“The routine seen through the eyes of Wes Anderson is always prettier,” one friend commented to another in a coffee shop this week while showing her the latest. reel that he had uploaded to Instagram. And maybe he’s right, since the viral TikTok trend with the hashtag #WesAnderson already drags a billion views. Capturing idyllic holidays in Spain in vibrant colours, sharing images of daily moments or everyday objects and even making use of artificial intelligence has become a way of seeing everyday life that millions of users around the world have surrendered to. .
It’s clear that his unique point of view behind the camera has earned the director the well-deserved title of king of the pretty and colorful. Its aesthetic, inspired by popular culture and the design of the sixties and seventies, attracts because it offers an escape from the way of seeing the everyday: it fills it with details and color in an imaginary world that always seems better than the real one. His attention to detail and composition makes the ordinary seem extraordinary and this is precisely one of the keys to his success on social media.
Victor López G., film critic and content creator, believes that there are three important factors that sum up the success of Wes Anderson’s film transfer to reality. “Symmetry is tremendously attractive to the brain, as it is easy to analyze and process, it creates a sense of order, elegance and simplicity,” he says. This, together with the overhead shots —those that are seen from above—, creates a pleasant sensation in the viewer while the characters interact and seems to form part of the story in an integrated way. The second idea is the treatment of colour, one of the most evident characteristics of his cinema.
“Over the years, the industry has embraced more gray palettes, and Anderson is a big advocate of color on the big screen,” says Lopez. And he adds: “This goes far beyond the purely aesthetic, since the color range is integrated into the narrative and helps to tell the story.” Finally, light is a character with its own identity: it creates depth of field and makes it possible for us to appreciate the landscape and the scenery in each shot. “Although it may seem simple, Wes’ cinema is very complex,” the film critic qualifies, “frontality, symmetry, color, and light are easy to imitate, which has helped a lot to make this trend quickly go viral.”
All of the above, mixed under the right conditions, creates the perfect cocktail for TikTok: short videos that hold users’ attention with catchy music and scenarios that can be easily replicated at home. Inevitably, this context leads to the question of whether, in general, reality tends to be idealized within social networks, escaping from the monotony and boredom of feed.
What is behind this obsession with making everything beautiful? Why do we tend to romanticize routine? The digital strategist Raquel Carrera is clear that it is a reflection of the vital, social and economic situation in which we are living: “We live in a moment of chaos and this makes us terribly fragile. Historically, vulnerability leads us to seek beauty, to turn our existence into something beautiful, because it is one of the few things over which we feel we have some control. Social networks are an avatar of real life, each user chooses what to show, even if it is not necessarily 100% true, and expresses his own authenticity to the rest of the followers. The aesthetics of Wes Anderson’s cinema is perfect for this, since his imaginary world with precious costumes translates to an ideal that we can share and aspire to. “It is content that you can consume in a loop and imitate, it is the perfect formula,” says Carrera.
A phenomenon beyond TikTok
But Wes Anderson’s success goes beyond his filmography and this trend in networks. He has become an icon of current popular culture and his harmony has crossed all possible borders. From his color palettes to the graphic design of his films, the director has a legion of fans eager to discover and share his very personal way of seeing the world. Wes Anderson knows how to tell stories and take them beyond that cinematic spectrum of preciousness and happiness. The Accidentally Wes Anderson (AWA) Instagram account is one of the perfect examples of this phenomenon. With almost two million followers, he has known how to take advantage of his cinema, transferring it from the big screen to ordinary spaces, creating travel guides and looking for atypical places that could perfectly come out of a film by the director. A personal project that wants to inspire thousands of followers daily in their desire for adventure and curiosity. The creative couple of AWA perfectly defines the secret of success in their account: “We seek the equivalents of the imaginative scenes of their films all over the world, opening our eyes to the beauty that surrounds us and reframing perspective, living in a prettier world.”
Without going any further, in 2015 the Prada Foundation in Milan commissioned the director to design its cafeteria in the Italian city, for which he recreated a traditional Milanese bar, making its colors and shapes tangible. However, his approach was different from the one he uses in the sets of his films, thinking about it from the point of view of the daily meeting place, where to drink coffee and enjoy it, not from the idealization where imaginary stories happen. “It’s a real life space with lots of good places to eat, drink, talk, read… While it would make a good movie set, I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar where I would like to spend my own non-fictional evenings”, the director explained about Bar Luce. In this way, it was conceived as the point where the everyday exists within the domain of the romantic and, taken to the world of networks, where everything goes viral in minutes. Its sixties aesthetic makes it the stage instagrammable perfect where the imaginary is available to anyone.