June 4, 2016

Comparing the Visual Styles of Stanley Kubrick & Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson has one of the most easily recognizable styles filmmaking—recognizable in part because of all of the great directors that influence him.

Orson Welles, François Truffaut, and Jean-Luc Godard are just a few of the great auteurs that left their mark on Anderson, but when it comes to visual style, Stanley Kubrick seems to be the one who inspired much of his signature camera work, compositions, and blocking. In this supercut, we get to see the work of Kubrick and Anderson side by side for comparison.

Wes Anderson said once in an interview with Paul Holdengräber that François Truffaut's The 400 Blows "was one of the reasons I started thinking I would like to try to make movies." The influence of the French New Wave on his filmmaking has been brought up many, many times—color palettes, focus on children or childlike adults, romance, adventure, and revolution. Finding influences in his films has even been likened to going on a scavenger hunt: Louis Malle, Charles Schultz, and more are easy to mark off your list.

But Kubrick's style is certainly primordial Anderson, albeit a darker, more sinister version. His slow-motion tracking shots, zooms, whip pans, vivid colors, and unusual compositions helped give Anderson his "esque"—even if he isn't overtly paying homage or conscious of his recreations. But, as evidenced by the supercut, Kubrick's definitely there.     

Your Comment

9 Comments

Can a filmmaker not have his/her own style, independent of other stylistic influences? Sure a shot can look like other shots, but that can't be all there is to style.

June 5, 2016 at 12:21AM

3
Reply
avatar
Adam Cohen
Director / Producer
131

Exactly. And as if the choices he makes cinematically haven't all been done before. He and other directors with a style just do what they feel looks best. These easy to do comparisons don't mean anything as sometimes there are just a number of ways to film something. Just because someone did it before you in the 126 years we humans have been making movies, doesn't mean you weren't original when you decided to do something a certain way.

June 5, 2016 at 3:56AM

5
Reply
avatar
Oscar
80

Nothing is original.
Everything is a derivation.
Those who believe otherwise are fools or just haven't lived long enough to realize it.

June 5, 2016 at 12:54PM

0
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1710

Is a combination of previous ideas not originality?

June 5, 2016 at 10:00PM

0
Reply
avatar
Adam Cohen
Director / Producer
131

Nope, still derivation.

June 6, 2016 at 10:35AM

0
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1710

Bollocks comparison. Just stupid. Not one comparison in all that was unique, created by or popularised by Kubrick. He didn't invent walking toward camera, or zooms etc.

Both directors like centre framed shots with converging lines. Thats it, everything else in this you could do the same comparison with any one of a bazillion directors and find the same shots.

June 5, 2016 at 11:17PM

5
Reply

Amen

June 6, 2016 at 10:33AM

0
Reply
Richard Krall
richardkrall.com
1710

Every time someone does a tracking shot they must have been influenced by Kubrick! No one could've possibly thought to pull or push their character through a scene with cam without first seeing it by this great visionary/enemy of shallow focus!!! :)

June 7, 2016 at 11:19AM

0
Reply
avatar
doman nelson
Director, Editor
159

Two of my favorites, and two of the best ever signature styles, but I think this comparison is a bit forced, I don't see the similarity. You could place dozens of shots by dozens of directors next to each other and they'd look referential of another. But the tone, speed, lighting, acting, context, direction are of different worlds. But still fun to watch!

June 8, 2016 at 1:34AM

2
Reply
avatar
Martin Mulcahy
Motion Graphics
81