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From Spike Lee to David Lean: Wes Anderson lists his 11 favourite films of all time


Wes Anderson, the Academy Award-nominated director best known for his obsessively symmetrical creations and a style so uniquely his own, has picked out a selection of movies that he calls his favourites.

Widely regarded as one of the leading filmmakers of modern cinema, Anderson’s mix of humour, stylish set design, cohesive colour palette and a heartfelt storyline, has established him as one of the filmmakers of a generation. To further cement his legacy, Anderson has released now-iconic pictures such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tenenbaums, Isle of Dogs and more as we wait patiently for his latest effort, The French Dispatch, which has been delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets,” Anderson once said of his style. “There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It’s sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I’ve made the decision: I’m going to write in my own handwriting.”

He added: “Usually when I’m making a movie, what I have in mind first, for the visuals, is how we can stage the scenes to bring them more to life in the most interesting way, and then how we can make a world for the story that the audience hasn’t quite been in before.”

While Anderson’s stylistic vision has been evolving over 20 years within the industry, the director has always been open in discussing those that proceeded him as inspirations, citing the likes of François Truffaut, Roman Polanski, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen and more as influences. More recently though, as part of an interview with The New York Times, Anderson explained how he has spent the coronavirus lockdown watching a new movie every night with his family. It is a period of flux that has allowed a moment of reflection, to revisit past cinematic pictures that triumphed in their own right.

“I have a four-year-old daughter so, like many others in our situation, I am now a part-time amateur school teacher,” Anderson said of his lockdown environment. “Much of what I am reading has to do with ancient Egypt, dinosaurs, insects, and the Amazon rainforest.”

However, away from teaching and reading, it is in the movies that Anderson has had time to explore. While he has never been shy to name a selection of his favourite cinematic pictures in the past, the time in a socially distanced lockdown has allowed for a refresher of sorts. To coincide, the filmmaker has named a revised list of his favourite films.

Expect to see the likes of Spike Lee, David Lean, John Ford and more. See the full list, below.

Wes Anderson’s 11 favourite films:

  • Alice Adams – George Stevens
  • Beat the Devil – John Huston
  • Nothing Sacred – William A. Wellman
  • Do the Right Thing – Spike Lee
  • The Long Voyage Home – John Ford
  • A Story from Chikamatsu – Kenji Mizoguchi
  • La Grande Bouffe – Marco Ferreri
  • The Passionate Friends – David Lean
  • Station Six-Sahara – Seth Holt
  • What Price Hollywood? – George Cukor
  • Winter Kills – William Richert

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