Battle of Directors is a weekly column that pits two filmmakers against one another, sheds light on their respective filmographies, and then asks readers to state which director they prefer. Thoughtful discourse and discussion is encouraged and desired. Enjoy!
Each week I make a dutiful attempt to link two fascinating filmmakers together. It doesn’t always pan out the way I hope (look no further than our Woody Allen vs. Charlie Chaplin matchup), but nevertheless its something I enjoy constructing. This time around we have Wes Anderson vs. Quentin Tarantino.
Before your eyes begin to roll at the mere conceit, allow me to briefly state my case: both filmmakers have similarly amassed a cult-like following among cinephiles. Both filmmakers have developed their own distinguishable aesthetic, a sort of signature style visible through each of their movies: coincidentally, this happens to be (for both directors) their greatest virtue and vice. Both filmmakers are perpetually emulating and drawing from their personal favorite directors.
But most importantly, both Tarantino and Anderson continue to make films consumed by their own self-awareness. However, the major difference between the two directors lie within their content. There’s a clear dissonance between Anderson’s rose-colored lens of storytelling, and Tarantino’s pulpy one. Yet while one filmmaker is fixated on fictionally recreating historic and cultural movements (the Holocaust and slavery), and the other is obsessed with tackling the painstaking movement of falling in love, both live and die by the English language. I’m not sure we have two working auteurs today with a penchant for quick quips and pithy dialogue like Tarantino and Anderson.
Taking in the good with the bad, I’m sincerely grateful for both.
Seven example films from Wes Anderson:
The Royal Tenenbaums
The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
The Darjeeling Unlimited
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Seven example films from Quentin Tarantino:
Kill Bill: Volume 1
Kill Bill: Volume 2
So which filmmaker do you prefer? The choice is yours.