• Anderson’s much ballyhooed debut is neither a top 10 film of the decade (I don’t even have it in the top 10 of 1996) like Scorsese picked it as, nor is it the unarchivable yet admirable miss Ebert says it is (though he admitted in 1996 he was excited for what Anderson would be doing next)
  • It feels off-handed yet confident—full of what would come to be Anderson’s deadpan humor (though his visual style and work in mise-en-scene would steadily increase in future decades). It’s charming and light
  • Great one-liners galore like “Bob gets the spirit award” and “the Lawn Wranglers” that fit fine in some broader comedy
  • It’s nowhere near as rigorous as future films but even here Anderson shows characters possessions in one by one close-up montage instead of adorned on them in action like a normal film
  • Anderson is all about plans, structure, organization and formal order- here- even in the first 4 minutes we have Owen Wilson’s character with a notebook outlining a fastidiously detailed 5 year to 50 year plan
  • Upon this viewing (probably my 7th) a quick moment where Luke Wilson notices his old toy soldiers and how one is out of order and he fixes it—this caught my eye- especially with Anderson having another stop-motion film coming soon
  • The yellow jumpsuits are great and would lead to more detailed (and beautiful) costume work- clearly part of Anderson’s strong suit which goes beyond twee and quirky into crucial elements of mise-en-scene and film décor
  • The foiled robbery finale is uproarious
  • Anderson here is clearly experimenting with slow-motion photography. The finale at the jail is great with Wilson but just before that there is a really choppy use of it on Caan
  • Great shot of the 4 men shooting guns layered throughout the frame
  • The “2000 Man” by Rolling Stones usage is great. You combine that with the slow-motion work we have some clear markers of Scorsese/Mean Streets in particular
  • Recommend but not in the top 10 of 1996