Edit
Wes Anderson Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (16) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (30)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 1 May 1969Houston, Texas, USA
Birth NameWesley Wales Anderson
Height 6' 1" (1.85 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Wes Anderson is the son of Melver, an advertising and PR executive, and Anne, an archaeologist turned real estate agent. He has two brothers, Eric and Mel. Anderson's parents divorced when he was a young child, an event that he described as the most crucial event of my brothers and my growing up. During childhood, Anderson also began writing plays and making super-8 movies. He was educated at Westchester High School and then St. John's, a private prep school in Houston, Texas, which was later to prove an inspiration for the film Rushmore (1998).

Anderson attended the University of Texas in Austin, where he majored in philosophy. It was there that he met Owen Wilson. They became friends and began making short films, some of which aired on a local cable-access station. One of their shorts was Bottle Rocket (1994), which starred Owen and his brother Luke Wilson. The short was screened at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was successfully received, so much so that they received funding to make a feature-length version. Bottle Rocket (1996) was not a commercial hit, but it gained a cult audience and high-profile fans, which included Martin Scorsese.

Success followed with films such as Rushmore (1998), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) and an animated feature, Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). The latter two films earned Anderson Oscar nominations.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Trade Mark (16)

Makes obsessive and comedic use of rostrum camera insert shots, foregrounding the minutiae of books and other documents.
Has ended all his movies with a slow-motion shot, with the exception of The Darjeeling Limited (2007).
Just about the entire score of all of his movies, with the exception of The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), were composed by Mark Mothersbaugh.
Likes to shoot with extremely wide-angle anamorphic lenses that exhibit considerable barrel distortion.
Frequently uses a take/double take technique where he will show a character/action, quickly pan to another character/action, then pan back, usually with handheld camera.
Movies often focus around a broken or unorthodox family circle
At least one of his characters is usually a grown man seeking the approval of a parent or parent figure.
Often includes songs by The Rolling Stones on the soundtracks of his films
The titlecards are almost always in the font Futura Bold, most commonly in yellow color.
A character giving a complex, lengthy explanation for humor
Unique ways of introducing a large cast of characters
Characters who are heavy on body language
Quirky themes of white middle-class and upper-class issues
Shots of the characters standing still and facing toward the screen with little to no emotion.
Features many precisely centered, straight-on shots

Trivia (7)

Some of the character names in his movies, most notably in Rushmore (1998), were actually the names of his St. John's classmates.
Martin Scorsese is a big fan of his movies, even choosing him as the next Martin Scorsese in an Esquire magazine article.
While shooting The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) the once pasty and bookish Anderson got a tan, grew his hair long, and got into better shape. His frequent star, Anjelica Huston, noted that Wes had suddenly become handsome.
Wrote Bottle Rocket (1996), Rushmore (1998) and The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) with Owen Wilson, whose brother, Luke Wilson, appears in all three movies.
Wrote The Darjeeling Limited (2007) and Moonrise Kingdom (2012) with Roman Coppola. Coppola's cousin Jason Schwartzman co-wrote the former film, and appeared in both, as well as in Rushmore (1998).
Rosemary's Baby (1968) is his favorite film.
Has an Italian song about him called "Wes Anderson" by I Cani. The music video is a tribute to the director and his movies.

Personal Quotes (30)

