Five Favorite Films with Wes Anderson

Plus, we talk with the writer-director about his new film, the critical smash Moonrise Kingdom.

There aren't many modern American filmmakers with a body of work as unique as that of Wes Anderson. From his debut Bottle Rocket through Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited and the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox, there arguably isn't a director among his contemporaries (or many imitators) who has cultivated such a precise, particular universe on screen -- while finding curious new ways of seeing that world each time.

Anderson's latest is Moonrise Kingdom, a fantastical tale of imagined childhood that follows two kids -- AWOL scout Sam (Jared Gilman) and moody dreamer Suzy (Kara Hayward) -- on their adventure through adolescent first love. Beautifully calibrated both visually and emotionally, the film, which opened Cannes, is drawing some of the best reviews of the director's career.

We had the opportunity to chat with Anderson recently, where he talked about his inspirations for Moonrise Kingdom, his childhood obsessions, and how his experience in animation affected the way he approached his latest project. Read on for that and more, but first, we quizzed him on his Five Favorite Films. "I'll try to do it," Anderson says. "You may have to call it 'The five movies that I just say, for whatever reason,'" he laughs. "I don't know if I'll be able to stand behind them as my five favorites, they'll just be the five I manage to think up right now."


Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968; 98% Tomatometer)

One movie that I often find myself going back to is Rosemary's Baby. This has always been a big influence on me, or a source of ideas; and it's always been one of my favorites. Mia Farrow gives a great, big performance in it, and I've read the script and it's a terrific script. So that's one I'd say.




A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971; 91% Tomatometer)

I think A Clockwork Orange is one that springs to mind. A fully-formed Stanley Kubrick. It's a movie that's very particularly designed and, you know, conjures up this world that you've never seen quite this way in a movie before, but at the same time there's a great sort of spontaneity to it, and a tremendous energy. And both of those are very well adapted, good books.




Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932; 91% Tomatometer)

Another one I could say is Trouble in Paradise. Have you ever seen Trouble in Paradise?

I have, it's great.

Yeah, it is. A great Lubitsch movie. Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins. And Samson Raphaelson is the screenwriter; he did several Lubitsch movies. I don't know if anybody can make a movie like that anymore -- that perfect tone, like a "soufflé"-type of movie. A confection, I guess.




Toni (Jean Renoir, 1935; 100% Tomatometer)

Well recently I watched Grand Illusion, which I haven't seen in several years -- no, I'll say another one instead: There's one called Toni, that's Jean Renoir before Grand Illusion, before Rules of the Game, and it's set in the south of France and they're Italian immigrants who're working, who're laborers working in the South of France. It's very beautiful, kind of lyrical and very sad; a great Renoir movie. I don't know if it's seen that much anymore. It's great.




Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Mike Nichols, 1966; 97% Tomatometer)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? -- that's another one I rewatched recently. When I first saw that movie it made me feel bad. I didn't fall in love with it. I loved The Graduate when I first saw it, but [Virginia Woolf], I wasn't excited by it, because it seemed like there was a negativity about it. But when I watched it more recently I thought it was the most beautiful, inspired, exciting movie. Mike Nichols is one of the most inventive directors that we've had, and that's one of the great, you know, it's a great movie, and a stunning first film.



Next, Anderson talks about his inspirations for Moonrise Kingdom, his childhood obsessions, and how his experience with animation on Fantastic Mr. Fox. influenced his latest film.

Comments

This comment has been removed.

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Wait for it... Bad comment!

Jun 7 - 05:42 PM

Philip Patry

Philip Patry

Exactly what I was thinking Michael J

Jun 7 - 05:46 PM

Adam Gary

Adam Gary

you're a fool.

Jun 7 - 05:43 PM

Mark Trenkle

Mark Trenkle

missing out on a world class directors taste in cinema? we would probably all be in that category.

Jun 7 - 05:43 PM

Brandon Wisser

Brandon Wisser

Great list, A Clockwork Orange is also one of my all time favorites. Rosemary's Baby is definitely up there for one of the greatest horror films.

