Wes Anderson

Why His Movies Matter

by Mark Browning


Wes Anderson has created a body of work marking him as one of contemporary cinema's most exciting talents, writing and directing a string of quirky comedies featuring the types of narratives largely ignored by Hollywood. It is high time for a definitive account of Anderson's creative output, one that addresses the praise—and the equally loud criticism—he provokes.

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Cover image for Wes Anderson

February 2011


Pages 190
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Popular Culture/Film

This is the first full-length study devoted to the films of Wes Anderson, one of the most distinctive filmmakers working today.

This first full-length consideration of this noted director's work, Wes Anderson: Why His Movies Matter is organized chronologically to encompass all of Anderson's films, from 1996's Bottle Rocket to Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and the 2009 release, The Fantastic Mr. Fox. The study includes analysis of Anderson's work in commercials, his representation of race and class, his main stylistic influences, and his innovations in the use of frame.

Beyond that, author Mark Browning considers whether Anderson's allusions create resonance or simply play a game with an audience keen to spot references. He argues that, in Anderson's films, the style is the substance, and the apparent comedic superficiality is what actually provides depth. Chapters covering the individual films are followed by an examination of Anderson as set designer, author, and stylist. The conclusion explains how his films can be viewed as relevant, exploring links to events and figures in the real world.


  • A bibliography


  • Considers each of Anderson's films point-by-point to show how his distinctive style works
  • Includes a detailed examination of Anderson's contentious portrayal of race and class
  • Examines Anderson's development of a range of cinematic genres and his role in a number of areas of production not usually addressed by directors
  • Makes detailed comparisons between Anderson and those who have influenced his work, including writers like J. D. Salinger and filmmakers like Francois Truffaut, Martin Scorsese, and Woody Allen
Author Info

Mark Browning, PhD, is former senior lecturer in education at Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, and has taught widely in England and Germany, where he now lives as a teacher and freelance writer. Dr. Browning is the author of David Cronenberg: Author or Film-Maker?, Stephen King on the Big Screen, and Stephen King on the Small Screen. He wrote ABC-CLIO's David Fincher: Films that Scar and is working on books on Danny Boyle and George Clooney.

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