Wes Anderson loves montages. LOVES them. They are the most economical way to give your films a range of looks and locations, and a sneaky way to help add depth to the characters while playing rare concert bootlegs from The Who. Any one of his films have at least nineteen of them. Anderson employs this classic device mostly while a main character reads a letter they’ve written aloud. While they verbally state their intentions, we see the action play out visually.
The friendship of Herman Blume and Max Fischer quickly spurned into a rivalry when a love interest became involved. This lead to an escalating series of payback and one upmanship that features a grown man destroying a 15-year old’s bike. Inappropriateness around children was ratcheted up in The Royal Tenenbaums when Gene Hackman‘s patriach takes delight in teaching his grandsons to smash car windshields to the chagrin of his own emotionally mixed-up kids. Not to mention Bill Murray’s Raleigh St. Clair’s repeated experiments on Dudley.
The above frame of Edward Norton as a butt-smoking scoutmaster has me more pumped for Moonrise Kingdom than any other moment in the trailer.
You can’t kick off a montage set to music without seeing the romantic swirl of a vinyl disc spinning on a record player. Record players also conjure a more intimate feel with the music visually as evidenced in the tent scene between Margot and Richie Tenenbaum as they listen to the Rolling Stones. The confined space, vulnerable conversation, and crackle and hiss came together to build one of Anderson’s finest scenes.