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The Wes Anderson Collection

(The Wes Anderson Collection #1)

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  2,137 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Wes Anderson is one of the most influential voices from the past two decades of American cinema. A true auteur, Anderson is known for the visual artistry, inimitable tone, and idiosyncratic characterizations that make each of his films—Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Darjeeling Limited, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise ...more
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published October 8th 2013 by Harry N. Abrams (first published October 2nd 2013)
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4.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,137 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Anna Kiss
I thought I would LOVE this book since I am a big fan of Wes Anderson's movies and of author Matt Zoller Seitz whose well-written reviews of The Sopranos I enjoyed every week in the Star-Ledger.

The pictures and format are wonderful, but the writing is just not so interesting. A typical excerpt:

MZS: Zissou is also a character who has been confronted, at the very beginning of the movie, with, to borrow the title of another Jim Jarmusch movie, the limits of control.

WA: Hmm.

MZS: He has seen this my
Jan 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2014
The best thing about this in depth look at the films of director Wes Anderson is when it focuses in on the details, the minutia, the production design and plotting that Anderson is famous for. For example, I loved seeing the storyboards, the illustrations, the photos from behind the scenes during filming, things like that.

What I didn't like about the book--and the reason for the low score--was the over-the-top participation of Matt Zoller Seitz, who takes every opportunity to inject himself int
Mary Lins
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: complete
I’m a HUGE Wes Anderson fan and have reveled in his entire oeuvre – including commercials. So it was a “no-brainer” for me to purchase this lovely and luscious book, “The Wes Anderson Collection” by Matt Zoller Seitz. Seitz says this book is for “detail-obsessed fetishists” and I guess that describes me!

When it arrived I flipped quickly through it looking at the pictures. It’s a scrap-book of sorts for Wes’ seven films: “Bottle Rocket” through “Moonrise Kingdom” (a new film, “The Grand Budapest
Feb 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Beautiful photographs and book design, but this is the worst type of tome one would want on director/writer Wes Anderson. It is a Truffaut?Hitchcock type of endeavor and has no comparison (which is what I think the author intended). This is all about the author critic Matt Zoller Seitz and his ego. We just constantly read his ideas, his assertions (no matter what Anderson intended in his films), how his children reacted (really? who cares?), and his claim to have had THE discovery of Anderson as ...more
More 4.5 stars than the full five, but a WIN through and through.

The beauty of this book isn't so much in the interview style of this book between Seltz and Anderson (think EW or GQ type interview styles). The true beauty lies in the full-color images and the drawings. I spent MOST of my time on this book browsing the images...then I'd remember that I forgot to read and have to go back.

As a fan of most of Anderson's films, this book is a real gem. Moments from some of his best films are shared
Anthony McGill
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Difficult to adequately review this spectacular film book. Although it is about Wes Anderson's seven films from "Bottle Rocket" through to "Moonrise Kingdom"* there is just so much more to explore in this extraordinary, quite wacky publication.
Essays and interviews by Mark Zoller Seitz, amazing illustrations by Max Dalton and endless fascinating stills from all the films plus a potpourri of relevant items from old films, books, magazines, catalogs and advertisements that will
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A great edition to any Wes Anderson fan's library, with great photos and interesting insight into each of the director's movies.

I did give this book 4 stars however, based on the fact that many of the questions in the book seemed like the author just trying to seem overly intellectual and insightful about the films and never getting any real confirmation or denial from Anderson (besides a constant "Hmm") about many of his theories. I found that to be quite annoying when he could have been asking
Wart Hill
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nf-movies
definitely gives me a new perspective on Anderson's work
Colby Allen
Nov 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Lots of good behind the scenes photos and props but not much insight into the creative process of Wes Anderson.
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: film
A beautiful visual package wrapped around lacklustre essays and interviews. Each of Anderson's first seven films gets a short essay and a lengthy interview buttressed with a wonderful collage of film stills, production art, original drawings, as well as images from various influences and inspirations. The book excels when it limits itself to these aspects and falters when it tries for much analysis. Seitz has good instincts and analyses, but is done no favours by the interview format opposite An ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great big book. It’s primarily visual. It’s got lots and lots of pictures, and the majority of the text (praise the lord!) is extended interviews with Anderson.
Each chapter is a film (It goes up to Moonrise Kingdom). There’s a lot of fascinating detail about how Anderson created the look for each project. It’s very much written and created in the breathless excitement of a fanboy, but that’s how I think all books should be written.
If you love Anderson’s work, you’re going to love this.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A fascinating look into the mind of a modern day auteur, charting the evolution of a cinematic history with movie stills, behind the screen photographs, and some random musings on what makes a movie a Wes Anderson movie.
Dec 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-non-fic
A great behind the scenes look for fans. I loved all the full color shots and the size of the book. My one annoyance about it was the amount of fangirling Seitz did during his interviews and the frequency of his interjections about what Seitz personally thought Anderson was trying to do instead of sticking to the facts. Eg.
Seitz: How did Danny Glover come to be cast in The Royal Tenenbaums?
Anderson:He's...great in Witness. Do you remember him in that?
Seitz: I remember him vividly

