Bright Wall/Dark Room.
1 day ago
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Guess what?! 

Our fabulous art director and lead illustrator, Brianna Ashby, is now selling selected prints of her Bright Wall/Dark Room artwork from the past year—including this gorgeous Fantastic Mr. Fox watercolor portrait from our latest issue—for very reasonable prices.

There are currently 8 different prints available, and you’d be silly not to buy at least one as soon as humanly possible. To view and/or buy Brianna’s work, click here!

Guess what?!

Our fabulous art director and lead illustrator, Brianna Ashby, is now selling selected prints of her Bright Wall/Dark Room artwork from the past year—including this gorgeous Fantastic Mr. Fox watercolor portrait from our latest issue—for very reasonable prices.

There are currently 8 different prints available, and you’d be silly not to buy at least one as soon as humanly possible. To view and/or buy Brianna’s work, click here!

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2 days ago
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"Anderson describes The Royal Tenenbaums as a film about people who peaked early, whose best years are perhaps past.  In a way, the movie interrogates the implications: childhood and genius are two cherished states in Western art and culture.  Both seem to offer a less fractured sense of self; to allow one to conquer what might otherwise be unbearable; to be celebrated for achievements and indulged in unruly behaviors.
But the Tenenbaums’ genius is more coping mechanism than gift.  Royal is a pathological father – negligent toward Chas and his adopted daughter Margot, doting upon Richie only until his failure on the tennis court.  Royal possesses the same childish vendettas and selfish goals as Rushmore’s Max Fischer.  His wounded children seem to have been formed in reaction, elaborating their own intense interests and abilities to remedy his neglect.”
—Karina Wolf on The Royal Tenenbaums, "Les Enfants Terribles" (Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine, Issue #11, April 2014)

"Anderson describes The Royal Tenenbaums as a film about people who peaked early, whose best years are perhaps past.  In a way, the movie interrogates the implications: childhood and genius are two cherished states in Western art and culture.  Both seem to offer a less fractured sense of self; to allow one to conquer what might otherwise be unbearable; to be celebrated for achievements and indulged in unruly behaviors.

But the Tenenbaums’ genius is more coping mechanism than gift.  Royal is a pathological father – negligent toward Chas and his adopted daughter Margot, doting upon Richie only until his failure on the tennis court.  Royal possesses the same childish vendettas and selfish goals as Rushmore’s Max Fischer.  His wounded children seem to have been formed in reaction, elaborating their own intense interests and abilities to remedy his neglect.”

—Karina Wolf on The Royal Tenenbaums, "Les Enfants Terribles" (Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine, Issue #11, April 2014)

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5 days ago
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(illustration by Brianna Ashby)
"Bottle Rocket's great achievement, really the cornerstone of Anderson's whole career, is there even without any of the bold flourishes. It's in his un-ironic appreciation of genuine wonder, expressed in his characters' heartrending desire for love and understanding. It's there later when Zissou admits that twelve is his favourite age, when Royal embraces his inner child, when the Whitmans shuck off their heavy baggage, when Sam and Suzy declare their beach the Moonrise Kingdom. But it starts with Bottle Rocket.”
—Daniel Reynolds, "Growing Up with Bottle Rocket” (Bright Wall/Dark Room,Issue #11, April 2014)

(illustration by Brianna Ashby)

"Bottle Rocket's great achievement, really the cornerstone of Anderson's whole career, is there even without any of the bold flourishes. It's in his un-ironic appreciation of genuine wonder, expressed in his characters' heartrending desire for love and understanding. It's there later when Zissou admits that twelve is his favourite age, when Royal embraces his inner child, when the Whitmans shuck off their heavy baggage, when Sam and Suzy declare their beach the Moonrise Kingdom. But it starts with Bottle Rocket.”

—Daniel Reynolds"Growing Up with Bottle Rocket (Bright Wall/Dark Room,Issue #11, April 2014)

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6 days ago
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"Dignan appears from a life of quixotic schemes, a world where he is the hero of his own action movie, a leader of men. Owen’s energy is infectious. He was 26 when Bottle Rocket came out, with a crew cut and an incredibly broken nose, but he may just as well have been 13.”


