As I mentioned a couple of weeks back, The Royal Tenenbaums came out during a particularly low point in my life. The timing of the film’s release just added to the connection I felt. Back in December 2001 I really needed some laughter in my life, and this film gave me hundreds of good laughs. I felt like a complete failure at the time, so naturally I was drawn to a story about the redemption of a family.
I had been anticipating the release of the film for months back in 2001. I was already a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s first film, Rushmore. And the trailers I saw made it look irresistibly funny. I was determined to see it on opening nite so I could absorb it before anyone else. I went back to see it the next weekend so I could catch all of the tiny details I missed the first time and memorize as many lines as possible. I played the film’s soundtrack for the better part of the next year, and I actually saved my ticket stubs as a memento.
Instead of fading, my love for The Royal Tenenbaums has actually grown over time. After the initial excitement abated, I came to appreciate intricacies of the film through a VHS copy I wore out till it broke. The love that went into making this film is apparent in all of the detail that went into every scene. The film’s sense of visual style has been copied so many times that at this point I see its influence in almost every indie film I’ve seen since.
Since this is the beginning of my Royal Tenenbaums weeks, I’m going to end today with the best opening credit sequence ever used in a film.