Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘Darjeeling Limited

I Regret to Inform You

with 2 comments

The Wes Anderson Power Rankings 2018:

1. Rushmore (1998)
1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) (tie)
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
4. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
5. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
6. “Hotel Chevalier” & The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
7. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
8. Bottle Rocket (1996)
9. Isle of Dogs (2018)

I thank you for your support at this difficult time.

UPDATED with some thoughts from Twitter this morning:

Wes Anderson Movies Power Ranking 2014

with 10 comments

1. Rushmore (1998)
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
4. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
5. “Hotel Chevalier” & The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
7. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
8. Bottle Rocket (1996)

In general I would say that Anderson’s career seems to me to be divided between two clear periods: films about failed genius (Bottle Rocket through Darjeelingand about fairy-tale genius (Fantastic through Hotel.) That is: in the first period we find characters whose attempts to realize their creative potential are hamstrung by their inability to move past sadness, with the arc of the movie generally allowing them to expiate that sadness and move on (Max finds love and can write again; Royal’s children forgive him; Zissou grieves; the brothers literally abandon the baggage they’ve been carrying around the entire film). But the films of the second period, unlike the first, are dominated by characters who cannot lose: Mr. Fox is temporarily troubled but ultimately unflappable, always fantastic; Suzy and Sam are able to bend the unforgiving adult world to the service of their love; M. Gustave’s poise, control, and total mastery over social convention never fail him except in the face of maximum fascism in the moment of his heroic death. The all-pervading sadness of the first films persists in the fairy tale films, but only in the background, in the side characters who threaten to, but never quite, take over the main narrative: F. Murray Abraham’s adult Zero; The Bishops and Captain Sharp; Fox’s less-than-fantastic son. My gloss on Anderson’s recent “fairy tale” films is that they feel, generally, like the stories the characters from the “failed genius” period attempted, but failed, to craft about themselves. Moonrise Kingdom feels very strongly like one of Max’s or Margot’s plays; the story the Reader reads of the Author’s recounting of Zero’s telling of M. Gustave’s life feels like a cut from one of the films from the heroic era of Zissou Society, and is quite literally the lie Royal gets engraved on his tombstone: “Died tragically rescuing his [friend] from the wreckage of a [country sinking into fascism].” The ironic cruel-optimism gap between potential and reality that dominated the early films, that crucial space of failure, is strongly pushed off center stage in the later ones — and I think that’s why, while I love them all, I think the later ones are generally a bit worse.

But I wonder if The Grand Budapest Hotel won’t improve a bit, in my estimation, upon subsequent viewings; while a strong sense of entropic breakdown runs throughout the setting, especially in the subtle architectural sublime of the Budapest itself as it falls into ruin, the anti-climatic “shock” of the abrupt ending permanently hurls us out of the fairy tale back to a world structured by failure and loss. Unlike Fox and Moonrise, which never deviate from the inner logic of a children’s story, The Grand Budapest Hotel can really only be viewed that way once. When M. Gustave’s magic finally fails at the end of the film, as it always had to, the fairy tale dispells and only the elegy is left; we’re actually left at the end of Hotel in a world darker and sadder than any found in the earlier films, a world where we seem to have neither the compensations of art nor friendship, where grief never fades, where the intricately constructed dollhouse becomes instead a tomb.

Finally My Condition Has a Name

with one comment

Rocking Thursday Night

leave a comment »

Just Another Thursday Night Linkdump

with 2 comments

* Bad news, grad students: Lack of sleep linked to early death.

* Joe Lieberman thinks he’s found a loophole in that silly Constitution thing: revoking the citizenship of suspected terrorists. It’s a great idea that has no possible downside and could never be abused.

* Oh, and Lieberman’s take on the Gulf of Mexico disaster is “Accidents happen.” What could possibly go wrong, that hasn’t already gone wrong, to convince these people that offshore drilling isn’t worth it?

* Democrats demoralized. I wonder why.

* Supreme Court Upholds Freedom Of Speech In Obscenity-Filled Ruling.

* Facebook doing everything wrong.

* The flooding in Nashville has now been declared a national emergency. The Big Picture has pictures of what’s happening there.

* Genetically engineered crops lead to genetically engineered weeds. Via MetaFilter.

* The FCC will reclassify broadband in order to preserve its ability to protect net neutrality.

* Natural Catalogue (in Alphabetic Order). Photos from Agata Marzecova.

* Eric Cantor booed by Heritage Foundation audience for refusing to name Obama a “domestic enemy.” The lunatics are running the asylum.

* Matt Yglesias covers some important bipartisanship cooperation from the U.S. Senate.

* Oil disaster update: Less than a week after British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and unleashing what could be the worst industrial environmental disaster in U.S. history, the company announced more than $6 billion in profits for the first quarter of 2010, more than doubling profits from the same period the year before. Robert F. Kennedy explores the Cheney connection, while Nicole Allan blames Halliburton.

* Hope: The Tucson and Flagstaff city councils voted Tuesday to sue Arizona over its tough new immigration law, citing concerns about enforcement costs and negative effects on the state’s tourism industry.

* The Darjeeling Limited coming to the Criterion Collection.

* Horse names from The Wire.

* Tough but fair: Goran Tunjic carded for fatal heart attack during soccer game.

* And your feel-good/feel-terrible story of the day: Local boy with cancer turns into a superhero for a day.

Wes Anderson Cornell Boxes

with 3 comments

Photos of Jaimee’s Wes Anderson Cornell boxes, at Flickr.

A Few for Wednesday

with one comment

I hate to bury the more important Afghanistan posts, but I’ve been working hard to avoid my work this morning and I wanted to memorialize my efforts with a linkdump.

* Via The Rushmore Academy, Richard Brody says The Darjeeling Limited is the second-best film of the decade. Coming as this does just one day after a lunchtime argument with Ryan over whether Wes Anderson is a “serious” filmmaker, I think my affirmative case has now been definitively proved.

* Matt Yglesias had a good post this morning on the way institutional pressures in the military-industrial complex drag America’s foreign policy to the right no matter who is president.

* Bad behavior from conservative Democrats in the Senate has put Snowe and Collins’s votes back in play on health care.

* UC-San Diego’s Gordon H. Hansen: Despite all this, illegal immigration’s overall impact on the US economy is small. Low-skilled native workers who compete with unauthorized immigrants are the clearest losers. US employers, on the other hand, gain from lower labor costs and the ability to use their land, capital, and technology more productively. The stakes are highest for the unauthorized immigrants themselves, who see very substantial income gains after migrating. If we exclude these immigrants from the calculus, however (as domestic policymakers are naturally inclined to do), the small net gain that remains after subtracting US workers’ losses from US employers’ gains is tiny. And if we account for the small fiscal burden that unauthorized immigrants impose, the overall economic benefit is close enough to zero to be essentially a wash. The bolded phrase represents the reason why, despite ongoing shrieking nativism from the Republican party base, immigration reform never actually occurs. (via @mattoyeah)

* Kottke: Photos of Dubai in decline are the new photos of Detroit in decline. Have to admit I laughed at Stewart’s sad “It’s now Du-sell” pun last night.

* And Scott Lemieux has today’s deep thought.

I am absolutely shocked that, despite a near-total lack of precedent, a wealthy professional athlete has engaged in sexual relations with persons to whom he is not married, and I hope that cable news will devote more time to these remarkably surprising and important revelations.