—Daniel Reynolds, "Growing Up with Bottle Rocket (Bright Wall/Dark Room, Issue #11, April 2014)

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“The Andersons know violence and vengeance and they know love and compassion, and they know how to render these strange, often scary states of being honestly and gorgeously in ways that consistently surprise and confound. Think about how a viewer, after watching Rushmore and Magnolia back-to-back, would likely be hard-pressed to say with any real confidence whether Max Fischer loves his teacher Rosemary Cross any more than Quiz Kid Donnie Smith loves Brad, the bartender with the braces on his teeth. These mad and needy and bonkers-in-love relationships, among countless others that appear throughout each Anderson’s oeuvre, are never weighed or measured—rather, they’re rendered patiently and honestly, with compassion and complete openness in equal measure.  
We connect deeply to the Andersons’ films because each envelops us in a world that has been built for us from the ground up—and as each film starts to make sense to us, it becomes a sort of touchstone that aligns aesthetic and emotion. The world of Boogie Nights looks and sounds like this; watching Fantastic Mr. Fox makes me feel like that. Together, their films begin to offer us comfort and structure and familiarity (doesn’t watching the opening sequence of The Royal Tenenbaums feel rather a lot like listening to a favorite bedtime story?). The deeper reason, however, that we respond to these films in the ways we do, is that they let us see a hidden sliver of ourselves and of those around us. They let us flirt with danger, speed-date the scarier parts of our personalities, and then emerge with a larger, fuller understanding of the real ranges of our emotional lives. They let us try on the skins of people who are murderous or meek or desperately in love (or just desperate) and see how we feel about it. See what fits us best.”

—Alexandra Tanner, "I Just Wanna Feel Everything" (Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine, April 2014)
 

The Andersons know violence and vengeance and they know love and compassion, and they know how to render these strange, often scary states of being honestly and gorgeously in ways that consistently surprise and confound. Think about how a viewer, after watching Rushmore and Magnolia back-to-back, would likely be hard-pressed to say with any real confidence whether Max Fischer loves his teacher Rosemary Cross any more than Quiz Kid Donnie Smith loves Brad, the bartender with the braces on his teeth. These mad and needy and bonkers-in-love relationships, among countless others that appear throughout each Anderson’s oeuvre, are never weighed or measured—rather, they’re rendered patiently and honestly, with compassion and complete openness in equal measure.  

We connect deeply to the Andersons’ films because each envelops us in a world that has been built for us from the ground up—and as each film starts to make sense to us, it becomes a sort of touchstone that aligns aesthetic and emotion. The world of Boogie Nights looks and sounds like this; watching Fantastic Mr. Fox makes me feel like that. Together, their films begin to offer us comfort and structure and familiarity (doesn’t watching the opening sequence of The Royal Tenenbaums feel rather a lot like listening to a favorite bedtime story?). The deeper reason, however, that we respond to these films in the ways we do, is that they let us see a hidden sliver of ourselves and of those around us. They let us flirt with danger, speed-date the scarier parts of our personalities, and then emerge with a larger, fuller understanding of the real ranges of our emotional lives. They let us try on the skins of people who are murderous or meek or desperately in love (or just desperate) and see how we feel about it. See what fits us best.”

—Alexandra Tanner, "I Just Wanna Feel Everything" (Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine, April 2014)

 

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1 week ago
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ISSUE #11 IS NOW AVAILABLE! 
An entire issue focused on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson.
(Go, read, subscribe!)
—-
Bright Wall/Dark Room, April 2014: The Magnificent Andersons
Letter from the Editor (free)
No, Man, It’s Not Evil. It’s An Illusion.Elizabeth Cantwell on Boogie Nights
A Film in a Minor KeyAndrew Root on Magnolia
Like I’d Never Seen BeforeMichael Arbeiter on Punch-Drunk Love
I Just Wanna Feel EverythingAlexandra Tanner on Violence, Love, and Emotion in the Films of Wes and Paul Thomas Anderson
Growing Up with Bottle RocketDaniel Reynolds on Bottle Rocket
Les Enfants TerriblesKarina Wolf on The Royal Tenenbaums
I’m Trying to Tell You the Truth About MyselfBebe Ballroom on Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson is Looney TunesMichelle Said on The Grand Budapest Hotel
Is This the (Hyper) Real Life?a comic by Marieke Pras

ISSUE #11 IS NOW AVAILABLE! 

