Screens » Screens Etc.

Postcards on a scandal from the edge of reason


Dear Wes Anderson

Let me begin by noting that I screened The Darjeeling Limited just last week, and I do believe it is your best work yet. Yes, I admit to being a fan to start with, one who feels very close to your work emotionally and culturally. Perhaps those notions elucidate my relative ease in inquiring: What the fuck, man?

Mr. Anderson, you’ve always struck me as the intellectual, newspaper-reading type. Your characters peruse the news often, and you yourself have been known to pen for print from time to time. Plus, my kid sister is currently attending your alma mater, so I like to think that you’re not an idiot.

This assumption was called into question of late, however, when I learned that you created six advertisements for AT&T, or, as I prefer to lovingly refer to them: Your World. Wiretapped. (If it is discovered that you drive a Hummer, too, this writer will self-destruct.)

Critics who assumed it couldn’t get any worse than The Life Aquatic were dead wrong.

The TV spots — obviously your artistic upchuck — coupled with a “color makeover” are part of the corporation’s “ … new initiatives … designed to highlight how AT&T helps connect people to their worlds wherever they live and work.” Or so said CEO Randall
Stephenson in a statement.

Commercials by Wes Anderson won’t save the iPhone from the notoriously bad reception tech writers have been bemoaning since its release, but like AT&T’s exclusive wireless-provision deal with Apple, co-opting indie culture — your good name — will help the ethically questionable telco bag some creatives. That seems to be the goal, anyhow.

As you are well aware, Mr. Anderson, I don’t own you. You are free to accept a paycheck from whomever you deem worthy, with the knowledge that your soul comes gift-packaged with your audience (Incidentally, how many figures are we commanding these days?).

I urge you to represent — because I care.


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