Windows are the Eyes to Wes Anderson’s Cinema

By  · Published on November 17th, 2016

A montage explores the director’s use of these everyday object.

In the very first scene of the very first feature film by Wes Anderson, Bottle Rocket, the camera is outside a window as Luke Wilson approaches it, opens it, and looks out. With that one basic gesture the director introduced the world to his particular brand of cinema, one that reflects life but in an whimsically artificial way, a way that doesn’t shy from its medium but rather uses it to enhance the narrative, something Anderson also uses title cards, obvious set dressings, narration, and other theatrical elements to achieve. And while these techniques vary from film to film, what doesn’t seem to is Anderson’s appreciation for the narrative possibilities presented by windows.


In the following video for Fandor by Clara Podlesnigg, the various ways Anderson uses windows are explored. There are windows as vessels for looking out on the world or looking in on a more intimate environment. There are windows as means of escape from a situation that can’t be faced. There are windows as framing devices, either for a scene, or for ‐ as in the opening of Bottle Rocket ‐ the entire film.

Podlesnigg has stitched together examples of these uses from each of Anderson’s films into a concise montage that highlights the architectural elements that help construct his specific narrative structure.

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