If you’ve been online lately, you’ve likely caught a glimpse of the Wes Anderson trend: Short, saturated video odes to the director’s cinematic style, in which creators romanticize everyday moments like a walk on the beach or a visit to a gallery by turning their lives into miniature Wes Anderson movies.
Set to “Obituary” by Alexandre Desplat, a song from the soundtrack for Anderson’s film The French Dispatch, the videos usually feature staccato title sequences, sunny bubblegum pastels, carefully stylized shots, visual symmetry, and quirky characters.
@avawillyums With a good imagination, everything is symmetrical. Let a girl day dream! #wesanderson ♬ Obituary – Alexandre Desplat
The trend began on TikTok with Ava Williams, who in April posted an Anderson-ified video of her train ride aboard the Shore Line East. Soon after, the trend started picking up speed across the internet, with participants including the Democratic Party and art world notables whose gallery walls were perfectly primed for the Wes Anderson treatment. The Van Gogh Museum, the South London Gallery, and the National Gallery of Art have all joined in on the fun. Videos under the hashtag #WesAndersonTrend have now amassed more than 166 million views.
Recently, the cast of Asteroid City, Anderson’s newest film, which premiered on May 23 at the Cannes Film Festival, even participated in one of the trend videos. It was a meta publicity move that some commenters called a full-circle moment or, in the words of one user, a perfect way to “retire the trend.”
@universalpicsanz us 🤝 Wes Anderson @reece #asteroidcity ♬ original sound – Universal Pics ANZ
Asteroid City, which hits theaters in June, stars a big-name ensemble cast including Tom Hanks and Scarlett Johansson. Set in the 1950s, the film follows space-obsessed kids who gather with their parents for a convention in a fictional American desert town, until all is disrupted by world-changing events.
Wes Anderson himself was asked about the viral video trend in a recent interview with the Associated Press. Has he seen them? Short answer: no. “I’ve never seen any TikTok, actually,” he told the AP.
“The only reason I don’t look at the stuff is because it probably takes the things that I do the same again and again. We’re forced to accept when I make a movie, it’s got to be made by me,” Anderson continued. “But what I will say is anytime anyone’s responding with enthusiasm to these movies I’ve made over these many years, that’s a nice, lucky thing. So I’m happy to have it. But I have a feeling I would just feel like: Gosh, is that what I’m doing? So I protect myself.”