Tag Archives: Wes Anderson

XL Popcorn – Rushmore

List Item: Watch all of the “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”
Progress: 653/1007
Title: Rushmore
Director: Wes Anderson
Year: 1998
Country: USA

I don’t know it took me this long to realise this but, if I actually put my mind to doing it, I could finish doing this list in year by watching one film a day. Now there’s no way that I would actually do this (and with Dekalog that wouldn’t be a realistic goal), it’s just nice to know that after 14 years of doing this list I have reached such a landmark.

Seeing how I’m at this point I guess I might as well watch one of the films I’ve been setting aside: Rushmore. I am such a big fan of Wes Anderson both in terms of his visual style and the offbeat stories that he likes to tell. It’s good to know that his idiosyncratic trademarks are present as far back as Rushmore (I assume their there in his debut film Bottle Rocket – it’s just that this is the only one of his films I’ve yet to see).

Rushmore is an interesting watch for a number of reasons. First and foremost it’s just a really good film with a lot of the weird sense of humour that characterises a Wes Anderson. By the time you’ve gotten to the montage of extracurricular clubs run by protagonist Max Fischer (an excellent Jason Schwartzman in his debut role) you are under illusion of who made this film.

The setting of  Rushmore was inspired by the private preparatory school that Owen Wilson was expelled from. At the centre of the story is Max, a scholarship student who is good at running extracurricular clubs and staging plays… but he’s flunking his actual schoolwork. What unfolds is a weird coming of age story as he falls in love with a teacher (Olivia Williams) and befriends a far older man (Bill Murray).

It’s remarkable to think that Rushmore is the film that helped to create the second half of Bill Murray’s career as an independant film actor. In a way, it’s thanks to Rushmore that he ended getting his Oscar nomination for Lost In Translation. Also, I’m not entirely sure who else could have played this role other than Bill Murray.

So yes, great film with an excellent use of bees as a revenge tactic.

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