Wes Anderson and Richard Linklater –prominent writer/directors, Texas natives (both have roots in Houston) and coincidentally my two favorite humans. Their latest films were nominated for Best Motion Picture this year and, delving further, their careers have evolved at very similar rates, humbly paving the quaint dirt road that was the indie film scene in the ‘90s with Slacker and Bottle Rocket. Onward, they transitioned to tastemakers, acquiring cult followings with Dazed and Confused and The Royal Tenenbaums. With each film Anderson and Linklater make, their toolbox gets a little bigger without compromising their eclectic and pridefully offbeat styles, one vastly different from the other, yet hauntingly similar. Which leads to the question, who does it better?
Wes Anderson’s oh-so-deadpan characters spout off some wise, sometimes just straight up madcap tidings, whereas Linklater’s characters go for the gold with philosophical revelations even too deep for Tiny Buddha, and one-liners that end up on t-shirts. Let’s compare the two directors’ most memorable quotes.
Battle 4: Memorable Quotes
“That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”
Linklater – Dazed and Confused
“Why would a reviewer make the point of saying someone’s *not* a genius? Do you especially think I’m *not* a genius? You didn’t even have to think about it, did you?”
Anderson – The Royal Tenenbaums
In Dazed and Confused, David Wooderson is a grown-up loser who still hangs out with high school kids. In The Royal Tenenbaums, Eli is a self-absorbed author of western books and also an endearing stalker who hangs out in closets wearing only his underwear. His prose is truly hilarious, as we discover when he reads an excerpt at a press conference: “And they rode on in the friscalating dusklight . . .” Both memorable characters, but Wooderson’s wacky wisdom lives on forever in frat houses across the world.
Winner: Linklater/ Dazed and Confused
“I have been touched by your kids… and I’m pretty sure that I’ve touched them.”
Linklater – School of Rock
“I’ve never seen so many electric jellyfish in all my life!”
Anderson – The Life Aquatic
Both School of Rock and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou have ample amounts of hilarious, memorable quotes. Nothing beats that awkward moment at the parent-teacher conference when Dewey Finn says that perverted quote without even realizing. Ned Plimpton, in his nasally, southern accent-y voice, declares his quotes in a state of enamored fascination. Quotability, in my opinion, is based on if you can shout an obscure quote at a dinner party totally out of context and have people laugh, rather than stare are you questioningly.
Winner: Anderson/ The Life Aquatic
“You know how everyone’s always saying seize the moment? I don’t know, I’m kind of thinking it’s the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us.”
Linklater – Boyhood
“I saved Latin. What did you ever do?”
Anderson – Rushmore
Linklater’s most recent coming of age opus Boyhood is ripe with wisdom and heartfelt realizations. So is Anderson’s Rushmore, which follows a confused kid as he gets caught up in an obsession with a teacher at his school. I could be biased here, since I’ve been quoting Rushmore avidly for years, but there is just so much angst-filled honesty in Max Fischer, such vulnerable truth.
Winner: Anderson/ Rushmore
Subjective Winner: Wes Anderson’s Quotes are Better
Join us next week for the next Wes/Dick showdown and check out prior segments: