FIB Film Masterclass 2: With Wes Anderson

We’ve got part two of our FIB Film Masterclass, and this week we’ll be jumping into the quirky and wonderful aesthetic that Anderson has branded.

Photo Credit: The Daily Beast

It’s remarkable how Wes Anderson sees the wonders of life as though through the eye of a child, and he is not the only creative mind to have done that.

“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.” ― Pablo Picasso
“It takes a very long time to become young.” ― Pablo Picasso
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ― Pablo Picasso
Desire Group Founder, Paul G Roberts had some fond comments to make about Anderson:
When I look back at the recent Runway Collections and  ad campaigns for Alessandro Michele’s Gucci of the last several years, you will see an uncanny resemblance to many modern films. Wes Anderson films.
And there is of course, only one man to blame for all this: Wes Anderson. Over two decades, the meticulous Rushmore auteur has helped spawn an entire sub-genre of American cinema, a landfill site chockablock with handlebar moustaches, melancholia and tasteful alt-folk music. He has had a boggling influence over the rest of pop culture, too, on fashion, design, pop and social media. It ranges from Gucci’s billion-dollar renaissance, trading on various elements of Tenenbaum-chic, to the recent video for SZA’s Broken Clocks, where the singer and friends cavort in a very Anderson-like US holiday camp.
The Wes Anderson style – the lovingly curated music, the plot shifts from light to dark, the careful shot composition, the sharp costumes, the incessant quirky references, all combine to take the viewer ‘down the rabbit hole’ with his child like sense of wonderment. And it matters not the genre. It can be dramatic action, animation or stop motion. His works have had an undeniably and powerful impact on our popular culture.

Check out the short film here to learn his trademark secrets. 

FIB Film Masterclass

For all our movie buffs and film enthusiasts, we’ve got a segment that’ll cure your curiosity and fascination with all your favourite films and auteurs, weekly.

Here at FIB, we’re huge on films. Our appreciation for the biggest names in the industry only grows with each new film added to their portfolios. So, as you could imagine, we’re ecstatic about these video essays we’ve discovered and have decided to share weekly segments with some exclusive comments from FIB’s very own film team so we can give our readers a well-rounded FIB Film Masterclass!

In this week’s segment on Wes Anderson, Studio Binder gives us a look at just what makes Wes Anderson movies so unique and fascinating to watch. His quirky directing style has attracted audiences and stars alike.


Lets check out what our FIB Film Team had to say on Anderson’s directing:

Jake Bugeja
FIB Film Team Member

Wes Anderson is one of the most identifiable directors of all time. Many fans boast the ability to pick one of films from a single shot, even if it were they had never come across it before and didn’t know it was directed by Wes Anderson. He’s one of the few true auteur directors working today – a trait he shares with the likes of Tarantino, Nolan, Cuarón, the Coen Brothers, and so on – and seems to have perfected the atmosphere of playfulness that many associate with his films.

Every element in a Wes Anderson movie risks being hyperbolic however, while being over the top, manages to remain grounded in reality enough that the themes carry their deserved weight. He has developed his own vocabulary of story-telling that he utilises to profound effect in each one of his features. Notable signatures include a devout proclivity for visual symmetry in shots, as well as frequent use of the ‘frame-within-a-frame’ technique; which often takes the form of a window or door frame. One effect of this is that it can imply a sense of isolation, by shrinking the boundaries of the character’s world to, in some cases, half of the entire frame. Combining this with a character looking out from a high window, and they suddenly become detached from whatever lies beyond that window.

One of the other areas in which Wes really stands apart from his peers, in regards to stylistic individuality, is his dialogue. However, it’s not exclusively the dialogue itself, as its written on the page, but more specifically how he directs the scene around the dialogue. Very rarely does the dialogue itself carry the punchline of a joke, but rather its delivery in context to everything else happening on the screen. An example of this can be seen in the film The Darjeeling Limited (2007). The scene sees the three protagonists, brothers played by Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman, atop a sandy hill in the middle of India. Francis (Wilson) starts to deliver a profound line before abruptly finishing :

Francis: The Guru told me when the moon turns…

We then cut to see the faces of his brothers, who are suddenly pulled from their state of reverie when they realise the conclusion to the line is not coming. We then cut back to Francis who appears completely unaware of the situation, generating a small comedic moment out a scene that is set up to be predominantly serious.

