"Zoller’s a war hero. And his affection for Shosanna, even though she doesn’t really return it, is genuine. Everything he’s doing for her, he’s doing with the best intentions. Now, little does he know that he’s fucking her up and starting a whole cataclysmic series of events. But his heart is really in the right place" - Quentin Tarantino

A collection of Wes Anderson video essays

Two official announcements
1) I will NOT be doing a Wes Anderson video essay. The market is saturated and I have nothing to add.
2) I do NOT take requests for video essay topics. Please stop flooding my inbox.

So since I’m not going to do one, here’s a bunch of Wes Anderson links.

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“The look verges on film noir in color, with vast swaths of the frame swallowed in gloom and Jimmy and his cohorts illuminated by shafts, cones, or panels of light. In wide shots of large, dimly lit rooms, the characters might as well be shipwreck survivors adrift in a black sea. There’s something poignant about the look of this show: It syncs up with the sight of so many characters struggling to hold on to whatever standards they have left in a world that gives people many reasons to lie but only one to tell the truth.” – Matt Zoller Seitz

When Walter blasted Skyler as an emasculating shrew, an obstructionist, a “bitch,” he absolutely meant it. When he spat poison at poor, late Hank, he meant it. That on some level he means it in no way contradicts the notion that he felt horrible about Hank’s death, and perhaps equally horrible about mistreating Skyler all this time, and about bringing death and shame on other people he theoretically loves, including Walt Jr., who dropped a dime on him to protect his mother and himself.

But remember what happened a few minutes after Walter’s silent scream/cry over Hank: He had Jesse dragged out of hiding and sent on to imprisonment and torture and probable death, and twisted the knife by telling him something he didn’t know: that he watched Jesse’s beloved girlfriend Jane choke to death on her own vomit.
Walter is a sad, misguided, good man. Walter is a hateful, vindictive monster. Neither statement excludes the other.
These contradictory emotions and readings are all present, all essential, all of a piece. People are more than one thing simultaneously, always. There are lies in truth and truths within lies, in life, and in art.

Breaking Bad gets this. The phone call scene totally gets this. That’s what makes it art.

If you seek to deny or minimize the parts of art that don’t fit your reductive interpretation of Walt as a basically decent man, or a man who moves with a purpose and is somehow “badass,” as opposed to the complex monster the show has actually presented over five seasons, you are in fact, as Nussbaum wrote in her piece on the scene, watching the show wrong. In fact, you’re trying to turn a smart show into a stupid one. And you really should ask yourself why.

Why is it so important to you to believe that Walt doesn’t really hate or resent Skyler or Hank? Why is it so important to believe that equally intense elements of love and hatred, protectiveness and resentment, purposefulness and chaos, cannot exist in the same scene? Why must the scene be made simpler than it is? Why must it be made dumber than it is? Why do you need it to be so?

—   Matt Zoller Seitz on Breaking Bad, and Why Viewers Need to Whitewash Walter White 

I do not believe, as some are already speculating, that when Walter spews all that venom at Skyler while the feds and Marie and Walt, Jr. listen in, that it’s “really” Walt pretending to be Heisenberg — i.e. that it’s all some big fake-out. I think that’s Heisenberg speaking. But I think it’s Heisenberg speaking on Walt’s behalf. I think this might be one of those rare moments on Breaking Bad — the rescue of Jesse at the end of “Full Measures” being another — where Walter wants to do something that Walter is just not capable of doing, something chaotic and frightening but ultimately good, and Heisenberg steps up to make it happen.

I love how this scene is comprised mainly of the sorts of things that Skyler haters have been saying on message boards and in the comments sections of recaps since Breaking Bad debuted in 2008. It’s as if the show is using these same sentiments to rebut them: Walter’s voice is deeper and more monstrous, his tone more venomously cruel, than in any other exchange between him and Skyler. It takes the vicarious pleasure that some viewers take in the sight of milquetoast Walter White becoming The One Who Knocks and curdles it, makes it ugly, poisonous — as if the show is saying, “This is what you wanted, isn’t it? Here you go. Choke on it.”