If you have been following movie critics on IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes in the past two decades, you may have noticed that there is a great concern about whether modern filmmakers may be compensating for a lack of creativity with gaudy displays of overproduced, CGI filled movies.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, depending on the audience. However, the charm of having limited technology and the extra focus on the composition of each scene has a very rare presence in the film industry today. Veterans like Wes Anderson have built their brand and audience by following the footsteps of geniuses behind the camera like Stanley Kubrick, who has not only revolutionized modern cinema but is also an originator of shooting styles that not many directors or producers can take credit for.
A lot of filmmakers look at symmetry as a trap and that it may not help convey the message the scene demands. However, the way Anderson works is by framing characters, settings, environments that are centered in a way where all his shots in a movie are cohesively symmetrical to a very high degree, for instance, Fantastic Mr. Fox. To Anderson’s favor, as a result, it adds a meaningful flow to his movies without requiring the use of dialogue or even actors in certain scenarios. He lets the cinematography to speak for itself.
What's fascinating about how filmmakers like Kubrick and Anderson create "mold-breaking" pieces of visual art. Why are they breaking the mold? Because in the world of Western Art, there is a tendency to believe that asymmetry is more pleasing along with realistic. But, sometimes movies aren't meant to depict reality, and sometimes reality isn’t the perfect way to depict the story. Anderson’s out of the box approach to capture the audience with wild yet vivid cinematography, exhibits the fact that he knows how to use visual aesthetics to grab the viewers’ attention. Find a list of all Wes Anderson films here and Stanley Kubrick films here for a deep dive into the world of visual aesthetics in cinema.
For some filmmakers, symmetry is a handicap, but if you were to study the work of Kubrick and Anderson, you'd see that they have taken this limitation and used it as a powerful tool to build their own brand of movies that have created lasting impressions as movie makers and also as visual artists. Movies such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel have not only garnered the label of “cult classics” but have directly impacted the world of design and visual arts. That’s not all, these movies have inspired countless filmmakers to pay more attention to the composition of their movies and the role it plays in the storytelling that you will find here.