I (Sort of) Review the the Trailer for Wes Anderson’s New Film, Moonrise Kingdom

If you hate Wes Anderson—and hating Wes Anderson seems like a special kind of sport in 2012 (or at least it did after his last two films, The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox)—the trailer for his new film Moonrise Kingdom will surely give you fuel for that fire or arrows for your quiver or whatever you need for your particular metaphor.

I like Wes Anderson’s films: I like the strange blend of earnestness and irony, the precociousness and preciousness, the calculated soundtracks, the fussy set and costume design and faux-’70s color schemes; I like the crumbling families, the failed and failing geniuses, the narcissists and the hacks; I like the fantasy of it all. I like the sentimentality of it all. I like the tents and special societies and secret compartments and fake books. I like the depression behind the charm.

I especially like Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums, which I think are the films that best navigate that special space between fantasy and reality (and theatricality) that is Andersonville. My least favorite film of his is his first, Bottle Rocket—too realistic (what a strange claim!), too naturalistic, not mannered or fussy enough.

I more or less understand why so many people hate Anderson’s fantasies, although I think it’s weak criticism to dismiss them as empty exercises in style without substance; still, watching the new trailer, I can see why anyone with a quarrel with Wes Anderson will positively hate this Wes Anderson movie before it’s even come out.

Here is that trailer:

So:

We’ve got a charismatic young man in the Max Fischer mold.

We’ve got a never-was early 1960s (?) sleep-away-camp (?)

We’ve got Edward Norton in a scouting uniform (in shorts!) saying: “Jiminy Cricket, he flew the coop!” (this is like +100 flaming arrows in the quivers of Anderson-haters, I imagine; it made me cringe my own self).

We have a portable turntable on a Northeastern beach.

We have the kind of tracking close up shots that went out of fashion, what, thirty years ago now?

Also:

A 1960s French pop song.

A play.

A house in a tree.

Some sailing shots that somehow remind me of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons.

Old Bruce Willis.

Frances McDormand.

And:

Well, did you watch the end? Did you see those final moments, the shirtless Bill Murray with the ax propped over one shoulder, bottle of red in the other? Well, that’s why I tend to like these films.

7 thoughts on “I (Sort of) Review the the Trailer for Wes Anderson’s New Film, Moonrise Kingdom”

  1. Wes Anderson = postmodernism in filmmaking. So, it probably makes sense that someone who likes David Foster Wallace, Don DeLillo, or Thomas Pynchon would like him.

    Thought: Wes Anderson could probably make a legitimately good adaptation of “White Noise.” (The Coen Brothers would as well, in my opinion, but in a different way.)

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  2. Wes Anderson is his own object of desire. His aesthetic would work perfectly with V.C. Andrews’ FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC. No one else does what he does as well as he does and this is both his gift and his curse. He has already built for himself a world that is hermetically sealed off from the rest of us. Because Wes Anderson is not interested in you, the big You, and that comes with a price, the price being that eventually your obsessions will seem vaguely sinister, like deodorant . Maybe that’s just an unavoidable redundancy, or maybe Wes Anderson is a malignancy. All of this, of course, has no effect whatsoever on whether or not I find his movies quick-witted, visually stimulating and fun. But I wouldn’t expect too many more movies from Wes Anderson. He’s got insane recluse written all over his body of work.

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    1. “Wes Anderson is his own object of desire” — well stated. I think the insular imagery that pervades his films helps reinforce this idea (as well as your last statement about his possibly going Howard Hughes or J.D. Salinger).

      Speaking of J.D. Salinger, I think Anderson would do a good job with the Glass children stories. And I agree with Hank—Anderson would do a nice job exploring the insular world of White Noise.

      And I would love love love to see the Wes Anderson adaptation of Flowers in the Attic.

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  3. […] I (Sort of) Review the the Trailer for Wes Anderson’s New Film, Moonrise Kingdom (biblioklept.org) Take it toShareEmailPrintFacebookTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. This entry was posted in Showreel and tagged Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Darjeeling Limited, Edward Norton, France McDormand, Moonrise Kingdom, Tilda Swinton, Wes Anderson.Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment […]

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