In the first part of a five-part series, Matt Zoller Seitz examines the influences that have shaped Wes Anderson’s films.
When I interviewed Anderson for a 1998 Star-Ledger article about A Charlie Brown Christmas, directed by the late animator Bill Melendez, Anderson cited Melendez as one of three major influences on his work, so we’ll start there. Anderson told me that he and his screenwriting collaborator, Owen Wilson, conceived Rushmore hero Max Fischer as Charlie Brown plus Snoopy. He said that Miss Cross, the teacher Max adores and will draw into a weirdly Freudian love triangle with the industrialist Mr. Blume, is a combination of Charlie Brown’s teacher and his unattainable love object, the little red-haired girl.
The video (located in the right sidebar) takes longer to watch than it does to read the text, but the visual comparisons are worth it. Unfortunately, the photo gallery leaves a lot to be desired. Anderson’s films are so visually rich, I was hoping for something, well, a bit more. I can’t wait to read parts 2-5, however. Part 2 hits sometime later today.