I once saw a documentary on F.W. Murnau which explained how much he worried about creating universes that went beyond the confines of the filmstrip and what it recorded. This is why in movies like Sunrise he came up with elaborate set pieces which showed constant movement. Therefore we see people appearing from the sides, below and all possible places that made it seem as if the story being filmed was taking place not only to service the camera, but as an actual slice of life.
This is something that has never worried Wes Anderson. His movies are miniatures that take place in half-recognizable settings that we're supposed to think of as universal. The New York City of his The Royal Tenenbaums instantly springs to mind, particularly because its artifice never highlights the town that other artists obsess about. Anderson's obsession with perfect framing and symmetry often give his movies an unavoidable touch of whimsy and despite the fact that his work is extremely self indulgent, my favorite shot in this movie seems to add a bit of heart to this insularity.
- This post is part of Nat's Hit Me With Your Best Shot series.