Jul 6, 2020
On the podcast this week, Skipper Steve and Sean are going to avenge our best friend in the delightful and unique Wes Anderson film, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Seems like Scuba Steve is doing his very best to become our nation’s very first Pun-Maker Laureate. He’s got them firing off left and right as we get into this film. Somebody nominate him for that very prestigious role already!
It may be safe to say that this one is Wes Anderson’s least appreciated films and we’re not really sure what that’s all about. Even his first film, Bottle Rocket, gets more love and we think that’s a damn shame. This is all anecdotal, of course, but we’re probably not far off with that assessment and we want this one to get the love it deserves!
The Life Aquatic has a lot of heart. That seems to be a constant facet of Anderson’s films—underneath their quirky veneer, they’re full to the brim with real and affecting emotion. The script and actors are always giving it everything they’ve got. This one also has more melancholy than many of his other films. I mean, the thing opens with Zissou’s best friend being eaten by a freaking shark! How damn terrible is that?
But then he meets someone who may be his son and that just changes his entire world even more. We found it fascinating to see Zissou filled with more purpose after losing his friend and meeting his possible son than he’d had in many years. It’s a wonderful thing when someone knows exactly what they want to do with their life.
But enough with the heavy emotion. Let’s talk about the Belafonte! Steve Zissou’s ship is amazing! And those stop-motion fish were so inventive! And we want one of those red caps! But maybe not those Speedos? …Screw it, give us some of those Speedos! We can rock them!
Papa Steve feels that this film has a wonderful soundscape and Sean can only agree with that. Not only does the sound work and the music bring you into a complete and fascinating world, it’s also just a blast to listen to. It can be funnier than you’d ever expect the sound to be. This is work done at a very high level.
Robert Yeoman’s cinematography is, as always, in a class of its own. Sure, the look of a Wes Anderson film is usually attributed to its exacting, eccentric director, but leaving it at that would be doing a disservice to Mr. Yeoman. His eye for lighting, movement, and framing is top-notch. Anytime he’s listed as the cinematographer for a film you know it’s going to be a good one.
Oh yeah, we were serious about that Academy Award for Best Podcast. We want that thing on our mantles!
(Recorded on June 04, 2020)
Links to Stuff We Mentioned: