About 15 years ago I went to a hastily arranged screening for an obscure indie that was slated to play at the Riverview, which meant that it would be gone in a week.
But I went anyway, and was glad I did – the movie was fresh, energetic, stylish and seemed to herald a new, distinct voice. It was “Bottle Rocket,” Wes Anderson’s first film.
I liked his next, “Rushmore,” even better, happy to be part of the expanding Anderson bandwagon, which really started rolling with “The Royal Tenenbaums” -- right about the time I jumped off.
To me, “Tenenbaums” is where the director’s famous style started to stiffen. Fans love his “precision,” but his control had started to flatten his characters, and what had felt artfully arranged now felt mannered and thin. Ditto “Life Aquatic.” “Darjeeling” was a chore – the scene of Anderson’s three protagonists, in cute outfits, posing over the body of a drowned Indian child, struck me as very poorly judged, borderline offensive. (One of the men was Owen Wilson, and Slate published an interesting piece about his important writing contributions to Anderson’s early work).