1. Rushmore, 1998
2. Written by: Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson – Directed by: Wed Anderson – Produced by: Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson, Barry Mendel – Distributed by: Touchstone Pictures
3. I’ve viewed this film several times over the years via DVD.
4. Target Audience: Teens and adults, alike.
5. The film was originally to be distributed by New line Cinema, however, the company and Anderson couldn’t come to an agreement on a budget. Therefore, Anderson, Wilson and Mendel held an auction for the film’s rights… eventually striking a deal with Joe Roth, the then chair of Walt Disney Studios, who offered the final budget of $10 million. With such a heft budget, the line between mainstream and independent cinema is obviously a bit blurred in the case of Rushmore. The true independence of this film comes from Wes Anderson’s position as an auteur… unwilling to relinquish any artistic control over his product.
6. Film Description: Max Fischer is a precocious 15-year-old whose reason for living is his attendance at Rushmore, a private school in which he’s not doing well in any of his classes, but where he’s the king of extracurricular activities – from being in the beekeeping society to writing and producing plays, etc. However, his life begins to change when he finds out that he is on academic probation as well as when he stumbles into love with Miss Cross, a pretty elementary school teacher at Rushmore. Added to the mix is his friendship with Herman Blume, a wealthy industrialist and father to boys who attend the school, who also finds himself attracted to Miss Cross. Max’s fate becomes inextricably tied to this odd love triangle, laying the basis for the film’s story.
7. Technical Considerations: Stylistically, the film has somewhat of a retro 60’s feel to it… very bold colors with great attention to detail. I was definitely reminded of films such as The Graduate, Harold and Maude, and even Chinatown. Anderson strives, and succeeds, in creating a visually rich environment that works with the story line and characters as opposed to standing alone as its own entity.