The Daily Quirk brings you this exclusive feature on VINTAGE TOMORROWS director Byrd McDonald from San Diego Comic-Con. Watch the video below to get to know more about the sub-genre steampunk, how he went about collecting his information for the movie and his take on the future of steampunk. Continue reading
In Patrick Brice’s wacky, sexy comedy The Overnight, Alex (Adam Scott) and Emily (Taylor Schilling) have just moved to Los Angeles with their son when they meet Kurt (Jason Schwartzman) and Charlotte (Judith Godrèche) at the park with their own son and agree to a family “playdate” at the later’s home. The get together starts off unremarkably, with Alex and Emily impressed by the trappings of Kurt and Charlotte’s life, but once the kids fall asleep the night begins to take many unexpected and humorous turns. Continue reading
The Daily Quirk sat down with Robert Edwards, screenwriter and director of When I Live My Life Over Again, starring Amber Heard and Christopher Walken, for an exclusive interview at Tribeca Film Festival, and we’re bringing you all the inside info on the film. Continue reading
Director Reed Morano walked the Tribeca Film Festival red carpet for her haunting new drama, Meadowland, along with the film’s stars, Olivia Wilde, Giovanni Ribisi and Mark Feuerstein and we’re bringing you the inside info. Continue reading
Growing Up and Other Lies is the anti coming of age comedy of this generation. The film follows four friends in an epic adventure– walking the entire length of Manhattan in just one day. As their journey unfolds, so do many other issues of past, present and future concerns. The Daily Quirk sat down with the writer/directors of Growing Up and Other Lies, Darren Grodsky and Danny Jacobs, to bring you the inside info on what inspired the film, the impressive cast (Adam Brody, Amber Tamblyn and Jacobs play leading roles) and what it was like for long-time friends Grodsky and Jacobs to work on the project together. Check out the interview below! Continue reading
The Daily Quirk caught up with Batkid Begins: The Wish Heard Round the World filmmaker, Dana Nachman, on the opening night red carpet of Cinquest Film Festival in San Jose, California and we’re bringing you an exclusive interview! Nachman’s documentary chronicles how the San Francisco area pulled together with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to help one young boy’s dream of being Batman come true. Watch the interview below to find out what inspired Nachman to make Batkid Begins and what she hopes audiences will feel when watching the film. Continue reading
Wes Anderson is arguably one of the most notable directors of the modern cinematic age. He’s granted the title of one of my favorite directors because every single frame of his films is absolutely thrilling. Each moment is a joyous treat of color, character, sound and symmetry. His popularity is from his incredibly distinctive filmmaking style. Each facet of his films seems to be part of his signature.
Anderson’s latest film The Grand Budapest Hotel is nominated for Best Motion Picture at this year’s Oscars — the first time one of his films has earned this nomination — and provides an excellent showcase of Anderson’s style. Here’s what you need to know to fully appreciate and understand this great director’s work:
A Recurring Pool of Actors
When watching Anderson’s films, one basic thread throughout his films is instantly identifiable and it requires no formal analysis to understand. Anderson continually features familiar faces in his films. Bill Murray and Owen Wilson are both involved in all but one of his eight major motion pictures. Wilson isn’t shown in Rushmore, but he did co-write the screenplay with Anderson. Other collaborators include Jason Schwartzman, Luke Wilson and Anjelica Huston. The Grand Budapest Hotel not only has Schwartzman, Owen Wilson and Murray, it also stars Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Tilda Swinton and Edward Norton, all of whom now have two to three Anderson credits under their belts.
Color, Color and More Color
Anderson’s use of color is the most obvious component to his style because it is so prevalent in every scene. It is the most striking of his trademarks. An entire Tumblr page is dedicated to the color palettes in his films. The colors create the tone of the world Anderson has created for each film. It intrigues the eye and invites the viewer to go on a visual rollercoaster as each frame is filled with dozens of saturated colors — mostly red, yellow and blue — to gawk at. The Grand Budapest Hotel interestingly uses color to distinguish the three different time periods that take place in the film. The 1930s, where a majority of the action takes place, are full of very saturated reds, purples and pinks. Even his use of white is visually striking. The 1960s feature yellows, greens and golds. Lastly, the 1980s seem more natural and unedited.
Writing in Film
Captions and writing are littered throughout each of Anderson’s films. Fun fact, he often uses the Futura font to caption montages such as the awesome extracurricular activities montage in Rushmore and the montage of Margot’s case history in The Royal Tenenbaums. Anderson is considered an auteur, the French word for “author.” He places extra importance in the words and manifests their significance by actually putting them right on the screen. In The Grand Budapest Hotel, writing is seen on Zero’s “Lobby Boy” hat, on the Mendl’s boxes, the hotel’s sign and more while being blatantly focused upon when the camera focuses on a letter or note. On a more obvious note, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel are told as if the films are simply illustrations of fictitious novels.
A Catchy Tune
Anderson’s use of sound and soundtrack in his films emphasizes the moment in the story. The lyrics of the song will in some way match the tone of scene. One of the most brilliant but haunting examples of this is the use of “Needle in the Hay” by Elliott Smith during Richie’s suicide attempt in The Royal Tenenbaums. Luke Wilson’s performance plus the gut-wrenching song plus the shade of blue that filters the whole scene is breathtaking. Often, the plunking harpsichord and other string instruments are present in the orchestrations made for the film, and The Grand Budapest Hotel is no different. The themes of Mr. Moustafa and M. Gustave are quintessential Anderson films compositions, and they continue the streak of instrumentals played throughout his films that get stuck in my head for weeks.
