cover of book

Wes Anderson
by Donna Kornhaber
University of Illinois Press, 2017
eISBN: 978-0-252-09975-5 | Cloth: 978-0-252-04118-1 | Paper: 978-0-252-08272-6
Library of Congress Classification PN1998.3.A526K67 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 791.430233092

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Moonrise Kingdom have made Wes Anderson a prestige force. Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums have become quotable cult classics. Yet every new Anderson release brings out droves of critics eager to charge him with stylistic excess and self-indulgent eclecticism.

Donna Kornhaber approaches Anderson's style as the necessary product of the narrative and thematic concerns that define his body of work. Using Anderson's focus on collecting, Kornhaber situates the director as the curator of his filmic worlds, a prime mover who artfully and conscientiously arranges diverse components into cohesive collections and taxonomies. Anderson peoples each mise-en-scéne in his ongoing ""Wesworld"" with characters orphaned, lost, and out of place amidst a riot of handmade clutter and relics. Within, they seek a wholeness and collective identity they manifestly lack, with their pain expressed via an ordered emotional palette that, despite being muted, cries out for attention. As Kornhaber shows, Anderson's films offer nothing less than a fascinating study in the sensation of belonging--told by characters who possess it the least.

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