The Self-Parody Of Wes Anderson, Ctd

Actual parodies are almost too easy:

As a complement to The Wes Anderson Collection, a new book of analysis and interviews by Matt Zoller Seitz, the author created several video essays on the director’s oeuvre. Elsewhere, Seitz lists “24 things I learned while writing my book about Wes Anderson”:

3. It is important to him that viewers imprint their own values and experiences on his films and not worry too much about what he personally is trying to communicate.

Back in 2010, I did a video essay on The Darjeeling Limited for the movie’s Criterion Blu-ray edition. Wes’ only note was that he wondered if there was some way to make the narration sound less authoritative, because he didn’t want people thinking that my interpretation of his work was in some sense the “official” or “approved” interpretation. It was important to Wes that every viewer feel that his or her own take on the film was equally valid. So I re-recorded the audio track of the video essay to make it sound more extemporaneous—as if I was just making up the thoughts off the top of my head and they were just one guy’s opinion. The finished piece expressed exactly the same thoughts as the first version, but the tone was warmer and more casual, and hopefully communicated to viewers that it was just one way of looking at the movie.

Similarly, during the writing of The Wes Anderson Collection, Wes repeatedly told me it was important to communicate to readers, through tone and design, that the seven critical essays were my take on his work, that he himself neither approved nor disapproved of their observations, and that readers should feel that their own take was just as valid.

Here is a profile Seitz wrote of Anderson in 1995, just after he completed his first film, Bottle Rocket. Recent Dish on the director here and here.