An entire issue focused on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson.

(Go, read, subscribe!)

—-

Bright Wall/Dark Room, April 2014: The Magnificent Andersons


Letter from the Editor
 (free)

No, Man, It’s Not Evil. It’s An Illusion.
Elizabeth Cantwell on Boogie Nights

A Film in a Minor Key
Andrew Root on Magnolia

Like I’d Never Seen Before
Michael Arbeiter on Punch-Drunk Love

I Just Wanna Feel Everything
Alexandra Tanner on Violence, Love, and Emotion in the Films of Wes and Paul Thomas Anderson

Growing Up with Bottle Rocket
Daniel Reynolds on Bottle Rocket

Les Enfants Terribles
Karina Wolf on The Royal Tenenbaums

I’m Trying to Tell You the Truth About Myself
Bebe Ballroom on Fantastic Mr. Fox

Wes Anderson is Looney Tunes
Michelle Said on The Grand Budapest Hotel

Is This the (Hyper) Real Life?
a comic by Marieke Pras

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1 week ago
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Coming very, very soon:
A brand new issue, focusing entirely on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson - get it the minute it’s available by subscribing to Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine now!
We’re putting the finishing touches on it as we speak, and can’t wait for you to see it. As our art director, Brianna Ashby, is possibly the biggest Wes Anderson fan on the planet (yes, she’s even had theme parties), you can just imagine how much fun she had doing the artwork for some of these. Consider this cover a taste of things come!

Coming very, very soon:

A brand new issue, focusing entirely on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson - get it the minute it’s available by subscribing to Bright Wall/Dark Room Magazine now!

We’re putting the finishing touches on it as we speak, and can’t wait for you to see it. As our art director, Brianna Ashby, is possibly the biggest Wes Anderson fan on the planet (yes, she’s even had theme parties), you can just imagine how much fun she had doing the artwork for some of these. Consider this cover a taste of things come!

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1 month ago
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Bill Murray, on acting in a Wes Anderson movie:
"We are promised very long hours and low wages. And stale bread. That’s pretty much it. It’s this crazy thing where you’re asked to come and work a lot, and you lose money on the job, because you wind up spending more in tips than you ever earn. But you get to see the world, and see Wes live this wonderful, magical life, where his dreamscape comes true. So, if we show up, he gets to have all his fun, and I guess it’s because we like him that we go along with this… 

…And, with Wes, specifically, all his props and sets are so perfect, you just have to relax and be part of the chemical process. It’s almost like the developing of a photograph. If you’re in the midst of it, you’re a part of it — this picture that he’s made. You’re like the flower in the still life."
Bill Murray, on acting in a Wes Anderson movie:
"We are promised very long hours and low wages. And stale bread. That’s pretty much it. It’s this crazy thing where you’re asked to come and work a lot, and you lose money on the job, because you wind up spending more in tips than you ever earn. But you get to see the world, and see Wes live this wonderful, magical life, where his dreamscape comes true. So, if we show up, he gets to have all his fun, and I guess it’s because we like him that we go along with this…

…And, with Wes, specifically, all his props and sets are so perfect, you just have to relax and be part of the chemical process. It’s almost like the developing of a photograph. If you’re in the midst of it, you’re a part of it — this picture that he’s made. You’re like the flower in the still life."

