New York magazine critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s lavish geekfest The Wes Anderson Collection is filled with stills from the director’s films, colorful illustrations, and images of vintage books — real ones and others created specifically for the movies. The Anderson visual aesthetic is ubiquitous, but it’s the director’s voice that is most powerful throughout this must-have book for movie buffs. His conversations with Seitz, whose insights into Anderson’s work add another welcome dimension, provide quite a bit of context for the enigmatic filmmaker, whose signature style has influenced more than just cinema, but also music and fashion. Anderson divulges every little influence he can, from other directors and movies that influenced single shots (Seitz points out the similarities between Jason Schwartzman’s Max Fischer and a young Tom Cruise “without the mastery”) to literary inspirations, from obvious names like J.D. Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald to Stefan Zweig.
All of those elements, along with a Michael Chabon introduction that adds an extra literary touch, make The Wes Anderson Collection so much more than just another book to go on your coffee table; rather, it offers rare insights into the mind and creative process of one of the most influential directors working today. Here are a few of the most interesting tidbits we took away from the book.