Like, ugh, Seit
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adulthood
This book is fantastic. Since Anderson doesn't like to talk about his creative motivations or his personal connections to his work, having a friend throw theories at him to tease out reactions is the perfect strategy. If you are interested in how Anderson stitches his stories together, you will love this book. It is surprising and subtly motivational throughout. The layout of the book - behind the scenes pictures and images from Anderson's biggest inspirations - are lush enough for this to funct ...more
Apr 13, 2014 rated it liked it
While Seitz's habit of trying to get Anderson to agree with his own reading of Anderson's films can be grating at times, this really is a worthwhile read if you have even a passing interest in a person I would consider one of the top filmmakers in the world today. Particularly intriguing is Anderson's thoughts regarding the relationship between story and mood given the director's almost obsessive attention to production design. I would have liked to have known a little more about Anderson's rela ...more
Joe Long
Dec 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
A must have for any Wes Anderson film, if for no other reason than the images are outstanding. But you also get a nice long interview related to each film, giving insight from Wes himself. Loved it.
Nauka N.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
maybe for non-film enthusiast, this book will bored you as heck since it's full of explanations and interviews with Wes Anderson himself. but if you love film studies, then you should read this because it's really useful and had a full depth explanations about Wes Anderson's style in directing a film, from the symetrical film shooting until creative process in screenplay writing. too bad The Grand Budapest Hotel and the upcoming Isle of Dogs explanation aren't included here. but who knows, maybe ...more
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelves
Re-Read because of Wes Anderson retrospective. Still as insightful and beautifully made.
Christopher McQuain
Jul 27, 2014 rated it liked it
The weakness in this coffee-table book is not at all in the graphics, design, or layout, all of which, as one might expect in a book devoted to Wes Anderson, are charming, meticulous, and revelatory (in addition to multiple on-set and film stills of Anderson, his work, and related miscellanea, Seitz helpfully includes stills and other pictures to complement his and Anderson's discussions of other films/visuals that have had conscious or unconscious influence on Anderson). The essays by Seitz are ...more
Brent Legault
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The photos are and illustrations are lovely, but I think that Mr. Seitz is a bit too in awe of his own voice and certainly his own theories for my money. His comments and questions provoked more hmmms from Mr. Anderson than anything else (or maybe that's just the way Anderson responds to anyone's questions). Somewhere in the middle of the interview on The Royal Tanenbaums I more or less started to skip over the bold-typed questions and just read any of Anderson's longer answers, longer than hmmm ...more
Feb 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I finally finished this after being stuck in the Moonrise Kingdom section for months, probably because it's not one of my favorites. I really enjoyed reading about how WA got his start in filmmaking and who his influences are, however some of the author's interview questions were ho-hum. I want to hear more about casting, music selection and behind the scenes gossip. The photos and other artwork is great and reading this gave me more of an appreciation for The Darjeeling Limited, which is one of ...more
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
The content of the interviews is so-so but the pictures and photos are fabulous. I want to live in a Wes Anderson story. The interviews do not reveal much about Wes Anderson but perhaps it is good to not know much about an artist, it ruins the mystique.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I vowed, for this summer vacation, to truly relax and indulge in everything I had/have to give up during the school year (for lack of time). Reading and watching movies were both very high on my list (right after sleeping and walking, but not sleep-walking).

Getting down to business, I noticed, in late June, that The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou was now being shown on Netflix. I am a big Wes Anderson fan. (I think my first recognition that I was watching a Wes Anderson movie came with Fantasti
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2014
A chapter on each of the films up to Moonrise Kingdom including a review, interview, behind the scenes photos and drawings, and artwork. If you're a fan, this book is essential reading, primarily for the long form interviews where Wes and Matt discuss process and influences in great detail.
Mariana García
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book and all the images.

Its great to read it consciously, watching the movie first and then read the essay and the interview (which are not the greatest thing)

i really recommend it.
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It was hard to return this to the library! So much fun!
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Wes Anderson is my favorite director so I was very excited to dive into this very detailed collection of essays and interviews.

