Best Known For
Wes Anderson is known for the quirky and humorous films The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited and Fantastic Mr. Fox.
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However, it became apparent that in the realm of serious drama, they were "out of [their] element."
After this epiphany, Anderson and Wilson began to focus more on comedic plot elements, and the script for Bottle Rocket became a hard-to-label mix of comedy, romance and crime. Through Andrew Wilson's connections in the movie industry, the group was able to raise a small budget and a stock of film. Eventually these provisions ran out,
and the envisioned full-length movie had to become a short film.
The resulting short impressed a filmmaker named Kit Carson, and he showed it to producer Polly Pratt. Carson also pushed Anderson to enter the film in the Sundance Film Festival. It was met there with enthusiasm and came to the attention of director James L. Brooks, a partner of Pratt's. Through his connections at Columbia Pictures, Brooks got the film a larger budget, which eventually reached a respectable five million dollars. The feature-length film did not achieve box office success, but was generally praised by critics. Anderson won Best New Filmmaker at the MTV Movie Awards in 1996. Like most subsequent Anderson films, Bottle Rocket featured a soundtrack composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, founder of the band Devo. When the film came out on video, its audience grew.
After Bottle Rocket, Anderson and Owen Wilson went to work a second film, Rushmore. The story revolves around a teenager named Max Fischer, who suffers academically but thrives on extracurricular activities. Max, played by then-unknown Jason Schwartzman, attends a preparatory school much like the St. John's of Anderson's high school years. In another connection to Anderson's life, Max, like Anderson, creates elaborate plays that are performed at the school.
Disney chairman Joe Roth agreed to fund the Rushmore project, and the final version of the film generated far more pre-release buzz than had Bottle Rocket. The Critics Associations of both New York and Los Angeles declared Bill Murray best supporting actor of the year for his role as a wistful businessman who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Max. The film received rave critical reviews and was the subject of a wide publicity campaign. Still, the movie failed to gain a large audience, and though it was nominated for and received numerous critical awards (13 nominations and 11 wins), the Academy did not nominate the film in any Oscar category.
Mainstream success, though, was not far away. With the release of his third full-length film, The Royal Tenenbaums (again written with Owen Wilson), Anderson gained the combination of critical, box office and Academy notice that had so far eluded him. With an all-star cast that included Gene Hackman, Anjelica Houston, Gwyneth Paltrow, Danny Glover, Bill Murray, Ben Stiller and the increasingly famous Luke and Owen Wilson, Anderson describes the film as "...a New York film... about a family of -- quote unquote -- geniuses, and about their failure and their development as a family." The film grossed $50 million at the box office, received an Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, and enjoyed nearly unanimously critical praise.
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From the early days of film, directors have transported audiences from darkened movie theaters to memorable worlds of their own creations. Their artistic visions and technical innovations have made a lasting impression on cinema from early silent films, starring and directed by Charlie Chaplin, to the psychological thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock to the blockbuster hits of Steven Spielberg and so many more. Here is a look at the famous film directors who have made their mark on the big screen.
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