Film4 is showing Wes Anderson’s tale of young love Moonrise Kingdom tonight at 9pm (Freeview channel 15, Sky 315, Virgin 428). In honour of this quirky classic, here are 5 of the most ‘Wes Anderson’ moments from the oeuvre of one of cinema’s most cherished eccentrics.
5. Herman Blume takes the plunge
What do you do when you’re a disaffected, cynical industrialist, fed up with the sycophants around you? Get drunk and cannonball into a swimming pool of course. Bill Murray as the successful but unfulfilled Blume set the tone for much of Anderson’s later work, as did this scene that mixes the ridiculous (throwing golf balls into the pool) with the sublime (Murray’s face as he clings to his knees underwater).
4. Meet the Tenenbaums
In three and a half exquisite minutes, the film takes us through the members of the family Tenenbaum, the backgrounds of whom are described by narrator Alec Baldwin in his most honeycomb, sultry voice. This is quintessential Anderson: he doesn’t do traditional jokes, but watch the video above and you will see an unparalleled frequency of tiny details that pique the interest of the viewer. There would be no Arrested Development, recent Woody Allen or many other successes without this inspired style.
3. All aboard the Belafonte
A personal favourite of mine, an ending that is pure happiness. Following on from (spoiler alert!) the death of his sometime son Ned and the success of his documentary, Steve Zissou returns to his beloved Belafonte, joined one-by-one by his trusty crew. Set to the rocking sound of David Bowie’s ‘Queen Bitch’, these 2 minutes involve only three shots: by this point all we can do is watch and smile.
2. Life’s a beach
This is Titanic’s ‘I’m flying, Jack’ scene for Anderson fans. Alone but for their record player and the lapping waves, Sam and Suzy take a break from their breakout to dance, kiss and touch each other. Stunningly simple and built to a crescendo as the camera moves closer, it somehow manages to be one of the most romantic and crudely funny moments in film. ‘It feels hard’ ‘Do you mind?’ ‘I like it’ – Jack and Rose were never this sweet.
1. Monsieur Gustave makes his escape
Last year’s hotel hi-jinks showed Anderson is only getting better. Not many knew that the great Ralph Fiennes had a funny bone, but in charming Edward Norton’s police officer before fleeing the scene like a naughty little boy, he turned the threat of war and imprisonment into a playground chase. The laugh and the tear go hand in hand with Wes – and long may that continue…
Have some favourite Anderson moments of your own? Do share in the comments below or on twitter at @dreamdepends!