A comprehensive list of Wes Anderson’s top 30 favourite films
Wes Anderson, the Academy Award-nominated director best known for his obsessively symmetrical compositions, is widely regarded as one of the leading filmmakers of modern cinema. His intoxicating mix of part dry humour, part stylised visuals and part heartfelt storyline, all mixed together with a hefty dollop of smarts has seen him become an auteur of his generation.
After starting out life in the film industry with his Owen Wilson-collaborated short film developed Bottle Rocket, Anderson would continue to keep his friends and colleagues close in the years that followed, building a unique style aesthetic in the process.
Projects such as Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou quickly followed and so did the critical and commercial success. Soon enough, the director had carved out his own perfectly curated niche. Strong relationships with the likes of Owen Wilson, Bill Murray, Luke Wilson and more had been established and the big-name accolades began to roll in. His command of such talent spoke even more highly than his vision.
“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 developed over 20 years of creation, 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.
In fact, when referencing Truffaut’s 1959 picture The 400 Blows, Anderson said: “This movie in particular I think was one of the reasons I started thinking I would like to try to make movies.”
Now, Indie Wire has collected a list of 30 films that Anderson has personally cited as his favourites. Full of wonderful collections of the director’s views on the selected films, Anderson describes A Clockwork Orange as a “fully-formed Stanley Kubrick,” before adding: “It’s a movie that’s very particularly designed and, you know, conjures up this world that you’ve never seen quite this way in a movie before, but at the same time there’s a great sort of spontaneity to it and tremendous energy. And both of those are very well adapted, good books.”
See the full list, below.
Wes Anderson’s top all-time 30 favourite films:
Toni – Jean Renoir, 1932.
Trouble in Paradise – Ernst Lubitsch, 1932.
Drunken Angel – Akira Kurosawa, 1948.
Stray Dog – Akira Kurosawa, 1949.
The Earrings of Madame de… – Max Ophüls, 1953.
Sweet Smell of Success – Alexander Mackendrick, 1957.
The 400 Blows – François Truffaut, 1959.
The Apartment – Billy Wilder, 1960.
Classe Tous Risques – Claude Sautet, 1960.
The Exterminating Angel – Luis Buñuel, 1962.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – Martin Ritt, 1965.
Au Hasard Balthazar – Robert Bresson, 1966.
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – Mike Nicholls, 1966.
The Taking of Power by Louis XIV – Roberto Rossellini, 1966.
Naked Childhood (L’Enfance nue) – Maurice Pialat, 1968.
Rosemary’s Baby – Roman Polanski, 1968.
A Clockwork Orange – Stanley Kubrick, 1971.
The Friends of Eddie Coyle – Peter Yates, 1973.
Next Stop, Greenwich Village – Paul Mazursky, 1976.
Vengeance Is Mine – Shohei Imamura, 1979.
From the Life of the Marionettes – Ingmar Bergman, 1980.
Missing – Costa-Gavras, 1982.
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters – Paul Schrader, 1985.
Hannah and Her Sisters – Woody Allen, 1986.
Moonstruck – Norman Jewison, 1987.
My Neighbor Totoro – Hayao Miyazaki, 1988.
New York Stories – Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, and Francis Ford Coppola, 1989.