I was fifteen when I first saw Wes Anderson’s 1996 debut Bottle Rocket, and it instantly became my favorite film. Two years later it was superseded by Anderson’s second film, Rushmore, and Anderson became my favorite director (still is). Like a true superfan, I hung both movies respective posters on my wall, bought their soundtracks, and frequented Wes Anderson fan sites to chat with other fans whose glasses were as horn-rimmed or horn-rimmeder than my own.
For all their beauty, hilarity and inventiveness, what has always resonated with me was the tone his films strike: wistful nostalgia and humor in the face of a beautiful but broken world. Which is, basically, my future gravestone epitaph.
And all this is what I should have told him when I found him holding a stack of DVDs and waiting for an elevator at Foyles Books in London. But I didn’t.
What I actually said was this.
“Excuse me? Sorry, but… are you Wes Anderson?”
[Wes Anderson smiles and nods.]
“OH HOLY, Wes Anderson! Wes Anderson! I had your Bottle Rocket, I had a poster of Bottle Rocket! RUSHMORE! That’s my favorite! Wes Anderson, oh man. The soundtracks, YOU’RE MY FAVORITE! Okay! You’re holding DVDs! Right! Because they sell DVDs here! Over there! OKAY! Okay! Okay! Okay I’m going to walk away now before I start blathering!”
[Wes Anderson reaches out and shakes my hand before entering the elevator]
“Okay! Bye! Okay!”
I can only hope he saw the deep appreciation for his work in my paroxysmal bout of fandom.