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1 month ago
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Do you want to write for Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine?
We are officially opening up the submission process for our April issue as of today. The issue will be titled "The Magnifcent Andersons" and will focus exclusively on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. At this point, we are specifically looking for essays on (or built around):
 Bottle RocketThe Life Aquatic w/ Steve ZissouThe Darjeeling Limited
Hard EightPunch-Drunk LoveThere Will Be BloodThe Master We will consider pitches until Wednesday, March 12th and, if your pitch makes the cut, then final essays will be due on March 31st.
So, if you have an idea, pitch, or full essay that you think might work for the issue, contact us via email (bwdr.editors@gmail.com) or pitch us something directly on our Submittable page. If it’s something we can work with, we’ll be in touch in the very near future — and you could see your piece published in our April issue!

Do you want to write for Bright Wall/Dark Room magazine?

We are officially opening up the submission process for our April issue as of today. The issue will be titled "The Magnifcent Andersons" and will focus exclusively on the films of Wes Anderson and Paul Thomas Anderson. At this point, we are specifically looking for essays on (or built around):

Bottle Rocket
The Life Aquatic w/ Steve Zissou
The Darjeeling Limited

Hard Eight
Punch-Drunk Love
There Will Be Blood
The Master
 
We will consider pitches until Wednesday, March 12th and, if your pitch makes the cut, then final essays will be due on March 31st.

So, if you have an idea, pitch, or full essay that you think might work for the issue, contact us via email (bwdr.editors@gmail.com) or pitch us something directly on our Submittable page. If it’s something we can work with, we’ll be in touch in the very near future — and you could see your piece published in our April issue!

Cite Arrow via brightwalldarkroom
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1 month ago
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A Speculative Wes Anderson Filmography (2015-2065)

image(illustration by Brianna Ashby)


by Andy Sturdevant


The Dreyfus Affair (2015)

Following two well-received films, Moonrise Kingdom (2012) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Anderson writes and directs a bizarre remake of the 1937 Paul Muni biopic The Life of Emile Zola, with Jason Schwartzmann in the lead role as Zola. Though the film wins praise for its meticulous art direction, carefully composed 19th-century Paris setting, and anachronistic Yves Montand soundtrack, critics savage the film. “He seems more interested in getting the waxed mustaches of French military officials correct than in understanding the life of Emile Zola,” complains one. Some over-analytical critics feel the film is a misguided attempt to refute the type of unsentimental naturalism Zola championed; others find this over-analytical criticism ridiculous and suspect Anderson simply wanted an excuse to make a movie with lots and lots of beautiful 19th-century Paris interiors. A slow-motion scene of Emile Zola purchasing a live lobster at the Saxe-Breteuil Market for dinner and silently walking back to his apartment to the strains of Montand’s “Les Feuilles Mortes” is particularly celebrated and/or lambasted.


The Last and Best of the Peter Pans (2017)

Anderson isolates himself in an furnished apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for several months with the complete unpublished works of J.D. Salinger, obtained from an unscrupulous rare book dealer. The screenplay he emerges with is an account of a wealthy young heir (played by John W. Stillman, Jr., son of Whit Stillman, in a breakout performance) who becomes the first male to graduate from a prestigious eastern women’s college. He subsequently strikes up an odd friendship with a self-sacrificing Pakistani ice cream man in Central Park. Some hail it as a return to form. Detractors agree, noting that the form being returned to is the form of “youthful, damaged elites in a romanticized New York City interacting with near-mute foreign-born stock characters.” Reviews are mixed.


The Sisters Tagliatelli (2019)

Anderson seems here to be self-consciously addressing his reputation for consistently writing thinly-developed female characters. “Three chic, mysterious women (Kat Denning, Kristen Stewart, and Emma Watson) silently and mirthlessly sit around an apartment in Venice smoking for two hours and listening to Leonard Cohen,” complains one critic. “Barely a movie,” grouses another. The film is light on dialogue, heavy on “Famous Blue Raincoat.”


