Tag Archives: Wes Anderson

Do Wes Anderson Movies Actually Make Money?

Tropics of Meta

moonrise kingdom sam susie

Indie and art house film has always extended the possibility of artistic freedom—at least as much as it’s possible for any auteur to pursue a singular vision in a medium that requires the input of everyone from actors and producers to key grips and the tweakers on craft service. Hollywood is to film what Nashville is to music, the thinking goes—where formulaic pap is churned out for the general public, whereas indie (like alt-country or Americana) allegedly offers the possibility of something less polluted by conformity and commercial concerns.

Of course, cinematic liberty can be a bad thing. Just look at the chronically self-indulgent and mediocre films of Woody Allen, which have cried out for the firm hand of an editor for the better part of twenty years. M. Night Shyamalan and George Lucas also offer cautionary tales of what happens when an artiste can get a big budget to…

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Reading Piketty at the Grand Budapest Hotel

Tropics of Meta

Zero and Clotilde in Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson has always had a penchant for the past.  Ever since The Royal Tenenbaums, his movies have increasingly drifted into a historical aesthetic, from the shabby (The Tenenbaums’ vaguely 70s-esque New York) to the quaint (the warm agrarian hues of 1960s New England in Moonrise Kingdom).  Few critics have missed the fact that his newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, amps up all things Anderson to the extreme.  It is cute, fussily pristine, ornately detailed, and even more deeply wedded to a time and place—a screwball comedy in the made-up European nation of Zubrowka, a seeming nod to Freedonia in the 1933 Marx Brothers classic Duck Soup.  Indeed, Grand Budapest harks back to a beautiful old Europe of the 1930s, one poised for destruction in the pulverizing death machine of fascism and war.

Which brings us to Thomas Piketty, the French economist who has…

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