“My favourite director is Wes Anderson”

This is not a blog post poking fun at someone who loves Wes Anderson – I mean most people love Wes Anderson (well, except my film lecturer who thinks he’s pretty average.). But I must admit that after hearing the 13th person proclaim their love for the director in my first year film classes, I’m more than a bit intrigued to figure out what on earth is causing this obsession.

When someone says they’re “totally obsessed”, are they just speaking in classic Millennial-extreme-exaggertaion terms, or are they truly obsessed? Well, after reading up a bit about the phenomenon, I think it’s just another one of those things.  You know, like Nickleback jokes, manbuns and selfie sticks. Ah yes, trends.

We Millennials are very good at exhausting trends, we push them to their limit until they became frumpy and grey and have to be tipped out into the trashcan like leftovers you left in the fridge too long.

I got a bit sidetracked by the man buns and the leftovers there, but what I actually want to talk about is how I think my generation’s obsession with Wes Anderson and his whimsical films is just a variation on a theme. The theme is along the lines of “I am hip and super cool, and I love things from the 50’s and I shoot film and I listen to Lana del Rey. Wow I am so hip”.  We Anderson’s films are well received, because the tap into the resurgence of all things old-school that has become so pertinent as of late. (No offence to anyone reading this thinking “I AM NOT OLD, BUT THOSE ARE ALL THINGS FROM MY YOUTH”. (You are not old, you are just not that young anymore.)

I’m referring to the reason why the monument of gentrification – The Old Biscuit Mill – is teeming with 16 year old girls on Saturday mornings. They are all looking to buy vintage denim jackets and vinyl records. It’s so that they can arrange them all nicely on their bed later that afternoon to take a “cute pic” for Instagram. (This is before they snuggle up in their onesies with Nutella to watch Moonrise Kingdom for the 7th time).

Wes Anderson’s films are popular, because of their retro pastiche, 70’s-esque colour schemes and ambiguous archaic gadgets. His quirky characters appeal to those wanting to “break the mould” and who wear fur coats to the club as they try to imitate Margot Tenenbaum (any sane person would realize that it’s impossible to imitate Margot Tenenbaum, because she is the epitome of fab and no one – except maybe Beyoncé – could ever be that fab).

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Margot Tenenbaum. A screenshot from the film “The Royal Tenenbaums” (2001) by Wes Anderson.

I guess every generation has their obsessions. My generation is just very, very good at it. You know, borderline die-hard-Beatles-groupies type of obsession. The generation before us loved Woody Allen and John Hughes – and neon spandex apparently. It’s sort of similar to the way my parents’ generation love drinking a lot of wine, listening to Leonard Cohen and being cynical (okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme).

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that although it may seem like I’m just another grumpy middle aged man complaining about “these damn Millennials”,  I’m nineteen. I’m just like all the others. I also own a vintage denim jacket and a film camera and actually just last weekend I went to a Wes Anderson themed party. So there ya’ go, there’s no escaping this one.

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My friends and I all dressed up as Wes Anderson characters. I’m the one in the red beanie. I went as Steve Zissou from the “The Life Aquatic” and I could definitely pass for a boy if it weren’t for my pigtails. It’s very “gender fluid” and Millennial of me, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

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