None would argue that auteurist director Wes Anderson doesn’t have a unique visual palette — with his signature center-framed compositions, varied aspect ratios, and striking mise-en-scène — but fewer may be familiar with acclaimed Swedish director who (sort of) shares Wes’ last name. A new video essay by Beyond the Frame, cleverly titled The Magnificent Anders(s)ons — The Look of Realty, explores how Roy Andersson — whose most recent film, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, is a startlingly original work — shares an aesthetic bond with Wes. Furthermore, it delves into their earliest creative output, studying how they both started out in similar ways that are, no less, largely different from their current work.

Anderson’s’ first work was a black-and-white short mostly devoid of his trademark style — though featuring his future muses Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman — while Andersson worked on political documentaries. Both Anders(s)ons have stated that they are largely inspired by neo-realists, and while their style is almost completely void of that now, there still may be small remnants left over. Namely, in how both directors work with their actors.

See the full essay below, which also shows vintage footage from both’s work, and read our interview with Andersson here:

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