While Anderson is a master at infusing a juvenile innocence into his films that occasionally risk succumbing to the ‘style over substance’ critique, he’s able to maintaining a poignant touch. The juxtaposition of his style with the themes he adopts is arguably the most compelling part of his movies. He frequently explores the concept of loss / death and the effect it has on loved ones, the idea of growing up, broken families, and so on. His unique vision as expressed through his films will stand the test of time.


Rocio Merino Hernandez
FIB Film Team Member

Wes Anderson is well known for his distinctive directing style.

I would say that his style is a mixture of ‘60s and ‘70s music tracks, flat space camera moves, symmetrical compositions, hand-made art direction using miniatures or slow-motion walking shots among other things. Another feature of his movies could be the deliberately limited colour palette, which in my opinion its really interesting and makes him style unique. For example in the movie “The Grand Hotel Budapest“ you can feel that the whole stage was specifically designed for the movie and that it’s not something accidental.  With a kind of ‘unnatural’ colour palette mixing reds, pinks and purples, nobody would have ever thought that would work that well. That way of make the ‘unnatural’ nice and unique its what makes him different.


Rami Slayman
FIB Film Team Leader

When I think of Wes Anderson I think of going above and beyond. Not only does he put his own witty twist in his story telling but his wit seeps into everything from production design to his delicate colour palettes all the way down to his unusual yet super satisfying camera angles.

Starting With production design, which I think is Wes Anderson’s most interesting and unique skillset, it is absolutely astonishing seeing exactly how much detail goes into every single shot. From the massive handmade pink doll house in ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ used in lavish wide shots to establish location, to the beautifully unique art styles of his stop motion pictures such as ‘Isle of Dogs’. Wes Anderson’s ability to somehow create a unique product with every new project he takes on is astonishing.

One of my favourite things about watching a Wes Anderson film is constantly being astonished by his use of colour. Colours that are so bright they stand out more than they seem they should, and this is because Wes Anderson breaks the conventional rules of movie making whenever he gets a chance. We are taught that in order to make a great movie the end product must no feel like a movie when you watch it but instead the audience is meant to forget the they watching a movie and get lost in the motion picture as if they were apart of it. When you watch a Wes Anderson Movie, you are most definitely aware that you are watching a movie, this sense of detachment from reality somehow still allows an audience to get sucked in through it’s sheer beauty while not allowing them to forget what they are watching, and that power comes from the vigorous colours that are used throughout Andersons movies.

Wes Anderson’s love for shots that break the rules of cinematography is also another factor that allows an audience to feel this weird detachment, yet it is done so brilliantly that it sucks you right back in. Placing subjects right in the middle of the lens breaking the third lines rule, unusual camera movements that pan so quick you would think they would make you sick, however feel so natural accompanied by the wacky production design and colours being used.


Taj Luksic
FIB Film Team Member

Overall I think Wes Anderson films will be studied for years to come, Anderson is a brilliant director who truly let’s his personality speak through his films, which is an undefined characteristic in film these days.

Wes Anderson has long been one of my favourite directors. My first exposure to his work was The Grand Budapest Hotel. The things that compelled me to look further into his filmography were his famous wide-angled and symmetrical framing of his characters. I was also intrigued by the bright colours he uses. This, combined with a quirky sensibility gives a lifted, light-hearted air to his films. However, this is often subverted. There is usually a dark edge to his storylines, be it the all-too-real concept of “trash island” in Isle of Dogs or the fractured family dynamic in The Darjeeling Limited, his films usually have a deeper message hiding beneath the colourful palate and playful cinematography. It’s this internal conflict that has kept me hooked for so long.
Let us know what you thought of Episode 2 and stay tuned for Episode 3 on Christopher Nolan!