Monday, September 27, 2010

Movie of the Week - Rushmore

This week’s movie is Rushmore (1998).

The comedy is about a boy, Max, whose whole life revolves around going to school at Rushmore Academy – so much so that he is the founder and participant in many clubs and activities at the school – but he is also one of the worst students they have. Max falls for a new young teacher and after hatching a grand scheme to win her affections is kicked out of Rushmore. He now must find himself and a new life outside the school. Directed by aesthetics aficionado and master Wes Anderson (who stages everything in every shot) based on the screenplay by himself and Owen Wilson (Anderson is college friends with the Wilsons), the film features Anderson’s directing at its best – shots and scenes are presented as if acts or scenes in a play (which is then taken even further by having plays acted out in the film). Anderson uses the same principal crew members for many of his films and Rushmore has essentially the same crew as his first feature Bottle Rocket. His collaboration with these people enables him to prefect his craft as a director and put out the film just how he wants it to be. His work with director of photography Robert D. Yeoman has always been excellent. Devo front-man Mark Mothersbaugh provides a really great score, accompanied by Anderson’s perfectly placed found music. Editor David Moritz and production designer David Wasco round out the principal group that made Rushmore one of the most aesthetically interesting and innovation films of the 90’s and helped Anderson establish a foothold in Hollywood as an auteur. The film has a great cast overall with good supporting characters, but it is the three leads that truly are wonderful – Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Olivia Williams. What makes this film great is its quirky comedy and filmmaking. It is certainly on of the best films of the decade (one of my top 25 favorite all-time films) and a must see of film fans. Check out the trailer.

Available on Criterion Collection and DVD on or to rent at

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