The Slippery Slope To Self-Parody

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 4 2012 @ 3:00pm


Hadley Freeman accuses directors Tim Burton and Wes Anderson of becoming "not just derivative but self-derivative":

Neither Dark Shadows nor Moonrise Kingdom is terrible. But they are predictable and both show Burton and Anderson pillaging their own catalogue to diminishing returns. (Suzy in Moonrise Kingdom is so similar to Margot Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums that the later film could be a prequel.) They take the stylised surface of their old films, yet forget the emotional wallop beneath that made Rushmore, Bottle Rocket and The Royal Tenenbaums (Anderson) and Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Batman (Burton) so special.

Ryan Gilbey pushes back:

[I]t is not Freeman’s specific argument that I found interesting so much as the general tendency to take traits once celebrated as auteurist (a recognisable voice, a continuity of theme, a discernible visual style, a repertory company of actors) and to use them as a stick to beat those auteurs we find lacking. … It’s a thin line between a director who produces a different meal each time from the same set of ingredients, and one who reheats the leftovers. And it’s a danger, I think, that we can mistake consistency for complacency when we can’t quite express what it is about a film that displeases us. 

(Wes Anderson bingo via Buzzfeed)