“The Grand Budapest Hotel” cleaned up with four Oscars this past Sunday. Though Wes Anderson didn’t win for directing or writing, nor did the picture take home awards for Cinematography, Editing, or Best Picture, the haul was more than many pundits predicted. More so, by earning trophies for costume, hair and makeup, production design, and score, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” proved beyond all doubt that the look of a Wes Anderson film is one of its most recognizable features.
Much attention and study is devoted to what exactly it is that defines the Wes Anderson aesthetic. In this new supercut, Rishi Kaneria proffers that one trait might be the director’s use of the colors red and yellow. At first, such a claim might sound a bit of a stretch. Over the course of eight features and numerous shorts, it’s beyond reasonable to assume, perhaps even expect, that red and yellow will show up multiple times. The notion is, at first, more fodder for a coincidence than anything else.
However, kudos are owed to Kaneria for an incredibly well made and edited argument. Seeing scenes from all eight features, as well as two shorts (“Hotel Chevalier” and “Castello Cavalcanti”), side by side, the point is well taken. I’ll readily admit, when I think about a Wes Anderson film — at least, when I used to — red and yellow never even made it into consideration. Now, however, because of Kaneria’s not-quite-two-minute video, I’ll keep a keen eye tuned to the colors Anderson employs. The prevalence of both red and yellow — independently and, surprisingly frequently, together — is staggering. They’re such vibrant, full colors, it’s impossible to consider any coincidental recurrence of either.
I’m probably in the majority here. Viewers with sharper, more attuned eyes likely picked up on Anderson’s use of red and yellow far sooner than I did (full disclosure, though, I’m partially colorblind, so I’ll use that as an excuse). Still, and for those — like me — who hadn’t pieced the pallet together yet, thanks to Rishi Kaneria for emphasizing the point. Watch the 112-second video below. [35MM]