Wes Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, was a sleeper hit in art house theaters this past summer. The film is a coming of age tale about two lonely teens who run away from home together and the misadventures of their families looking for them. It features another Anderson all-star cast; Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis and Tilda Swinton all played prominent roles in the film. However, the real stars are the exceptional young actors cast as the leads, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward.
In addition to the typical Anderson wit and humor, Moonrise Kingdom was beautifully shot by Robert Yeoman and has a great score by Alexandre Desplat, with musical selections by classical composer Benjamin Britten. If you haven’t seen it, it’s highly recommended you check it out, especially if you’re a fan of Wes Anderson.
Moonrise Kingdom is available on Bu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy/UltravIolet combo pack Tuesday, October 16, and Popdose has three swell prizes to giveaway to some lucky readers. We have 2 Blu-rays to giveaway. And for one lucky person, a special gift pack that includes the film’s soundtrack, a Camp Ivanhoe shirt, patches and more! All you have to do is answer this question:
Name the actor closely associated with Christopher Guest’s films who serves as the narrator in Moonrise Kingdom.
Entries are due by this Friday, 10/19, at 5 PM PT. Email your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck. And please enjoy this nice article that dissects the look of Anderson’s films and how they stand out in the world of independent cinema.
Retro and Vintage Flair
Wes Anderson’s films often take on the look of an era in the past. He uses vintage props and costumes in such an impeccable manner; one feels like the film actually takes place in that specific decade. Additionally, his films are often shot in a light, golden hue that makes them appear similar to an old photograph. This stylistic technique serves as a signature backdrop to complement his quirky characters and offbeat stories. For example, Moonrise Kingdom takes place in 1965 and is filled with mid-century elements like record players and retro fashions that tie into the tone of the film.
Boy scout adventures. Nautical missions. Indian train chases. These are some of the eccentric scenarios you’ll find in a Wes Anderson film that are presented in a very whimsical way. Anderson uses vibrant colors and interesting artistic elements to create a world of wonder for his stories. He also carefully chooses locations based on their unique and fantastical features. The ships used in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou were relocated from South Africa to the Mediterranean Sea to build a set that looked like an undersea world. In The Darjeeling Limited, northern India served as an exotic background as the decorated train rode through the countryside on the Darjeeling Himalyan Railway.
All Buttoned Up
Wes Anderson’s fine attention to detail makes the look of his films very distinctive. The costumes and sets are purposefully designed to capture the essence of the setting and characters. Bookshelves are filled with novels and kooky trinkets. The walls feature paintings by artists who inspire the film such as Mexican artist Miguel Calderón in The Royal Tenenbaums and Indian Artist Satyajit in The Darjeeling Limited. Every outfit is also carefully pieced together from head to toe. In Anderson’s stop-motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox, the characters – though animals in nature – are in tip-top shape in sharp suits and patterned dresses.
Anderson’s films take place in a variety of cities around the world. The culture of the location always plays an essential role in the look of the film. Whether the film takes place in India, Paris or on a fictional Cape Cod-inspired island, Anderson incorporates surrounding architecture and scenery to highlight the culture while still keeping his signature style intact. His short film Hotel Chevalier was filmed at the Hôtel Raphaël, a very romantic location in Paris. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, was mostly filmed in the Italian regions Campania and Lazio to showcase the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and historical Roman architecture.
Titles With Style
One key element of all of Anderson’s films is the emphasis on the typeface used for opening title sequences and posters. He often uses the font ‘Futura’ yet sometimes tries something different as in Moonrise Kingdom, where he used an original font by letterer Jessica Hische. Nonetheless, whatever fonts he uses, Anderson’s films are instantly recognizable based on a bold and stylish title.