Bottle Rocket. Released 17 years ago this month. I wound up seeing it after, with a head ache from rolling my eyes too hard, walking out of “Hamlet” with Kenneth Branagh and slipping into the adjoining theater at the Kabuki in San Francisco. I became a fan immediately and have been since, minor “Life Aquatic” grievances aside.
Wes Anderson’s short, shot four years prior in 1992 on stolen film from the University of Texas at Austin Film Department. One of the cinematographers, Barry Braverman, would later be referenced in Anderson’s 2001 “The Royal Tenanbaums”.
Narrator (Alec Baldwin) : “She was a playwright, and won a Braverman Grant of$50,000 in the ninth grade.”
A few years later, in the March 2000 issue of Esquire, Martin Scorsese would announce Anderson as the next Scorsese.

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  1. Rick says:

    I finally completed my Anderson collection this Christmas with Bottle Rocket. It’s great to see how a lot of themes carry over to his other films.

    I have to ask…If you had to rank them how would they stack up?

    • mrforts says:

      Rick, that’s a tough one.
      I’ve got this very personal, emotional connection to “Darjeeling” so that’d be up there.
      As would Chevalier, Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Tenenbaums and Moonrise (as well as his pretty great AmEx spot.)
      Somewhere below that broad middle swath of classics falls Fantastic Fox with Life Aquatic closely behind it.
      I do love them respectively for their own strengths (and even their weaknesses). Too difficult to place in any rational descending order.
      Already looking very much forward to The Grand Budapest Hotel. Great cast. As always.

      • Rick says:

        I’m right there with you with Darjeeling leading, although I always considered Hotel Chevalier attached to it since I saw them together. Then I’d say Moonrise and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I think Fox is stands out because it straddles a line between his regular tone and pioneering new ground. Then Rushmore, Bottle Rocket, Life Aquatic, and the Tenenbaums all depend on my mood at the moment.

        I’m excited about the cast of The Grand Budapest as well. It’s a good mix of old and new. Plus it’s great to have another Anderson film right around the corner.

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