Jun 7 - 05:46 PM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!!! A CLOCKWORK ORANGE IS CLASSIC FILM-MAKING AT ITS BEST and ahead of its time at worst. ROSEMARY'S BABY is FREAKING AWESOME (and to think that it was produced by William Castle-producer of The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, The House on Haunted Hill is amazing) . . . CLOCKWORK ORANGE is partly about humankind's societal desensitization to violence and an apathetic attitude toward fellow remembers of humankind; A Clockwork Orange should cause the viewer to re-examine his own values concerning violence. KIDS TODAY DON'T KNOW ABOUT NOR CARE ABOUT FILMS OR EACH OTHER (it must be the case: like the Rutgers University Student who "caused" his classmate to jump-off The George Washington Bridge . . . We're living in The Age A Clockwork Orange depicts, an Age where "KID'S TODAY" don't give a crap what happens to themselves or others)

Jun 7 - 06:00 PM

sexpistol14

Mitch Dynomite

Pretty sure it's a troll

Jun 7 - 06:49 PM

Double.Dubs

Edward Stymest

0/10

Jun 7 - 06:04 PM

Indiana Jones 79

Gavin Miller

umm what about Virginia Woolf???

Jun 7 - 07:50 PM

Zane B

Chum Chum

Your avatar kinda proves yer an idiot

Jun 7 - 09:00 PM

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Wait for it... Bad comment!

Jun 7 - 05:42 PM

Philip Patry

Philip Patry

Exactly what I was thinking Michael J

Jun 7 - 05:46 PM

Adam Gary

Adam Gary

you're a fool.

Jun 7 - 05:43 PM

Mark Trenkle

Mark Trenkle

missing out on a world class directors taste in cinema? we would probably all be in that category.

Jun 7 - 05:43 PM

Philip Patry

Philip Patry

Exactly what I was thinking Michael J

Jun 7 - 05:46 PM

Brandon Wisser

Brandon Wisser

Great list, A Clockwork Orange is also one of my all time favorites. Rosemary's Baby is definitely up there for one of the greatest horror films.

Jun 7 - 05:46 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Leave it to Wes to stump the band. I've never heard of "Toni" and I've never seen "Trouble in Paradise" (but I know cutie-pie Miriam Hopkins from 1930's "Jekyll and Hyde"). AH! Well, more homework. Can't argue with "Virginia Woolf". Audiences today probably don't know how controversial it was. And of course "Clockwork". Can't you see Wes as a Droog? Polanski, Kubrick and Nichols, three of the best from their generation.

Jun 7 - 05:51 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Weird night of RT drama. You guys didn't have to be so hard on ol' Barney Funk.

Jun 7 - 09:17 PM

NTROST

Anthony W.

LOL...you say Polanski, Kubrick & Nichols are three of the best from their generation but yet you failed to mention Renoir & Lubitsch who are two of the greatest of all-time.

Jun 8 - 02:43 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Putz. I thought I was very clear by limiting them to 'their generation'. I'd actually say that Polanski, Kubrick and Nichols are the among the greatest of all time too. I've only seen a couple of films from Renoir and Lubitsch apiece, great films, but I've seen all of the films from the other three. Admitting I have more films to watch is not a weakness. I'm sure there are many great films you yourself have yet to see, snotknob.

Jun 8 - 08:07 AM

Brandon Blackwell

Brandon Blackwell

Never expected Rosemary's Baby or A Clockwork Orange on this list.. Wes is genius!

Jun 7 - 05:53 PM

This comment has been removed.

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

Mohd Syafiq Bin Jabaruddin

To be fair, from what I observed of internet comments including RT, I don't expect much of anyone older either.

Jun 8 - 02:49 AM

Tom DeFrank

Tom DeFrank

Be nice or shut the fuck up.

Jun 8 - 07:08 AM

Cole Jaeger

Cole Jaeger

He's 12 and he knows about this kind of stuff. Not many 12 year olds know who Wes Anderson or Kubrick are.

Jun 8 - 09:29 AM

andrew black

andy black

lmao

Jun 8 - 04:50 PM

jan_tran

Jan Tran

Was expecting a truly obscure list (random pickings from the Criterion Collection i.e.) but I'm shocked I've seen three out of five. Not a big Wes Anderson fan but do enjoy seeing them, when I see them.

