director Wes Anderson
Felix has decided that Wes Anderson is his favorite director, and who am I to argue? I really like Anderson’s films. Some of them are favorites of mine as well.
I hadn’t seen Rushmore since it originally came out in 1998, the first of Anderson’s films that I saw. Unlike Felix, I only had Bottle Rocket (1996) of Anderson’s films to seek out at the time. I’ve kept up with him since then. Felix is interested in moving through them and I thought Rushmore might be a good place to start.
It’s funny, what you remember and what you don’t of a movie that you’ve seen nearly 20 years ago.
I’d forgotten that this was the film that introduced Jason Schwartzman, or that he was actually a teenager back then. I had recalled the battle between Schwartzman’s Max Fischer and Bill Murray’s Herman Blume over a teacher at the school. I’d forgotten how pretty Olivia Williams was (she’s shown up in a couple of more recent films that I’ve seen, the awful Seventh Son (2014) and the intriguing Maps to the Stars (2014)).
Felix noted how some of Anderson’s aesthetics had yet to come into full development, which is true, though this is the first that I think we see of some of his theater and artifice, what I’ve referenced as cinematic dioramas. You see this in particular in two pieces, the science fair displays and in Max’s many theatrical re-stagings of crime films.
The film seems to possibly be the most personal of Anderson’s films, though it’s hard to project on it like that, co-written as it was with Owen Wilson (as many of his best films have been). Maybe it’s Wilson’s most personal film? Max’s unending search for places in the school, clubs, teams, interests, while ignoring actual schoolwork, his eventual triumphant staging of elaborate dramas finds him his ultimate place in the world.
Felix enjoyed the film. As did I.