Wes Anderson’s Commercials (2012)

In addition to the release of his feature MOONRISE KINGDOM and its short companion piece COUSIN BEN TROOP SCREENING, director Wes Anderson’s already-busy 2012 was made even busier with a trio of new commercial works.  Anderson’s unique artistic style had been employed in service to various lifestyle and luxury brands before, and now he was expanding into the automotive and telecommunications realm.


Anderson directed two spots for Hyundai, each one employing a particular facet of his aesthetic.  “MODERN LIFE” features a domestically chaotic scene of a cook preparing dinner for his family, rendered in flat, centered compositions that employ lateral camera movements to change our perspective while keeping energy up.  While there’s certainly a stagecraft-y, cross-section sensibility to this spot, “TALK TO MY CAR” tackles this aspect of Anderson’s creative outlook more directly.  “TALK TO MY CAR” combines a handcrafted appraoch to production design with old-fashioned rear projection techniques to realize the concept of a family driving their Hyundai through various times and story genres.  The midcentury “mod” color palette Anderson employs here is somewhat reminiscent of the sartorial palette of Suzy, MOONRISE KINGDOM’s pint-sized female protagonist.


Anderson’s third spot during this period was for Sony Xperia, and it saw the director reunited with his stop-motion animation collaborators from 2009’s FANTASTIC MR. FOX.  Titled “MADE OF IMAGINATION”, the spot features whimsically handcrafted and animated robots careening around busy cross-sectioned vignettes.  Besides replicating Anderson’s trademark diorama-style compositions and signature camera movements, “MADE OF IMAGINATION” speaks to Anderson’s tendency to imbue his work with a childlike perspective, as evidenced here by casting a young boy as the spot’s narrator.