Mission: Impossible X:II [aka M:I:X:II] (2022)

Inexplicable commercial forces compel Anderson to step in for an ailing Paul Thomas Anderson to direct Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible XII. Tom Cruise weighs 275 pounds and is former governor of Ohio. Adrien Brody and Luke Wilson play estranged twin brothers that force Cruise’s Ethan Hunt character out of retirement when they threaten to destroy Connecticut with invisible Tesla frequencies. The soundtrack is entirely pre-T. Rex Marc Bolan solo recordings. A box office disaster—and the beloved franchise lies dormant until it is reinvigorated four years later with Sofia Coppola’s reboot, The Impossible Mission.


The Black Maria (2025)

Anderson’s audacious attempt to make a feature-length commercial film using turn-of-the-twentieth-century silent kinetoscopic technology gets him exiled to France for ten years. The film features a grainy, stand-out performance from Anjelica Huston in her final role. The film is celebrated in certain neo-Luddite circles as America enters its sixth SuperRecession in ten years, but distribution is limited. Anderson’s insistence on a live piano score any time the film is publicly screened further cripples the film’s commercial prospects.

Rushmoreville (2035)

Anderson’s 35-years-later sequel to Rushmore, written with Owen Wilson and 100-year old fellow Texan Larry McMurtry, proves one of his most controversial films. Adrien Brody steps in for the tragically deceased Jason Schwartzmann. Max Fischer is now in his fifties and president of Bloom Amalgamated Offshore Manufacturing, Inc. He is confronted with the return to town of Margaret Yang, who harbors a painful secret. All assume Max and Margaret will resume their high school romance. Can these friends find equilibrium in middle age? Mixed reviews.

Seen Those English Dramas! (2037)

A well-received 4D concert film of peerless rock icons Vampire Weekend’s legendary thirtieth anniversary residency at Madison Square Garden. “Two timeless institutions make rock music history together,” enthuses one respected Internet commenter. “A bunch of twee old farts reliving the Noughties,” gripes a college-aged Internet commenter.

Well-Respected Men (2040)

The death of Ray Davies in 2040 at age 96 seems to have shaken Anderson and plunged him into a period of reflection. He isolates himself in an apartment in Lambeth, London for several months. The screenplay he emerges with is an account of two eccentric, emotionally-shattered musician brothers whose 1960s beat group travels from the UK to India in search of enlightenment with a large supporting cast of oddball characters. Internet commenters complain Anderson has been repeating himself for forty years, but Well-Respected Men sweeps the Oscars, including prizes for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and a long-denied award for Best Director. A generation of young American filmmakers, having weathered the hardships of a near-continuous series of SuperRecessions, idolize Anderson and admire the now-vanished, never-was world of affluence and whimsy his characters inhabit. The turbulent 2040s are marked by a resurgence of interest in Anderson’s work in the American film industry. However, by this time, the American film industry is generally considered by the rest of the world to be an inconsequential outpost for crass, post-Empire nostalgia; the world film establishment is unquestionably dominated by Bollywood. The new generation of celebrated young Indian filmmakers are unimpressed with Anderson’s body of work, and his popularity remains a strictly provincial Western phenomenon. The hero of all young Bollywood filmmakers during the 2040s? Andrew Bujalski.

This is Anderson’s final film before War Between the States II: This Time, It’s Personal tears the Republic into small warring factions in 2049, bringing large-scale American film production to a halt. Anderson retires to a villa in the People’s Republic of Greater Maine, where he dies peacefully in April 2065.

Andy Sturdevant is a writer and artist living in Minneapolis. He has written about art, history and culture for a variety of Twin Cities-based publications and websites, including mnartists.org, Rain Taxi, Mpls. St. Paul, and heavytable.com. He also writes "The Stroll," a weekly column on art and visual culture in the neighborhoods of Minneapolis-St. Paul for MinnPost. Many of these pieces are collected in his first book, Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow, published by Coffee House Press in 2013.

Editor’s note: in honor of today’s release of Wes Anderson’s brand new film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, we are running Andy Sturdevant’s essay from the inaugural issue of BW/DR Magazine on the site today in its entirety, for the very first time, for free. Happy Wes Anderson Release Day!

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