I want to try not to repeat myself. But then I seem to do it continuously in my films. It's not something I make any effort to do. I just want to make films that are personal, but interesting to an audience. I feel I get criticized for style over substance, and for details that get in the way of the characters. But every decision I make is how to bring those characters forward.
[on developing the historical backdrop of 'The Grand Budapest Hotel']I can't say that I have some new analysis of totalitarianism. I don't want to stay away from anything or steer away from anything or avoid anything. What we know, and the politics and meaning of all this stuff, ought to be in there.
I wouldn't say that I'm particularly bothered or obsessed with detail.
That's the kind of movie that I like to make, where there is an invented reality and the audience is going to go someplace where hopefully they've never been before. The details, that's what the world is made of.
I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets. There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It's sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I've made the decision: I'm going to write in my own handwriting.
There's no story if there isn't some conflict. The memorable things are usually not how pulled together everybody is. I think everybody feels lonely and trapped sometimes. I would think it's more or less the norm.
When you're 11 or 12 years old, you can get so swept up in a book that you start to believe that the fantasy is reality. I think when you have a giant crush when you're in fifth grade, it becomes your whole world. It's like being underwater; everything is different.
Any romantic feelings for a 12-year-old are like entering into a fantasy world.
I have always wanted to work in the theater. I've always felt the glamour of being backstage and that excitement, but I've never actually done it - not since I was in 5th grade, really. But I've had many plays in my films. I feel like maybe theater is a part of my movie work.
Anytime I make a movie, I really have absolutely no idea how it's going to go over. I've had the whole range of different kinds of reactions.
I've never had a movie that got great reviews. I've had movies that got different levels of good and bad reviews, but you can more or less count on plenty of bad reviews.
Paris is a place where, for me, just walking down a street that I've never been down before is like going to a movie or something. Just wandering the city is entertainment.
I guess when I think about it, one of the things I like to dramatise, and what is sometimes funny, is someone coming unglued. I don't consider myself someone who is making the argument that I support these choices. I just think it can be funny.
I chose philosophy because it sounded like something I ought to be interested in. I didn't know anything about it, I didn't even know what it was talking about. What I really spent my time doing in those years was writing short stories. There were all sorts of interesting courses, but what I really wanted to do was make stories one way or another.
On Fantastic Mr. Fox, I got used to working with animated storyboards as a way of planning for the shoot. We did a lot of sequences that way with this movie. Partly as a result of that, I decided to build more sets in order to do certain shots.
Kids are always open to anything. It's very rare that a kid isn't extremely eager to make you happy.
Usually when I'm making a movie, what I have in mind first, for the visuals, is how we can stage the scenes to bring them more to life in the most interesting way, and then how we can make a world for the story that the audience hasn't quite been in before.
I love working with actors. That's what the set really is, for me. It's my time with the actors.
My experience with casting children is that... the whole movie is going to rest on their shoulders, so you have to set aside time and wait for the perfect people to appear.
When I see the first dailies on any movie, I usually feel that I had no idea how this combination of ingredients was going to mix together, what it was going to produce.
Sometimes when you're editing a movie, you have the thing that you don't expect - which is you make it longer and longer as you go along.
I usually set aside a lot of time in advance of a movie with important roles for kids to search, but when you have great ones, they can be a real ace in the hole.
I will say that Edward Norton, who plays the scout master, would be a first-rate Eagle Scout. He's got all those techniques. If your plane crashes into the jungle somewhere, he would be the guy you would want to have with you.
One of the things I enjoyed the most is just working as an actor.
Every time you do a take on a movie, you're not sure if it's going to succeed. Even if you have a great cast, like we had, every scene you're kind of waiting for the release. 'Oh, yes; it happened. We got it!' There's always the possibility that it's just not going to work.
I don't know what is in store for the movie business any better than anybody else does, but it does seem like my kind of movies are a little trickier than it used to be - or maybe a lot trickier.
[on critics]: It can be nice to read somebody just gushing. That certainly can make you feel, 'Oh, boy - I really got through to this person .' But often, even in a review where somebody's gushing, you're thinking, 'Oh, well, they think I did that on purpose,' and you know, maybe if they actually understood how that happened, they wouldn't like it as much. Plus, if you decide to really get into reading reviews. you have to know there's a possibility that you're gonna turn a corner and read a stunningly horrible review that is just gonna be a distraction for you. Really, what you want to do is get on to the next movie, and continue with whatever is next.
[on themes]: I think, often, what ends up being important in a movie thematically, or what it ends up being really about, is usually not what you're focusing on. You're focusing on what a certain character is going to say, what this character wants from this other character, how they feel, and how she's going to express what she wants, and what's going to happen, you know? And as with everything else in life or writing or filmmaking, you don't really control what it means - my instinct is that I don't want to control it, because it's better if it just comes to life, in whatever way that can happen. And everything else, everything feels like it has to be created for one of these movies, so I'd rather have the meanings come out of the life of it, rather than wanting to demonstrate a certain theme, or communicate a certain theory.
[on directing]: Half the time, when somebody has an issue and is worried about something not working, they might be right, and half the time it's easier. But half the time, the thing everybody thought was going to be no sweat is impossible. And movies are always like that - at least the movies I work on. What you're doing is something you've never quite done before, and when you're doing that, nobody knows what's going to happen, and you learn in the course of time not to get too focused on what people think can't be done. Because usually you can do whatever you want. Instead, you have to encourage those people to use all their powers, because they're the experts. They have so much to bring to you, once you get them to provide it. But that's all part of managing a group. Something it just backfires, but most of the time it's fun.
I was interested in acting when I was a teenager. And I acted in plays and things like that. But it's not something I've ever wanted to do as an adult. I always wanted to write and direct. I'm lucky enough to be able to get some of these movies made. I went down this path, and I don't see any need to diverge from it.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page