As we noted on Brow Beat in December, Wes Anderson’s influence has come to permeate not just the world of indie cinema, but also the world of television advertising—to decidedly mixed results. While many of these ads cop his stylistic tics, and in one case even the man’s look, they usually come up short of recreating the extent of his meticulousness, and his wit.
Anderson’s new ads—which were reportedly set to air during the Oscars, though I certainly didn’t see them in my market—show that there’s nothing like the real thing. To my eyes the first ad is the clear winner, but they both sport several of the director’s trademarks. The first is an almost self-parodic exercise in packing the frame with as much detail as possible. (It also all takes place in one apparently uninterrupted sequence, which is a very auteurist touch for a car commercial.) If the first one is more Royal Tenenbaums, then, the second is most Life Aquatic (it even sports a yellow submarine).
Anderson has done several other ads in the past—his American Express ad is the most famous—but these two spots seem to show his increased interest in kids and movies for the whole family. (His early movies often included child actors and adolescents, but the families tended to be broken, the relationships often Freudian.) Anderson’s upcoming Moonrise Kingdom, his follow-up to the PG-rated Fantastic Mr. Fox, has been rated PG-13—so you may still want to hire a babysitter—but Anderson seems increasingly comfortable as a family filmmaker.