I have a complicated relationship with movie books. As much as I appreciate the valuable and reliable information that good publications of the kind provide, I usually avoid too many details about the movies I watch and love, just like I stay away from critic reviews, because I believe it is important that you (as a viewer and film lover, not a critic) imprint your own values and experiences on the films – therein lies the beauty of cinema, doesn’t it? – and not be interested too much in what the director personally is trying to communicate. I do enjoy certain interviews with directors though, mainly because I am interested in their inspirations and personal journeys, and especially if they themselves turn out to be reticent to explain their movies and to force their point of view – I think it is a proof of respect for the public. Wes Anderson is one such director, and his interview with Matt Zoller Seitz, the author of The Wes Anderson Collection, although book-long and guiding us through his filmography up until The Grand Budapest Hotel (too bad it wasn’t included, as the book was published before the film’s release), is relevant while leaving you room for thought and for your own interpretation of his works.
“Wes repeatedly told me it was important to communicate to readers, through tone and design, that the seven critical essays were my take on his work, that he himself neither approved nor disapproved of their observations, and that readers should feel that their own take was just as valid,” Seitz was telling Vulture magazine. It is true, The Wes Anderson Collection looks and feels like someone’s (the author’s) own personal view, a notable overlook on Anderson’s colourful, whimsical, and original storytelling.