Metaphysical Monday: The Life Aquatic

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Anyone who’s seen a Wes Anderson movie knows how quirky, yet glorious, some of his shots can be.  Unique style of filming mixed with unusual dialogue are trademarks of Wes Anderson films.  But one of my favorite aspects of his films is the focus on the family (pun intended, sorry Dr. Dobson).

Family is an important part of culture and is an important part of understanding the Bible.  Paul says in the New Testament that we are a family and are the Bride of Christ.  He also calls us joint heirs (siblings) with Christ.  The Old Testament refers to the Israelites as God’s people and many of the OT laws are written in the context of a family setting.  So I find a lot of enjoyment in watching Wes Anderson’s characters interact with each other in their very strange families.

Every family that Wes Anderson portrays is very flawed.  Failed father figures mix with lost, wayward children.  Over-protective mothers interact with hurt, isolated daughters.  These are great and accurate representations of us, the (sometimes hilariously) damaged people that we are.  No family is easy, even God’s family.  No member of any family does the right thing all the time.  This is life.  This is humanity.  But that doesn’t excuse us from our familial obligations, both with earthly families as well as heavenly ones.  And that is a point that Mr. Anderson (again, pun intended, sorry Neo) drives at again and again.  You see this in The Royal Tenenbaums, in The Life Aquatic, in the Darjeeling Limited, in The Fantastic Mr. Fox and I hope to see it in his new movie, Moonrise Kingdom.

My favorite is Life Aquatic and in this series of Movie Magic, I figured the world of Wes Anderson is a good place to visit when looking at biblical concepts applied to art.  In this movie, Bill Murray plays a father that has failed his son.  He’s done what was best for him and not really invested much in Owen Wilson’s character, his son or his wife, played by Angelica Huston.  He’s devoted a lot of energy, apparently, to his rivalry with his nemesis, played by the one and only Jeff Goldblum.

I won’t tell you more than that, so if you haven’t seen it, you’ll have to go and check it out yourself.  But I definitely think it’s worth your while and when Moonrise Kingdom comes out, I’ll let you know what I think.