20 of Wes Anderson’s Twee-est Quotes


The word “twee” defines something that is sweet, cute, or excessively quaint, pretty, and sentimental. It’s also a word often used to describe the films of Wes Anderson — and occasionally the bow tie-wearing director himself. Anderson’s set design (the man could open his own vintage typewriter museum), use of miniatures, and ‘60s-era pop soundtracks are just a few hallmarks of his style. And in a loving homage to the director’s adorable and quirky sensibility on his birthday weekend, we’ve collected some of Anderson’s most precious quotes that reflect his saccharine aesthetic.

“I love miniatures. It’s just an old movie technique, an old-fashioned approach. … There’s a certain charm to miniatures to me, I just like them. But also, when you’re doing a miniature it means you can make the thing exactly the way you want. You have essentially no limitation. So we could put our hotel where we wanted it, we could make it look how we wanted it, and we could put things around it that we wanted…”

“Can you do a .357 with a bayonet?”

“I guess we went to India as research, but the more precise-slash-romanticized description would be that we were trying to do the movie, trying to act it out. We were trying to be the movie before it existed.”

“We ended up slowly wandering our way back to France in a Roman taxi.”

“My father got me a Super 8 camera — a Yashika Super 8 — when I was, maybe, 8. I want to say it was my eighth birthday. And so I started making little one-reel shorts, which are like three minutes long, with my brothers and my friends.”

“The [Benjamin] Britten music is not just my memory of learning about this music when I was a kid, but it’s also music I got interested in over the years — more like my own kind of little study — and sharing that is a personal thing to me.”

“The sad thing is that watching a movie on video is not the same. And also, when something is discovered by people in movie theaters, it’s discovered by people who are all together, and there’s a sort of feeling of an event about it.”

“I’m attracted to movies like that, where there aren’t lots of bad guys.”

“I really got into Alfred Hitchcock movies when I was in high school.”

“I did all these plays. The earliest thing… Huh… I made a little book of drawings of houses that I worked on for a long time. It was sort of like dream houses. It was an extended project, a sustaining project that went on for a long time. That was the first thing I can remember being something I worked on—not just drawing some pictures, but working on it every day—for a long time. It was just like a series of pictures of mansions that I wanted to own.”

“I don’t want to have current, contemporary references in it. I want it to be something that’s sort of self-contained.”

“I think the more you keep things in their own little world… I don’t like to violate that world. I like to make it so it has its own sort of little logic.”

“We had a friend of mine who had come to Germany to cook for us. He’s Italian, but his wife is German, and it was a very good set-up for them.”

“We had a very peculiar kind of a Western.” — about a never-released movie he made with Owen Wilson

“When you’re 11 or 12 years old, you can get so swept up in a book that you start to believe that the fantasy is reality. I think when you have a giant crush when you’re in fifth grade, it becomes your whole world. It’s like being underwater; everything is different.”

“The screenplay is written to be read. So that means I’m writing it more like a short story. That’s what I always try to do: aim it more toward a reader than toward the people who are going to be making the movie, because I figure I’m going to be there, anyway.”

“I can’t think of movies in the 1930s where there’s narration, but I can think of plenty of movies in the 1940s.”

“I use little spiral notebooks of a particular kind. I have an odd sort of format. But I don’t write out the entire script in a notebook and finish it that way and then start typing it. I write in the notebook, then I type some of it, then I go back to the notebook, and so on.”

“I wouldn’t mind doing a musical now, though, or, at least, throwing in a singing/dancing number here or there.”

“I have a way of filming things and staging them and designing sets. There were times when I thought I should change my approach, but in fact, this is what I like to do. It’s sort of like my handwriting as a movie director. And somewhere along the way, I think I’ve made the decision: I’m going to write in my own handwriting.”