Watch: The Books in Wes Anderson’s Films

Watch: The Books in Wes Anderson’s Films

Wes Anderson is the most bookish American filmmaker there is. You don’t watch his films, you read them, just as you might have done with Richard Linklater’s recent ‘Boyhood.’ There are no loud crashes, alarming close-ups, or slamming crescendos to grab your attention, nor is there any great rush through their narratives. They develop at a loping speed, at most, often more of a trot. It makes sense, then, that Anderson would feature books so prominently in his movies, given that if Anderson’s work has a spirit animal, it’s the hardcover child of Gutenberg. The A to Z Review has put together a gorgeous compendium of all the books (or the most notable ones) in Anderson’s films; watching it reminds us that the act of storytelling, less than that of creating suspense, developing characters, etc., is the foundation of Anderson’s work, from ‘Rushmore’ to ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ to ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel.’

4 thoughts on “Watch: The Books in Wes Anderson’s Films”

  1. I totally disagree with the introduction and I don’t think it relates at all with books.
    There are "loud crashes", "slamming crescendos to grab your attention", and "great rushes" in literature. And there are in Wes Anderson too. Especially close-ups! There are so many showy close-ups. Moonrise is full of them!

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  2. I don’t agree with this comparison between Linklater with Anderson. Anderson obviously fits in this category of reading-friendly films, films that feel like children’s books full of illustrations, intricate and warm production and costume design and archetypal heroes and villains. The fact that films like Boyhood and Before Sunset are dialogue-friendly doesn’t make his work literary. He focuses much more on ideas, camera movement and timing than Anderson, and sets his characters loose in very conventional environments. As someone would say about Hawks and Ford, Anderson is good prose; Linklater is poetry.

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