'Moonrise Kingdom' Director Wes Anderson on 'Stealing' From Kubrick, Polanski (Video)
The idiosyncratic filmmaker talks about the visual stylists whose work influences his own, and explains why he'd be a bad choice for a studio tentpole.
As the creator of films like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson possesses one of the most distinctive visions in Hollywood. According to the director, however, he says most of his originality comes from forgetting from whom he’s stolen.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his new film Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson acknowledges stylistic similarities to the work of filmmakers like Stanley Kubrick but says he’s typically too absorbed in the making of the movie to realize that he might be referencing them. “Kubrick is definitely one of my favorites,” he reveals. “But usually by the time I’m making a movie, I don’t really know where I’m stealing from. So by the time I make the movie, I think, ‘oh, this is my thing’.”
“But I think I’m always pretty influenced by Kubrick,” he continues. “And Roman Polanski and John Huston and Martin Scorsese – guys whose way with the camera I feel like I’m always taking something from.”
Not unlike his previous films, Moonrise Kingdom has its own distinctive musical palette – the songs of Hank Williams Sr. Anderson says he chose the country singer’s iconic music because it suited the mood of one of the characters in the film. “I think in a way it came through Bruce Willis,” he says. “We sort of came up with the idea from watching Bruce Willis and thinking, what has he got on his radio? And it’s something about loneliness and heartbreak.”
Anderson has always skillfully navigated his own path as a filmmaker, working exclusively on material he co-wrote or otherwise developed from the ground up. When asked whether he would consider following in the foosteps of someone like Brian De Palma, who has successfully applied his style to more conventional sorts of movies, Anderson admits that he’s unsure he has the skills needed to orchestrate the kind of thrills that De Palma pulls off effortlessly.
“Brian De Palma is one of my favorite directors ever, and has such the most sophisticated visual style of anybody,” he observes. “But Brian De Palma is somebody who can take a giant complicated action sequence and say, I know precisely how to execute this. I’m a completely different kind of moviemaker -- and the basic crucial talents of that are precisely what I lack, probably.”
Watch the video above for more insights from Anderson about his latest film, and his influences. Moonrise Kingdom is open in limited release now.