Thinking back on my Wes Anderson paper
Well hello guys again,yes I am still alive and I would try my best to keep it updated as possible. However I cannot gurantee as my third year is getting busy with projects and of course that dreaded dissertation paper that every student have to do. Now speaking about dissertation paper,O.K you have 8,000 words to write with your specialism. Well for the majority of my cohort,they dreaded it like the plague and meanwhile I was going “O.K no biggie” as I have ideas on writing on my topic on Production Design (It was the neglected child of the film theorists gang-you better change something O.K?)
Now here comes my story, being in my nerdy phase of watching The Hobbit and LOTR. I thought that it would be fricking awesome to do a dissentation on it. However my fairy-tales and mythology nerd have somewhat took away my topic. Luckily I do have some backup topics on what I want to write,I am also itching to attempt to do Wes Anderson’s mise-en-scene for my writing (I mean it was a Production Designer’s dream). My lecturer was like yup,your idea is more solid. So it sealed me the deal of Wes Anderson as my dissertation. Of course I was elated with joy that I get to watch Wes Anderson’s filmography again and writing about that guy is pretty sweet.
For the past few weeks I have been kinda of talking non-stop but Wes Anderson films to everyone who breathes even to my mum (Of course one of my classmates make me have a fangirl freakout when he mentioned that he finished Grand Budpast Hotel). I watched his films (with commentary thanks to criterioncommentaries when I was freaking out that my TDL (The Darjeeling Limited bluray cannot play in my DVD). Whenever I have a chance to get a seat at my local MRT (It was kinda like Singapore’s version of the tube or Subway) I scribbled notes on the settings and costumes,and process what it means. Every night I milked out Mother Google in finding articles about Wes Anderson (which was very little) and read it to get understanding. I changed my Itunes music to my playlist of Wes Anderson’s soundtracks and film commentaries (God bless Criterion collection for these beauties). I thought of people that need to work with him. Whenever I listen a song from the soundtrack of his,it flash me back the moment where it was held.
There is one moment I became Sherlock in his mind-palace during Production Design class (with the punch of milk tea in the morning). I cannot stop but to think about Wes Anderson’s sets
I cannot fathom my fascination about him,his eye of detail is just killer-OMG the plate become significant and even the scruff thanks to his hands. I sometimes feel pretty inferior to Wes Anderson’s gorgeous production designs. I became restless. I just feel amazed and in awe of my new idol. I became sucked into his worlds of irony and brokeness.
However the reading of the key texts on aueter theory was pretty much a bitch. Usually I can understand a text easily and somehow it absorbed in my brain. I cannot wrangle what Francois Truffaut and Andre Bazin is trying to say,even the late Andrew Sarris have left me pretty baffled. The film gods are probably laughing at me on my lack of understanding.
Fast forward to this week,I have just received feedback from my lecturer in regards to my proposal. It wasn’t great as I think. I suddenly have my “The Graduate” moment when Benjamin is pretty shocked on Mrs Robinson’s seduction
I have to submit that proposal this week on Monday,with projects on..It’s gonna be a bitch….. I have that writer’s block. Today I attempted to reconstruct my proposal to be clear as I humanly can (I am pretty much everywhere like Sherlock). I questioned why the hell do I want to write about that director that I slowly grew respect on. I could have done David Lean,my ultimate film god or something simpler but why Wes Anderson?
There I have that revelation after attending someone’s funeral after my feedback session. While hearing all of the eulogies and trying to be the rock of my twin sister,weeping eyes of for a person we barely knew. I immediately of that scene of the first film I watched in conjunction of my paper-The Darjeeling Limited . That scene where the Whitman brothers witness a funeral of the boy Peter (Adrien Brody) is unable to save. It was set in Wes’ slow-mo shot with the song “Strangers” by The Kinks. Everyone was silent,all united by grief like his family members and friends dear to that person. I suddenly seen a vignette of my sister as Peter,that scene in the toilet where he was moved by Jack’s story as she cried for that stranger she is unaware of. Slowly it unveiled to me that I relate to The Darjeeling Limited (and slowly falling in love with this film)-I was like Francis (Owen Wilson)-I can be bossy and ambitious,my eldest sister was like Peter and my twin was like Jack (Jason Schwartzman),she kept most to herself and only tell me. I fought with my siblings like this. On that night after the funeral service,I can’t sleep so I decided to journal that night and I recalled moments when I see myself as these characters he created-Max Fischer(Jason Schwartzman) from Rushmore
I m not too good in film school technically. I am pretty ambitious like him. I loved his saying “Do something you like and do for the rest of your life” gave me that comfort especially receiving my results.
The Royal Tenenbeums which I watched a few days ago is like my family where sometimes it gets pretty dysfunctional but we loved each other in the end.
His characters are just like me,struggling the problems of the adult world in their childlike way. All have vignettes of me in so many ways. That revelation struck me on that night. Perhaps why I wanted to write that paper so badly that I make everyone pretty annoyed about me loving Wes Anderson. It is because Wes Anderson touched me on that personal level. If David Lean woke me up on the beauty of cinema with his epic of Lawrence of Arabia. Perhaps Wes Anderson touched the heart in saying how can cinema impacted me personally. His wry characters navigating a broken world which is otherworldly grounded in reality. Some people find it indulgent,others loathed of his boringness. Whatever. If it touched the right people at the right mindset,then that is the beauty of cinema. Maybe it give me that clinging hope and strength to tread through my semester of writing nothing but him. So Wes…whenever you are busy preparing for the release of Budpast (BTW excited like hell)…thank you very much…..I said that I am very proud that my dissertation would be about your fantastic works which one day may touch people as much as me.