Journo pally: “I distrust the influence of Wes Anderson. Because it seems to be everywhere, and it’s fascinating. One of my colleagues has been teaching film classes at college level, and the #1 filmmaker all the seniors want to be is Wes. Ari Aster is a case in point. He’s got the worst of Wes’s fussiness but none of his narrative gifts, and is just as ham-handed with his performances. Midsommar, though, is not as badly acted as Hereditary.”

Comment from HE reader “JD”, posted 12 years ago: “His movies have a child-like surface because that makes for a more potent, dynamic juxtaposition with the films’ darker undercurrents. His films are subversive for precisely this reason: the characters (like Anderson himself…and possibly his audience) are trying to hide from their very real, adult pain in the surface comforts and curiosities of childhood…but it doesn’t work. In all of his films, Anderson calls himself on his love of all things innocent and youthful, creating a conflict of substance and style that’s tremendously rich and rewarding.

“In essence, he makes children’s movies and/or fairy tales for adults with an interest in art films, literature, and rock ‘n’ roll. If you ask me, that’s an incredibly bold and original approach and one that is certainly worth revisiting in different genres/narrative contexts.”

Posted by “Milk Man,” posted on 9.24.07: “Wes Anderson should make himself the star of his own movies, like Woody Allen. The only thing left for Wes Anderson to do is make Wes Anderson the subject and object of Wes Anderson’s desire. That being said, Wes Anderson always makes me feel a touch claustrophobic. For the rest of my time here I’m going to have to see him and hear about him and his persona is never going to change. In fifty years, assuming I haven’t already dropped dead, he’ll be wearing the same clothes and looking into the camera with the same affectless mask.

“Don’t get me wrong — the man is a great filmmaker and one of the preeminent tastemakers of the current targeted demographic, but there is no there there. It’s just the fact the he’s so fixed and rigid that makes me kind of itchy. I feel the same way about Tarantino. Both of them are obviously madly in love with their calculated public images. But in the end it’s not about them, or it shouldn’t be. It’s about the movies. And whether or not the movies can survive the endless self-love of the men who created them remains to be seen.”

The French Dispatch (Fox Searchlight/Disney 1.22.20) is an upcoming American-German comedy-drama, written and directed by Wes Anderson. Costarring Frances McDormand, Bill Murray. Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Benicio del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, Elisabeth Moss, Willem Dafoe, Christoph Waltz, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman, Lois Smith, Bob Balaban, Henry Winkler, Mathieu Amalric, Rupert Friend, Griffin Dunne and Steve Park