By Peter C. Kunze (eds.)
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Extra info for The Films of Wes Anderson: Critical Essays on an Indiewood Icon
Following Sconce’s discussion of Anderson within the smart aesthetic, this mode of delivery has frequently been described as “deadpan” (Sconce 349–69). Indeed, Anderson often frames his actors in close-up, static shots, with focus on the characters’ motionless faces (Peberdy 56). However, as Donna Peberdy notes, deadpan performance does not equate “motionless” with “emotionless” in the Andersonian context, but rather the blocking of emotion. As Anderson lingers on deadpan expressions, the minute details of the characters’ faces become amplified in the absence of more distinct visual representations of emotion (Peberdy 56–59).
Partly because of their presentational neatness, there is a degree of ‘selfconsciousness’ to such shots” (8). In addition to self-conscious performance, Anderson’s characters deliver dialogue in off-kilter, straight tones and unexpected expressions. Following Sconce’s discussion of Anderson within the smart aesthetic, this mode of delivery has frequently been described as “deadpan” (Sconce 349–69). Indeed, Anderson often frames his actors in close-up, static shots, with focus on the characters’ motionless faces (Peberdy 56).
At the end of the film, as the pair sit on the THE JELLYFISH AND THE MOONLIGHT 47 Tenenbaum rooftop, Margot lights two cigarettes—those objects that have throughout the film indicated the emotions she keeps buried away, inexpressible—but, this time, she shares one with Richie. Now, another song (Nico’s “Fairest of the Seasons”) is cued on the soundtrack—this time, however, by Anderson, and not by his characters—a sign once again that in The Royal Tenenbaums, it is Anderson, not Richie or Margot, who is in a better position to create aesthetic events that might forge new ideas of family.
The Films of Wes Anderson: Critical Essays on an Indiewood Icon by Peter C. Kunze (eds.)