So you may have noticed by now, that I and this blog go through certain periods of excitement related to one genre, artist or aesthetic. Some may call these periods of excitement 'phases'. But that is such a derogatory term.
My most recent period of excitement has reached me much later than I dare say it reached you. It is called 'the films of Wes Anderson.' (Or similar - we can call it whatever we want; Anderpheilia?? Sounds kinda dirty.).
It started a couple of months ago when I watched The Royal Tenenbaums for the first time, at a shockingly late age (I've just turned 24, incidentally. Practically an adult. A fucking ignorant one at that.). Then, last week at this theatre festival I've been mentioning and not divulging the details of (like a total thespian prick tease), I went to a lecture given by Mark Friedberg, the production designer of Synecdoche, New York, The Life Aquatic and The Darjeeling Limited. He was a total dude - like a beat poet lost in the hills of Hollywood, found years later with a half finished bottle of dark rum, a liquorish cigarette that went out ten years ago, and a suave pair of glasses that didn't quite help him find his way off Mulholland Drive. Well, he was sort of like that. The glasses part was true.
He informed us, in true beat fashion, in a sort of monotone soliloquy that almost lulled me into sleep in the best, most interesting kind of way, about the way he worked, working with Wes, et cetera, et cetera. One of his most startling facts was about the submarine in The Life Aquatic (yes, that one right there! The one which Bill Murray is in front of), which from conception to completion, took 48 hours. Apparently they were working to a crazy, erratic schedule. This is why i have moved away from design and into writing - I just can't hack the pressure. I am basically, a total flake. You could say that as the going got tough, I got going in the opposite direction - and now we have this blog, where, somewhat ironically, I spend most of my time discussing production design. WEIRD CIRCLE OF LIFE!
Anyway, he was very interesting, and is fuel to the fire of my most recent phase (damn it, I said it). I have recently watched The Darjeeling Limited for the first time, and while I thought it was a bit 'thank you india', it still won me over with its poignant and humorous style, sentiment and (of course), hilarious and striking production design. During his lecture, Mark Friedberg mentioned the eponymous train from the movie, about how difficult it was to procure from the Indian Railway Company, decorate and run. But the film company ended up employing many local craftsmen to decorate the interior of the train, giving it its authentic edge (authentic while remaining highly stylised - clearly). Yet another sudden alteration to the pattern of the film, so said Friedberg.
More pictures and so on coming from Prague soon. I believe it's still going on - if you live near and fancy a bit of theatre. And also a David Lynch post - I'm so fucking behind the times! But for now, one of my favorite musical passages from The Royal Tenenbaums. I love a bit of glazed-over Gwyneth.