The essays, especially the introduction by Michael Chabon were incredible. All were very well written, very inciteful, and beautiful pieces on each of Anderson's works chronologically from Bottle Rocket through Moonrise Kingdom. The essays were written in a style that belonged in an Anderson film. Intracately disecting a character's motives and pulling on details that A
Mr. Allain
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a beautiful book that I would have gotten a lot out of it simply by flipping through the images. Yet, this book is more than a great collection of stills, production materials, and original artwork. In addition to all of the pretty pictures, you get a nice dose of film history, filmmaking techniques, and reflections on the artistic process as a whole.

It's just a shame that they completed this book a year before The Grand Budapest Hotel came out. In the closing pages, Seitz starts t
Evan Kirby
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
The biggest draw of this book by far is all the behind-the-scenes picture of Anderson and from the productions of all his films along with the accompanying illustrations. Where it detracts is the written sections, ie. the interviews with Anderson that span each of his films. Unfortunately, Anderson himself isn't the most talkative person, nor does he seem very content or interested in delving into various meanings behind his films. Not that he has to, but Zoller Seitz inserts a plethora of his o ...more
Jack Herbert Christal Gattanella
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bio
"Hmm"- Wes Anderson on (most) theories

"Half the time, when somebody has an issue and is worried about something not working, they might be right, and half the time it's easier. But half the time, the thing everybody thought was going to be no sweat is impossible. And movies are always like that - at least the movies I work on. What you're doing is something you've never quite done before, and when you're doing that, nobody knows what's going to happen, and you learn in the course of time not to
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Around the Year i...: The Wes Anderson Collection, by Matt Zoller Seitz 1 7 Jan 21, 2018 02:01PM  
  • Only Opal
  • Cassavetes on Cassavetes
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox: The Making of the Motion Picture
  • The Film That Changed My Life: 30 Directors on Their Epiphanies in the Dark
  • From Reverence to Rape: The Treatment of Women in the Movies
  • Scorsese on Scorsese
  • Rebels on the Backlot: Six Maverick Directors and How They Conquered the Hollywood Studio System
  • A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
  • Conversations with Woody Allen: His Films, the Movies, and Moviemaking
  • The Films in My Life
  • A Map of the World According to Illustrators and Storytellers
  • Goodbye Cinema, Hello Cinephilia: Film Culture in Transition
  • Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film
  • From Caligari to Hitler: A Psychological History of the German Film
  • The American Cinema: Directors and Directions, 1929-1968
  • Stanley Kubrick, Director: A Visual Analysis
  • Rookie Yearbook Two
  • Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty

Other books in the series

The Wes Anderson Collection (4 books)
  • The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Wes Anderson Collection: Bad Dads: Art Inspired by the Films of Wes Anderson
  • The Wes Anderson Collection: Isle of Dogs
“The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.”

There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives.

Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness.”
“The world is so big, so complicated, so replete with marvels and surprises that it takes years for most people to begin to notice that it is, also, irretrievably broken. We call this period of research “childhood.”

There follows a program of renewed inquiry, often involuntary, into the nature and effects of mortality, entropy, heartbreak, violence, failure, cowardice, duplicity, cruelty, and grief; the researcher learns their histories, and their bitter lessons, by heart. Along the way, he or she discovers that the world has been broken for as long as anyone can remember, and struggles to reconcile this fact with the ache of cosmic nostalgia that arises, from time to time, in the researcher’s heart: an intimation of vanished glory, of lost wholeness, a memory of the world unbroken. We call the moment at which this ache first arises “adolescence.” The feeling haunts people all their lives.

Everyone, sooner or later, gets a thorough schooling in brokenness. The question becomes: What to do with the pieces? Some people hunker down atop the local pile of ruins and make do, Bedouin tending their goats in the shade of shattered giants. Others set about breaking what remains of the world into bits ever smaller and more jagged, kicking through the rubble like kids running through piles of leaves. And some people, passing among the scattered pieces of that great overturned jigsaw puzzle, start to pick up a piece here, a piece there, with a vague yet irresistible notion that perhaps something might be done about putting the thing back together again.

Two difficulties with this latter scheme at once present themselves. First of all, we have only ever glimpsed, as if through half-closed lids, the picture on the lid of the jigsaw puzzle box. Second, no matter how diligent we have been about picking up pieces along the way, we will never have anywhere near enough of them to finish the job. The most we can hope to accomplish with our handful of salvaged bits—the bittersweet harvest of observation and experience—is to build a little world of our own. A scale model of that mysterious original, unbroken, half—remembered. Of course the worlds we build out of our store of fragments can be only approximations, partial and inaccurate. As representations of the vanished whole that haunts us, they must be accounted failures. And yet in that very failure, in their gaps and inaccuracies, they may yet be faithful maps, accurate scale models, of this beautiful and broken world. We call these scale models “works of art.”
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