By now you’re probably familiar with the recent L.A. Times article that discusses the detached directing style that Wes Anderson used on his latest film Fantastic Mr. Fox. Allegedly while the film was being produced in London, Wes was living in Paris and he directed the film via daily e-mails to the crew. Unsurprisingly certain members of the crew were unhappy with this and spoke their mind to L.A. Times reporter Chris Lee. The film’s Director of Photography Tristan Oliver made the most egregious statement calling Anderson a “sociopath” and claimed that “contact with people disturbs him.”
Anderson had a bit of a chance to defend himself in a recent interview by Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere. Anderson takes the whole controversy rather lightly, joking about the “sociopath” remark, but he goes on to say that at the time the comments were made neither parties were necessarily happy with each other. Even though the article ran earlier this week, the comments were made in April. He also says that Oliver claims to be misquoted in the article. The truth is, Anderson says, that whenever you are making a film in a different way than somebody is used to, there is going to be tension.
Anderson did a good job playing off the incident lightly. If he acts like its unimportant, maybe people will stop talking about it. However, one thing that annoyed me about his response is that he never really clears up whether he did or did not direct the film via e-mail from another country. I imagine some of Oliver’s claim is exaggerated, but Wes missed out on this chance to really defend himself. I’ve always enjoyed Anderson’s work and would like to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I’m not exactly sure what to believe. I guess we’ll have to take the high road and let the film speak for itself.
Below is the entire interview including discussion of the CGI and stop-motion mix and Anderson’s unique wardrobe: