An Auteurist Critique of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Essay

999 WordsApr 11, 20144 Pages
An Auteurist Critique of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou Wes Anderson is a world-renowned filmmaker known for creating vividly colorful films that are consistent with his auteur signature. Though he has only directed 7 films (not including his upcoming film and two short films), he is a perfect example of how even a small body of work can demonstrate auteur theory. Anderson’s films have frequent themes, visual and methodological style and he even uses a lot of the same actors in most of his films. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) is a great example to demonstrate Wes Anderson’s stylistic use of pastel color schemes, symmetrical shot composition, and thematic use of story elements such as trust, acceptance, child-like…show more content…
When confronted by a reporter aboard his ship about his latest documentary, Steve resorts to childish name calling instead of accepting the fact that his opinion is not the only opinion. Steve Zissou shows no hesitation risking his own life and that of his crew when searching for a mysterious shark that ate his friend and fellow colleague. Anderson commonly uses family issues as a thematic device in all of his films. Steve Zissou’s long forgotten son, Ned Plimpton, suddenly shows up to a screening of Steve’s documentary, and shortly after they begin a “deep search” for a real relationship. This relationship is short-lived, however, due to Steve’s neglect to replace the old helicopter atop the Belafonte. Near death experiences are very common in Anderson’s films, Sam Shakusky being struck by lightning in Moonrise Kingdom, and Francis’ near-death experience in The Darjeeling Limited (2007) are two examples. In the case of The Life Aquatic the whole crew aboard the Belafonte comes face to face with their death. While carelessly lounging in the onboard spa, Steve inadvertently lets his ship be taken over by pirates. Steve (and his ego) take it upon himself to save the crew single-handedly. At this point in the film, the cinematography takes a different turn than what is usually portrayed by Anderson. Wes Anderson is known for his use of the camera stylistically. His films are

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