" is already a word, but it rolls off the tongue better than "whimtastic" or any of the other combos I came up with. I think it at least somewhat describes the genre. "Quirky" could be used for a broader range of films/filmmakers. Wasn't "Little Miss Sunshine" quirky?

    Any other ideas for a better word?

  • zxcvb | November 12, 2009 12:34 AMReply

    1) "Fantastical" is already a word. So that portmanteau doesn't quite work.

    2) "Whimtastic" might work.

    3) For better or worse, people have been calling these guys "Quirky" filmmakers for a while now.