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Big name filmmakers directing commercials is certainly not a new phenomenon. In many cases, it's a return to their old stomping grounds since several of our most imaginative and successful directors got their start making advertisements. And then there are filmmakers like Wes Anderson, who may not have begun his career in commercials, but has certainly made his mark in a medium of otherwise largely forgettable shorts.
Maybe that is the reason his commercials are so indelible? The director doesn't make commercials; he's making short films with the same meticulous attention to character, story, and, especially, art direction that makes his feature work so identifiable (and rewarding). Anderson is responsible for many memorable ads (like his wonderful work for Hyundai) and the new "Made of Imagination" spot for the Sony Xperia has the American auteur returning to stop-motion animation with predictably incredible results.
Everyone (read: "I") hoped that the amazing Fantastic Mr. Fox wouldn't be Wes Anderson's first and final foray into stop motion animation since the results were, across the board outstanding, and for once our faith was rewarded! Sony asked a bunch of children what what was special about their new Xperia smartphone before turning the results over to Wes Anderson and the fine artists at Laika/house to recreate one of the answers.
What we got was the vision of eight-year-old Jake Ryan which was, unsurprisingly, a perfect match for Anderson's oeuvre, again highlighting the childlike voice behind the director's sense of humor, attention to detail, beautiful tableau compositions and imaginative retro-designs. Oh, and in case you missed the aforementioned 'making of' commercial for the commercial (originally seen on Criterion Corner), well, it's worth a watch too.
Wes Anderson's next film is Moonrise Kingdom which stars Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton and Harvey Keitel. It was directed by Anderson from a script by him and Roman Coppola. The movie opens May 16 and for more head over to our Blend Film Database.