Earlier this week we re-watched “Rushmore,” the early-career Wes Anderson film starring Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. The movie was released in 1998. Since then we’ve seen the film three or four times. The last time we viewed it was maybe five years ago.
“Rushmore” holds up exceptionally well after more than two decades. We found it as compelling, riveting, amusing and fun as the first time we saw. The acting performances, especially Bill Murray’s, are excellent. The film’s distinct style and production design is timeless. “Rushmore” is an auteur classic, and it’s no wonder it’s part of the Criterion Collection.
Unlike previous viewings via screen, DVD, on TV, we watched “Rushmore” this time by streaming it via our Amazon Prime Video account, which has button on its interface that allows viewers to access trivia about the film while watching. We paused several times to check out some of the film’s trivia and got sucked into a rabbit hole of fascinating anecdotes and details about the various obscure cultural references and homages Andersen has woven into his film.
An example is the shot posted above of Shwartzman’s character Max Fischer sitting in a go-kart from the deliciously amusing montage sequence (watch video below) where we see the dizzying number of extra-curricular clubs he’s involved with at his prep school. Anderson here is compositionally referencing a famous, old photo (see below) of a young man sitting in a rubber raft by the prodigious French photographer Jean Henri Lartigue. The man in the raft is named Zissou, and Andersen would later name the lead character of another film after him, “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.”
There are dozens of tidbits like this that we love and that make “Rushmore” an even richer and immensely satisfying work of cinematic art.