I finally "got" Wes Anderson the other day. Which is not to say that I hadn't "got" him before – in the sense of liking his work and always being willing to substitute his vision of the world for mine for an hour or two. Though I'm not very fond of fey art-house whimsy (see references to Miranda July passim), there has always been something about.
Wes Anderson's films are as formally distinctive as Peter Greenaway's, and sometimes as maddening. They are pictorial things, but less in the way of a film than, say, a graphic novel. Where Greenaway thinks like a painter, Anderson uses the camera like a cartoonist, each frame hyper-composed in colour and composition, an eccentric mini-work of art in itself. What the frames don't have is much sense of physical or emotional movement from one to another. It's the same with the dialogue. People in Wes World don't overlap in their conversation – a character says something, then there's a pause, then another character replies. Again, it's like the thin white lines dividing one box from another in a comic strip. Some find the effect very charming.
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