Director Cage Fight – Round 3

by Mr. Nobel

Round 3: Wes Anderson vs. Terrence Malick

The set up: You ask Wes Anderson and Terrence Malick to design and build you a new house. Filmmakers, of course, are renowned for their architectural genius. How you managed to get these two directors’ phone numbers is anyone’s guess.

Wes Anderson: You come to Wes Anderson with some ideas for how you want your house to eventually look. He jettisons most of your suggestions, opting to draw out his own blueprints with pencil crayons and magic markers on monogramed sheets of paper bearing the Anderson family insignia. In lieu of a traditional house, Anderson proposes that we build a house on top of a man made oak tree, complete with jaunty authentic replica rickety wooden steps leading up to the house.

Since you don’t have any better ideas, and don’t have a major in film, you agree. Sure, why the hell not? You’ve obviously got the money.

So, Anderson contracts out the building of the tree and the house to a Armenian family operation. During the actual construction of the house and tree, Anderson’s off site, opting to receive daily updates via the internet while he’s in Paris making a movie or something with Bill Murray.

Once the house is actually completed, Anderson comes back to choose the wall papers, tacky/retro-chic furnishings and meticulously lay out the many knick knacks on the furniture. The house gets lifted onto the tree, and Anderson goes back up the tree to lay back out the many knick knacks, and add some self portraits painted by a depressive 14 year old coffee addict.

The house is complete and you go live in it. And everything’s swell for about two weeks, before a wind comes over and knocks the tree and house over. Luckily, you were not in the house at the time. Somewhat angered by the lackluster quality control, you decide to sue Anderson for shoddy construction. Unfortunately, he’s already skipped town and is probably in Japan, shooting some commercials or some shit with Bill Murray.

Terrence Malick: Somewhat disheartened by your last experience getting a house made by a film director, you turn now to the infamous Terrence Malick with some ideas of your own. He nods appreciatively, before going into a 20 minute monologue about the war at the heart of nature. He takes your proposed blueprints back to his home and returns the next day with a 400 page document filled with allusions to Dostoyevsky outlining how he plans to build your house.

He hires some shady contractors to procure the building supplies and the manual labor, and begins building your house. Each day, he writes another 50 pages of material, significantly altering large portions of how the house will be constructed. At first, the contractors tolerate this, but soon they start clashing with the director. After a particularly ugly argument, Malick quits in disgust and disappears.

He resurfaces ten years later with a pitch for another house, this time incorporating Heidegger and the beginning of the universe. You, having spent the last ten years living homeless, have amassed a sizable amount of money in the bank, and appreciate this wacky, totally insane plan.

Malick hires a different set of contractors this time, and they seem to get along pretty well. They all go do their thang for a while, but then your building supplies manufacturer goes out of business. You guys scramble to find a new company, eventually settling on a flashy purveyor of bricks and crap.

The house winds up coming in on budget, but way over schedule. You invite some friends over. Some of them hate what Malick’s done with the place, most don’t understand the house. A few think it’s the greatest house ever built. At the end of the year, you get nominated for some Academy of Pretentious Homeowners Awards.

Winner: Malick, because having a pretentious house is better than living in a tree house.