Jun 7 - 05:53 PM

HERESSSSSSJOHNNY

HERESSSSSS JOHNNY

A Clockwork Orange and Rosemary's Baby, both masterpieces by spectacular directors.

Jun 7 - 05:59 PM

Henry Harrison

Henry Harrison

Yes a great director and infamous rapist

Jun 10 - 03:03 PM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Kinda like Thomas Jefferson. Polanski's films are great even if the man is not.

Jun 10 - 11:02 PM

Lumbergh Phucter

Jamie Eakins

Rosemary's Baby was good, but my preference lies with Repulsion.

Jun 11 - 12:35 AM

Gordon Franklin Terry Sr

Gordon Terry

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!!! A CLOCKWORK ORANGE IS CLASSIC FILM-MAKING AT ITS BEST and ahead of its time at worst. ROSEMARY'S BABY is FREAKING AWESOME (and to think that it was produced by William Castle-producer of The Tingler, 13 Ghosts, The House on Haunted Hill is amazing) . . . CLOCKWORK ORANGE is partly about humankind's societal desensitization to violence and an apathetic attitude toward fellow remembers of humankind; A Clockwork Orange should cause the viewer to re-examine his own values concerning violence. KIDS TODAY DON'T KNOW ABOUT NOR CARE ABOUT FILMS OR EACH OTHER (it must be the case: like the Rutgers University Student who "caused" his classmate to jump-off The George Washington Bridge . . . We're living in The Age A Clockwork Orange depicts, an Age where "KID'S TODAY" don't give a crap what happens to themselves or others)

Jun 7 - 06:00 PM

sexpistol14

Mitch Dynomite

Pretty sure it's a troll

Jun 7 - 06:49 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

I've watched all five of them. Proud of myself, as Wes Anderson is awesome. Also, I would not have imagined him to pick any of them as favourites, except Trouble in Paradise. I would have expected at least one or two from the French New Wave. Great list though.

Jun 7 - 06:00 PM

Double.Dubs

Edward Stymest

0/10

Jun 7 - 06:04 PM

DBrock

David E-Brock

Didn't expect him to have such dark taste...at least three of these are really creepy movies...his movies usually have some dark undertones,but are mostly so light and "quirky"...maybe he should direct something super dark...who is doing the new Carrie? Ill bet he could do a really interesting take on that...

Jun 7 - 06:27 PM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Yep, just what I was thinking. He should do a horror or blackly comic sci-fi movie.

Jun 7 - 06:43 PM

Bo Swidersky

Bo Swidersky

I'm shocked that HAROLD & MAUDE wasn't on the list.

Jun 7 - 06:37 PM

Christopher Kulik

Christopher Kulik

Only a few more days until the Criterion release.

Jun 8 - 05:45 AM

Janson Jinnistan

Janson Jinnistan

Aw, damn! Hell, yes!!!

Jun 8 - 08:09 AM

Zak Santucci

Zak Santucci

I know! It seems a little disingenuous to not mention it since Hal Ashby is clearly his biggest influence.

Jun 8 - 07:15 AM

IrreducibleKoan

Sean Pak

Yep, just what I was thinking. He should do a horror or blackly comic sci-fi movie.

Jun 7 - 06:43 PM

sexpistol14

Mitch Dynomite

Pretty sure it's a troll

Jun 7 - 06:49 PM

Indiana Jones 79

Gavin Miller

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is one of my all time favorite films as well

Jun 7 - 07:50 PM

Indiana Jones 79

Gavin Miller

umm what about Virginia Woolf???

Jun 7 - 07:50 PM

David Kordahl

David Kordahl

I've read a few of these Wes Anderson "favorite movie" lists, and what's interesting is that he seems never to repeat himself. Look at his wording: he's referring to films that he's "recently re-watched," not a group of movies that comprise some awesome, highbrow criterion. I bet that if this interview were conducted two months from now, you'd get a mostly different list.

Jun 7 - 07:51 PM

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