Wes Anderson, film language, "The Royal Tenenbaums"

Essay by nz2saHigh School, 12th grade May 2009

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My director study will be focused on Wes AndersonThe films I will be studying are “Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou”, “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Bottle Rocket.” I have chosen these films because I feel that Anderson’s works such as “Life Aquatic” and “The Royal Tenenbaums,” have a more refined style. These works were made more recently as Anderson has been given time to develop his style. However I thought it important to acknowledge any themes he started with and has continued, so I included “Bottle Rocket.”Wes Anderson has a very noticeable style in all aspects of film language.

The Royal TenenbaumsMis-en-scene: Camera AnglesAnderson will generally use symmetry a lot in his camera angles and set design. I believe that this is because of the similar themes in his films. Quoted from Anderson himself, he explained that his films, "point out the beauty in flaws and the flaws in beauty.”

The symmetrical camera angles and the overall look of Andersons films create an almost perfect and idealised world, yet as we can see, the characters in his films are always dysfunctional.

This idealised setting that Anderson creates, is emphasized by the characters background. For instance in “The Royal Tenenbaums,” the family members are all wealthy and are or where successful. Anderson then creates a negative situation out of this idealisation, having an incestuous relationship between Richie and Margot, making Chas extremely paranoid and creating Richie into a depressed even suicidal character. We can see this frequent use of the symmetry throughout the film, an example would be the beginning when the characters are being introduced, and again examples of symmetry are in most scenes set at dining tables. This use of symmetry creates a structured and unnatural world unparallel to our own...