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Wes Anderson: Why His Movies Matter (Modern Filmmakers) 1st Edition

1.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1598843521
ISBN-10: 1598843524
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Browning, PhD, is former senior lecturer in education at Bath Spa University, Bath, UK, and has taught widely in England and Germany, where he now lives as a teacher and freelance writer.

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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Filmmakers
  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger; 1 edition (February 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598843524
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598843521
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,717,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Hardcover
The first full-length text entirely devoted to Wes Anderson's films, Browning's endeavor seems to fill a notable void in the academic market. It is all too tempting for a film-scholar to pick-up this text blindly. This is a clever move on the author's behalf. Nonetheless, Browning's text is so riddled with inaccuracies and lengthy summaries that it quickly becomes difficult to ascribe any genuine value to it. Of equal concern, Browning relentlessly attacks Anderson's films - frequently branding them as failures. Written in the first-person plural, the text strikes an alarming discord with scholars interested in Anderson's artistry. The reader begins to resent Browning for including her/him in his venomous, erroneous "we" observations.

Inaccuracies permeate Browning's text. While some appear as innocuous typographical errors, many are the direct result of 1.) not consulting the script and 2.) relying entirely on memory. For example: in reference to The Life Aquatic, Browning quotes Steve Zissou's voice-over description of Ned Plimpton as "'energetic,' `spirited,' and `useful'" (56). The actual line from the film is "energetic, spirited, and youthful" [00:41:51]. This is a critical mistake since the character of Ned is painfully aware that he cannot contribute anything more than funds to the documentary's creation. It is Ned's youth (i.e. innocence) that makes him a refreshing, welcome addition to the weary crew. Misquoting a film can have disastrous consequences on one's argument -- and one's appearance as a scholar of this discipline. Perhaps even more revealing, Browning overlooks support for his own assertions when he fails to recall the details of a film.
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Format: Hardcover
In the synopsis of this book the publisher wrote, "He (Mark Browning) argues that, in Anderson's films, the style is the substance, and the apparent comedic superficiality is what actually provides depth." I found this comment to be quite the opposite. Browning didn't seem to get the comedic superficiality in Anderson's work and he frequently put down Anderson's films. This would be okay except for the fact that the title, "Wes Anderson: Why His Films Matter," is extremely misleading. Browning didn't seem to really know what he was writing about and why he was writing it. There were many typos, words misspelled, and names mixed up throughout this book. In the three chapters I did read, Browning seemed to get his facts from memory, resulting in not only grammatical inaccuracies but mess ups in the actual events of Anderson's films. Browning's summaries were unadorned and all over the place. For an author who is a teacher of English and Films studies, I would have expected better.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is extremely misleading. From the attractive cover to the information expected to lie within. Wes Anderson: Why His Movies Matter was full of grammatical and factual errors. It was as if the author watched the movie once and wrote this book from memory. There were far too many mix ups concerning information than there should be in any published book. The title of this book is also misleading. Instead of using information that would back up the title and discuss why Anderson's films matter the book seemed to point out the negatives. Not to mention all of the mistakes in the book almost made it comical to think the author actually believed that these films do matter.
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Format: Hardcover
From the readings in this book, it seemed that Browning seemed to dislike Anderson's films. It appeared to be that way because there were typographical errors everywhere, and mentioned that some of Anderson's work was a failure. I had not seen any of the movies by Anderson before I had read this book, and after seeing the movies after I had done the readings, the errors seemed clear and I did not agree with the negative tones of the author.
In the movie, The Darjeeling Limited, Browning adds in a character, Paul, and mentioned him a few times. Browning adds that "Paul shows Francis a tiny vest he has bought for the baby, suggesting he has come to terms with his responsibilities..."(85). In the movie, Peter is the one who bought the vest for his soon to be born child, and there is no mention of a Paul at all. Since I had not seen the movie and read the book first, I was very confused when I started reading about Paul. I had no idea if this character was real and once I saw the movie I was annoyed with the error that had occurred.
I had also read about the Fantastic Mr. Fox. The Fantastic Mr. Fox was a helpful reading to show how Anderson can turn an animated film based off a book into his own work. The reading explained the use of color and how Anderson used the author of the actual book, Roald Dahl's house for photographs to use in the film. A foggy area of this reading for me was pages 89-90. Browning was explaining Dahl's work in film but after two or three paragraphs the section became exhausting due to one movie reference after another. I understand he was trying to relate all the work, but none of the movies that were referenced were connected through his explanations.
After reading a few chapters of this book, I do not think that I would be able to read much more than my assigned work without becoming annoyed with it. I had been mislead with the readings I had already done and that alone shows me that this author does not truly admire Anderson's work.
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Wes Anderson: Why His Movies Matter (Modern Filmmakers)
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