Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Wes Anderson deliberately tries to make cult films. It isn't a surprise that prefabricated cult films have come into existence, but we should still take notice. I doubt that he knew what he was doing when he made "Rushmore" -- which filmed the combined fantasy boyhoods of himself and the Wilson brothers as though they were Godard films. However, with the film's success, he believed he had discovered his style. What he had in fact discovered was his audience. This explains the estranged, polite distance he keeps from his characters in the later films -- he does not explore them; he accessorizes them. It also indicates why each of the most recent three films are organized around collectives -- stand-ins for the audience -- that face casually meaningless trials to awesome pop soundtracks. If post-suburban white kids do anything other than recognize a simplified reflection of themselves in Anderson's protagonists, they are seeing too much, or not enough.