If you’re a frequent TikTok user, you may have noticed lots of idiosyncratic videos with symmetrical images, muted colours and short, sharp edits while you are scrolling through the social media platform. They may remind you of the work of filmmaker Wes Anderson - and they’re supposed to.
That’s because the videos have all been inspired by the work of Anderson, and aspiring filmmakers are enjoying creating them so much it’s sparked a TikTok trend. It’s not the first time that a trend has been inspired by popular culture, there’s also the Gentleminions trend which sees people dress up as the yellow creatures from the Despicable Me films, the Grace Kelly trend which sees people singing the 2007 Mika hit, and even the Pooh Pathology Test which has a serious mental health message but was inspired by characters from Winnie the Pooh.
But, just what is the latest Wes Anderson trend, who exactly is Wes Anderson and where did the trend come from? Here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Wes Anderson?
Wes Anderson is an American filmmaker. His style is instantly recognisable, and his films are known for their eccentricity, distinctive narrative and unique visual style, and frequent use of the same cast, with actors such as the Owen, Luke and Andrew Wilson brothers, Anjelica Huston, Jeff Goldblum and Tilda Swinton often appearing in his work. His movies often also contain themes of grief, loss of innocence, dysfunctional families, parental abandonment, adultery, sibling rivalry and unlikely friendships.
The plots of the films he directs often feature thefts and unexpected disappearances. He makes extensive use of various stylistic techniques in his films also, including symmetry, slow-motion walking shots, a deliberately limited colour palette, and stop-motion animation.
The 54-year-old has reportedly had an interest in films since childhood and made silent films which starred his younger brother, Eric Chase Anderson, and elder brother, Mel Anderson, while he was in school. He now lives in New York City with his long-term girlfriend, Lebanese writer Juman Malouf, and their daughter, Freya, who was born in 2016.
What is the Wes Anderson TikTok trend?
The Wes Anderson TikTok trend involves people film and edit videos which depict part of their everyday lives in the style that Anderson is known for. These highly stylised montage videos include people recording their lunch breaks, their holiday trips and going to various shops with their loved one.
Creative director Josh Rimmey, who has directed video campaigns featuring celebrities including Joe Jonas and Ed Sheeran, got in on the trend and shared a video showing a day in his wood shop which included close-up symmetrical shots.
The trend has even caught the attention of TV duo Ant and Dec, who called their video a ‘Dec Anterson production’. Their video shows the pair dressed completely in black and carrying out various everyday tasks, including making a cup of tea and eating biscuits, while looking deadpan.
It’s not just people who are enjoying the trend either, animals are too. TikToker Memi the cat shared a video of her watching pigeons, wandering around her house and posing for the camera in some carefully curated shots filmed by her owner.
Who started the Wes Anderson TikTok trend?
The Wes Anderson TikTok trend was started by TikToker Ava Williams. The 26-year-old American posted a video of a train journey from Connecticut to New York imitating the style of Anderson. In the video, the text overlay reads: "You better not be acting like you're in a Wes Anderson film when I get there," before cutting to a classic title card and edited shots of her journey.
Williams told Newsweek that she was inspired to make the video after watching the 2021 Wes Anderson film The French Dispatch with her parents. She said: “I was going back to New York after a very short visit with my family and I was sad that I was leaving so soon. I didn't want to really end my trip on such a sad note so I was hoping to make the most out of a situation that wasn't totally ideal."
Williams decided to try to feel more positive about her journey by filming it, and was inspired by Anderson when it came to how she would do this. She added: "I love documenting the mundane and I was just thinking about how Wes Anderson has a great way of making deadpan very interesting and fun. I wanted to try and do the same. I thought about how I could enjoy the trip if I basically romanticised the moment, made it more exciting and tried to enjoy the train ride in style. The video was really a way for me to document a moment I didn't particularly want to enjoy and try and enjoy it.
What films is Wes Anderson famous for?
Wes Anderson is famous for numerous films, including Bottle Rocket (1996), The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004), Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) and Isle of Dogs (2018).
He has also directed and co-produced the upcoming American science fiction romantic comedy-drama film Asteroid City, which will debut at the Cannes Film Festival later in May. In January 2022, it was announced that Anderson would direct an adaptation of Roald Dahl's short story collection The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More for Netflix. An exact release date has not yet been given, but it will be available on the streaming platform this year.