Is Rushmore (1998) your favorite Wes Anderson film? It is certainly mine. When I first saw it in the theater when I was about 22, it hit me where I lived. This rich vein of the blackest comedy combined with pathos of a young man’s singular saga delighted and moved me. It continues to delight me, and I have now been watching it regularly for 23 years.
In his film debut, Jason Schwartzman gave us an iconic character. Do not get me wrong; I love Herman Blume and Bill Murray’s performance is a revelation, but I think that Max Fischer is a character for the ages. Max is introduced as a dreamer that we might be predisposed to like and believe in, and proceeds to spend the bulk of the movie behaving like the worst 15-year-old of all time. Is everyone just a character in the play of his life? I do believe that his friendship with and subsequent mission to first destroy then redeem Herman changes him in powerful ways, though this might just be experiential fodder for his next play. But I can never turn against the kid. I want to watch his next play. I want to know what he will do next. I want him to lead an extraordinary life as described by Jacques Cousteau in the quote that inspires him.
What you’ll find in this episode: our picks for the best song on the soundtrack, whether Ericca resembles Max or Lisa Simpson, and which nation we would be in the Model U.N.
Links and Recommendations:
Check out Rushmore on IMDB.
Ericca’s further viewing pick of Election.
Cole’s further viewing pick of The Razor’s Edge.
Serpico on Serpico.
An interview with Randall Poster, who creates Wes Anderson’s soundtracks.