What’s Wrong With Our Wes Anderson Story?
Nothin’! So say most respondents, such as Eliza High from Philadelphia, who found Joe Donnelly’s Nov. 20 cover story “a wonderfully written, insightful piece that gave us just the right glimpse into the complex world of a unique and treasured director.”
“Loved the article,” writes Jess, down in Melbourne, Australia. “To hear that critics and viewers don’t like some of Wes Anderson’s movies, strangely, makes me feel a little special. What a quirky, fantastic director.”
So is it love for the story or love for the director? It’s a little bit of both: “Great article, thank you,” says Scott Cannon from Los Angeles. “Here’s a man conforming to nothing, aware of the criticisms, obviously affected by them, and continuing to create what he wants. ‘In the end, I just do whatever I do, probably,’ [says Anderson]. In a world where film is our highest art form and we’re constantly bludgeoned with mindless entertainment, I thank Mr. Anderson for continuing to express himself however he sees fit. I don’t walk out of a Wes Anderson film the same way I did pre–Life Aquatic. If that’s not worth $15 at the ArcLight, I don’t know what is. Was Fantastic Mr. Fox good? I don’t know, but it was beautiful. The guy opens himself up to the world in every film he makes; bash him if you will, but at least he’s an artist helping us use our brains.”
Speaking of using our brains, Donald from Chicago, was there something you didn’t get about the story being a 10-year anniversary of Donnelly and Anderson’s road trip together? “Why can’t writers in L.A. just focus on their interview subjects without puking out a self-obsessed lead to contextualize themselves into a story?” wonders Donald. “I don’t give a shit how much you paid for breakfast.”
Donald wasn’t alone in objecting to the “we” factor. Jen Lewis from Los Angeles also had a pointed question, and a rather over-the-top answer: “Was this interview about Wes Anderson or you hanging out with Wes Anderson? It’s this kind of so-called journalism that gives a bad name to all journalists.”
Geez, Jen, it was just breakfast.
Winter of Y(our) Discontent
A more valuable criticism of Donnelly’s piece, and our editing of it, comes from Kurt Winter from New York, who notes that “Wes Anderson was born in 1969, solid Generation X. He speaks for and is of Generation X. If you are looking for Generation Y, please take a seat in the next showing of New Moon.”
Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. Winter.
Can You Psay “Psorry”?
As for our recent cover story on the two Florida computer programmers taking on Apple, doh! The article (“Worms in the Apple,” by Tim Elfrink, Nov. 13) showed how Psystar, a company run by brothers Robert and Rudy Pedraza, came to sell Mac knockoffs by installing OS X, Apple’s operating system, in inexpensive hardware. When Apple sued, the Pedrazas fought back in (California) court. The story presented the Pedrazas as “two rebels tak[ing] on America’s most beloved computer company,” but a few readers beg to differ. “Get over it,” writes Jarle Bernhoft from Los Angeles. “These aren’t geniuses, all they do is commercialize a well-known practice for hacking OS X so it can run on a freaking PC. Hurray! Two dudes are selling OS X boxes for $599. FYI, last time I checked you could actually get a Mac for just about that.”
Claire from Omaha also has a beef with Psystar: “Apple licensing agreement (which you must agree to in order to install) clearly states the acceptable uses of their software. This is not a monopoly case. These two are trying to make a buck while they get publicity. No geniuses at all. Hope they go to jail.”
Well, Claire, we don’t know about jail, but on Nov. 16, the California Court ruled against Psystar and the Pedrazas. Now, can’t we all just get along back to the Mac store?
Oh My God, What Venom
That is the subject heading in Joel J. Rane’s thoughtful e-mail to us from L.A.: “Ordinarily I wouldn’t complain about a poor review of a movie I liked in the Weekly, or a good review of some art film that bored. I’ve been reading your paper for decades, and your critics always have an ax to grind. No problem.
“But snark was reduced to juvenile venom in Nick Pinkerton’s review of Oh My God (Nov. 13). His kind of personal attack on a filmmaker, especially a first-time filmmaker, is better suited to a wannabe punk writing for a high school newspaper. Mr. Pinkerton apparently had a bad ecstasy trip in the early ’90s, so visceral is his reaction to the music in this film. While I don’t particularly like that aesthetic myself (I was a bartender at an underground club then … yeecch), I tolerate it as I appreciate the kind of religious tolerance the film promotes. Yeah, world beat, visual beauty and spiritual harmony may seem like corny shit to an immature brat, but in an age when millions of people could die in the name of their “god,” I give a lot of leeway to a man brave enough to go out into the world without an agenda and film his personal journey into answering the real question: Can we live together, not just in snarky, smarmy L.A., but with the rest of planet Earth?
“Apparently this idea went over Mr. Pinkerton’s head; he heard the music and Mr. Rodger’s English accent, applied a prejudice about contemporary film, and stuck to it. Of course the film says ‘nothing original or even interesting’ to Mr. Pinkerton, because he’s already figured out all the answers and reacts more as a know-it-all than a film critic. There are some questions that bear repeating, even if he doesn’t like the presentation. Not everyone has his godlike omniscience.”
Wes Stands Corrected
Wesley Wales Anderson has informed us that despite the 1,170,000 Google entries to the contrary, he has only three names. None of which was without representation on his monogrammed oxford shirt.
We Want Mail
The Weekly invites comments from readers. We prefer letters that are signed and include a phone number for verification. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.