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Balancing act: exploring the tone of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

Gibbs, J. ORCID: (2012) Balancing act: exploring the tone of The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. New Review of Film and Television Studies, 10 (1). pp. 132-151. ISSN 1740-0309 (special issue: Wes Anderson and Co.)

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17400309.2011.635035


This paper provides an analysis of The Life Aquatic in the context of debates around tone, irony, the Smart Film, the New Sincerity and the Quirky. It argues that Anderson is one of a small but significant number of filmmakers to escape from the indiscriminate irony of fin de sie`cle cinema, and finds The Life Aquatic Aquatic a particularly interesting film in which to explore such matters because of its ready artifice, strong elements of pastiche and measuredly preposterous excesses. Offering a critical analysis, the paper balances an engagement with some of the systemic elements of the film’s tone with the detailed organisation of tonal elements in particular sequences.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Film, Theatre & Television
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:26533
Uncontrolled Keywords:Wes Anderson; The Life Aquatic; tone; distance; empathy; irony; smart; quirky; pastiche; performance; new sincerity
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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