In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb darkest hour ver3

Darkest Hour

Darkest Hour stands apart from more routine historical dramas.

Thumb man who invented christmas

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Not particularly keen on nuance or subtlety, this is a film in which everything, especially Stevens’ decidedly manic take on Dickens, is pitched as broadly…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Primary screen shot 2013 10 14 at 12.16.03 pm

The Wes Anderson Collection, Chapter 1: "Bottle Rocket"

You're looking at Part 1 of a video essay series based on my new book "The Wes Anderson Collection." I scripted and narrated the piece. It was edited by my friend Steven Santos, who has cut some of my favorite video essays, including "Lock & Load" and "The Takeaway." 

Care to go down the rabbit hole with me for a second? Okay, then. 

This new series is an adaptation of my book, which is itself adapted from another video essay series, "The Substance of Style," a five-parter that I wrote, narrated and edited back in the spring of 2009. The book came about because Wes contacted me in summer of 2009 to say he'd seen the video series and liked it, and then a few weeks later Eric Klopfer, my future book editor, wrote me to say he was a big Wes Anderson fan and wanted to do a book about his movies, and would it be possible to somehow adapt "The Substance of Style" to hardcover form? So I figured out a way to combine an interview with Wes and an adaptation of the video essay series, which eventually led to "The Wes Anderson Collection." 

Advertisement

Of course at that time, Wes hadn't released "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" yet, so I couldn't account for that in "The Substance of Style." And "Moonrise Kingdom" was barely a glimmer in his eye, probably.  

I thought it would be fun to do a "second edition" of that video series, after having seen two more Wes films and gained a lot of inside knowledge about Wes and his movies by interviewing him for the book. I originally thought about approaching this new series as I had in the first time, scrutinizing the totality of the work in a somewhat detached way, but as I started writing the narration and adding in editing suggestions for Steven, I realized that the whole process felt different. 

As Steven pointed out to me in the editing room this weekend, "The Substance of Style" was analytical, but this new series is more emotional. It also feels a bit more like a traditional documentary in places, though there are characteristic digressions into nerdy areas. This opening chapter, for instance, has a detour about the state of American independent film in the early 90s and how directors built their careers, and why "Bottle Rocket" was a break from that tradition. 

Part 2, about "Rushmore", will run Wednesday, Oct 16, "The Royal Tenenbaums" on Friday, Oct. 18, "The Life Aquatic" on Monday, Oct. 21, "The Darjeeling Limited" on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and we'll finish out the series with a double feature of "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" and "Moonrise Kingdom" on Friday, Oct. 25. 

Here we go! Thanks, as always, for reading and watching.


Popular Blog Posts

Why I Stopped Watching Woody Allen Movies

Stop watching movies made by assholes. It'll be OK.

Netflix's Marvel Spin-off "The Punisher" is a Lightweight

A review of Netflix's new Marvel series, "The Punisher."

60 Minutes on: "Wonder Woman"

One of the best superhero films, in large part because the title character sincerely believes in values larger than a...

William Peter Blatty: 1928-2017

The work of the late author, writer and director William Peter Blatty will continue to haunt the dreams of readers an...

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus