I took a break from nonstop submission-viewing to check out The Life Aquatic by fellow UT alum Wes Anderson. (I say fellow alum, but he wasn’t a fellow film student, like some may assume) Here’s some of what struck me most:
1. It’s kind of interesting to observe Anderson’s most “exterior” film project. For the first time since Bottle Rocket, people are able to wander around, and this time, it’s on the ocean. The film’s ship – The Belafonte – is certainly a character much like the house in The Royal Tenenbaums, yet there’s a vast window in the sea that you didn’t get with New York in the last film.
2. Music supervisor Randall Poster is a total genius, and the proof this time is a soundtrack comprised of Portuguese covers of David Bowie songs. Priceless. Plus, Sigur Ros proves once again to be one of the most cinematic bands working today (see Gregg Araki’s Mysterious Skin for even more proof).
3. Why is Noah Taylor’s character named “Wolodarsky?” Obviously, it’s a reference to Wally Wolodarsky, director of the Pulp Fiction-wannabe, Coldblooded. Years later, he directed the cross-dressing comedy Sorority Boys. Wolodarsky had a bit part in Anderson’s Rushmore, so what’s the backstory?
4. Bud Cort pops up in the weirdest bit parts, considering most of us fondly remember him as Harold in Harold and Maude. He’s the “stooge” here, perhaps the most normal bit part after odd cameos in everything from Dogma to Made.
5. Wes Anderson should direct an action movie. There’s a sequence in Life Aquatic that plays incredibly well, and allows Anderson to flex directing muscles we never see. There were touches of it in Bottle Rocket, but in his new film, we really get to see that Anderson knows how to construct an exciting action sequence.