Common Camera Techniques
Anderson beautifully frames his films, and he typically always uses three techniques: slow motion, symmetry and montage. Slow motion emphasizes a moment in time. When Margot gets off the bus to see Richie for the first time in years in The Royal Tenenbaums, it’s significant so it’s slowed down. They use slow motion in Moonrise Kingdom when Sam, Suzy and the Khaki Scouts leave the tent. My favorite montages are the extracurricular activities one in Rushmore, which I previously mentioned, the one showcasing the villains Boggis, Bunce and Bean in Fantastic Mr. Fox and the “introducing the players” one in The Royal Tenenbaums. Slow motion and montage aren’t as memorably used in The Grand Budapest Hotel. However, The Grand Budapest Hotel is no exception to Anderson’s rule for symmetry in nearly every frame. His worlds are so fantastical that the more realistic, asymmetrical shots wouldn’t make sense. To get a fun look at his use of symmetry, check out the video below that compiles examples from all of his films.
All in the Family
Anderson often looks at themes of family in his films. Fantastic Mr. Fox deals with the tribulations of Mr. Fox’s dissatisfaction with a simple home life and his eventual reconciliation with his family. The Darjeeling Limited examines the issues between three brothers. Moonrise Kingdom focuses on orphan Sam and his attempt to create his own family — not literally but just in terms of love, home and acceptance — with Suzy. The Grand Budapest Hotel continues this common element. Zero has no family, but he finds it in M. Gustave and the hotel and eventually Agatha. The hotel is a surrogate home.
Prep for the Oscars, which will air Feb. 22 on ABC, by fully analyzing one of its Best Picture nominees. Now, you can play Slate’s Wes Anderson bingo!
I shouldn’t need to tell you this, but in case you don’t already know, I’m going to tell you: Guillermo del Toro is awesome. You might be familiar with him, since his name is all over everything these days, from novels (The Strain trilogy) to Hollywood blockbusters (Pacific Rim, The Hobbit Trilogy) and with the recent unusual announcement of his involvement with the popular horror video game franchise Silent Hill (recently titled Silent Hills, which looks amazing from its trailer.) This article is an homage of sorts to reassure people that del Toro is the man. He is someone who sheds light on the darkest corners of the human heart. But it’s a somber light – it doesn’t overpower the darkness. Rather, the director simply uses this “somber light” as an observational tool, showing viewers that things – objects, environments, people – can be simultaneously beautiful and eerie, dazzling and discomforting, not unlike the works of Tim Burton or David Lynch (though Lynch is decidedly more morose.) On that note, here are a few points on makes del Toro del Toro (and why he’s awesome): Continue reading
Sharknado 2: The Second One director Anthony C. Ferrante spoke with The Daily Quirk at San Diego Comic-Con about sequel to his cult hit Sharkando and we’re bringing you the inside info. Check out the video below to find out about what Ferrante says are the benefits of filming in New York City, the movie’s crazy cameos (which involved teaching news anchors to kill sharks) and Sharknado’s overnight cult following! Continue reading
The Daily Quirk sat down with Sister director David Lascher and screenwriter Todd Camhe at Tribeca Film Festival to talk about the touching family drama. Watch the video below where Lascher and Camhe discuss the inspiration behind the film, finding the perfect cast and the most memorable moments from set. Continue reading
In Electric Slide, Jim Sturgess plays Eddie Dodson, a bank robber able to literally charm the money from female bank tellers in 1980’s Los Angeles. Loosely based on the real life heists of Eddie Dodson, better known as the “Gentleman Bank Robber,” Electric Slide will leave you wishing you could go back in time, bad fashion and all, and give Sturgess’s Eddie whatever he asks for… but since that’s not possible, we’re bringing you the inside info on the film directly from Writer/Director Tristan Patterson! Watch the exclusive interview feature below for all the details!
Director Gillian Greene and the cast of Murder of a Cat walked the red carpet at the film’s Tribeca Film Festival premiere and The Daily Quirk is bringing you the inside info! Watch the exclusive interview feature below where Greene, and stars Fran Kranz and Leonardo Nam share details about the quirky, off-beat comedy and what attracted them to the film! Continue reading
Electric Slide Writer/Director Tristan Patterson and the film’s stars, Jim Sturgess and Isabel Lucas, walked the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival premiere and The Daily Quirk is bringing you the inside info! Watch the exclusive interview feature below where Patterson, Sturgess and Lucas share details about Electric Slide and what attracted them to the film! Continue reading
Intramural, the Bradley Jackson penned and Andrew Disney directed sports spoof about a bunch of college underachievers staging an epic intramural football comeback game, employees a star-studded, comedy credentialed cast and just about every sports movie cliché under the sun for a hardcore laugh touchdown. The Daily Quirk sat down with Jackson and Disney at the Tribeca Film Festival to find out what inspired the film and what it was like working with their impressive cast. Watch the exclusive interview feature below!