Wes Anderson has perhaps the most recognizable filmmaking style in modern cinema. But if you ask the director about it, he’ll say he doesn’t really think about it.
“I’m sure this doesn’t sound plausible, but I don’t really feel like I choose a style,” Anderson said at a press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Friday, when his Netflix short film ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ had its world premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“I guess a style is so many different [choices] and most of those choice[s] are just me doing what I want. In a way, it’s like asking, would you like to do a movie not the way you want? And ideally, I’d want to do it the way I want.”
Wes Anderson and ‘The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar’
‘The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar’ is Anderson’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s book of short stories called The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar and Six More. Originally published in 1977, the short story about Henry Sugar follows a wealthy man who likes to gamble, and who learns how to magically see through playing cards with his eyes closed. But as soon as he learns how to win money at will, he loses interest in it and gives all his money away.
Anderson’s style, which is generally characterized by saturated color palettes, music from the 1960s and 1970s, intricately detailed sets and costumes, and timelines indicated by chapters. ‘Henry Sugar’ lends itself well to his quirky, period-driven style, considering it involves Henry dressing up in many different disguises with the help of a makeup artist and traveling the world under different identities.
‘The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar’ stars Ralph Fiennes as Roald Dahl and Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar, with Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade, and Ben Kingsley also starring.
Anderson, whose style has been mimicked by thousands across TikTok, says he approaches each film completely differently in terms of visuals.
“But every time I do a movie I feel like I’m doing something completely different,” he added at Venice. “I’m going to a new territory and telling a different kind of story with a new set of characters and different mix of actors, but I know there are so many things that link what I’m drawn to in general and I guess it is a thing you can see… It’s me.”
And yes, he’s aware of the many mimics of him on the internet, but he doesn’t care to engage, he told The Daily Beast in June.
“I haven’t seen any of it. Obviously, it’s easy for me to go to the right web page and see it. I choose not to really engage,” he said.
“I guess it’s because I don’t want to get distracted by that. It’s a bit like if you’re told, ‘Your friend does a great version of you.’ Maybe you say, I’d really like to see it, and maybe you say, I don’t want to see a version of me, even if it’s good. It can be like, ‘Is that me?’ That’s not necessarily the thing you want. At some point, I’m sure I’ll go in there and see. But I’ve never seen a TikTok, for instance, of anything. I’m not going to start with me.”
Anderson’s most recent feature, Asteroid City, arrived in theaters earlier this summer. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Jason Schwartzman, Tom Hanks, Tony Revolori, Sophia Lillis, Margot Robbie, and Maya Hawk, it follows strange events that take place during a junior stargazer convention in a desert town in 1955.
His other films include The French Dispatch, Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and The Royal Tenenbaums.
The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Sept. 1 and will begin streaming on Netflix on Sept. 27.
Main Image: ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’. (L-R) Benedict Cumberbatch as Henry Sugar and Ralph Fiennes as the policeman in ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’. Cr. Netflix