Watch: Wes Anderson’s Symmetry Obsession Explored

Wes Anderson symmetry

Wes Anderson is the rare filmmaker with a style so distinctive, even the most casual filmgoer can immediately pick it out – whether it’s in an actual Wes Anderson movie or in an SNL parody. There are a lot of different elements that come together to make his movies look so unique, but one of his signatures – Wes Anderson’s symmetry obsession.

Check out a video that highlights that particular habit of Anderson’s after the jump.

“Wes Anderson // Centered” was posted by user kogonada on Vimeo (via Laughing Squid). The tune you’re hearing is Alexandre Desplat‘s “The New Lobby Boy,” from the Grand Budapest Hotel soundtrack.

There don’t seem to be any snippets from Bottle Rocket, Anderson’s first film ever, but every other feature is represented, from Rushmore to this month’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Wes Anderson Symmetry Obsession Video Essay

The video is really just a montage of some notable Anderson scenes, but it’s an interesting watch. The simple dotted line works really well to illustrate just how symmetrical Anderson’s framing and composition are. Kogonada injects his own sense of humor as well, giving the line a personality of its own at points.

Anderson has a reputation as a meticulous director, but even his fans may not have considered just how meticulous he is. Perfectly centered framing like this takes a lot of effort. And we do mean perfect. Every little detail, from the doors of a bus to a falling piece of paper to a lead actor’s nose, is carefully lined up in these shots.

If you liked that, the same user also has videos on Stanley Kubrick’s use of one-point perspective, Quentin Tarantino’s from-below shots, the sounds of Darren Aronofsky’s films, and more. He even has another one dedicated to Anderson — specifically, Anderson’s love of shots from above. Many of which, no surprise, happen to be very symmetrical as well.

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