Wes Anderson grew up in Texas, went to school in Texas, and started his career in Texas — but he always fancied himself a New Yorker.
“I wanted to live in New York when I was young,” says the 43-year-old director, who now splits time between Paris and Manhattan. “So many books and plays and movies that I love were set in New York. It really gave me an idea of the city before I had even moved here.”
And while Anderson’s latest movie, “Moonrise Kingdom” (out Friday), about the search for a pair of young lovers who fled a New England town, doesn’t take place here,
That didn’t stop the Academy Award-nominated moviemaker from discussing the 10 films that helped shape his view of New York City.
1. “The Plot Against Harry” (1989) — “It’s one of those known movies that’s not that widely seen, about this slightly older Jewish gangster who gets out of prison after doing a couple of years and is dealing with all kinds of life problems. It has a little bit of ‘The Sopranos’ in it except that there is no violence whatsoever in the movie that I can recall. It is very well written, and has a certain gentleness about it.”
2. “Girlfriends” (1978) — “This is one I read about in some old interview with Stanley Kubrick. It’s a very good movie about a girl who is dealing with being on her own and figuring out how to become a photographer. It’s like a 16 millimeter independent film directed by a woman named Claudia Weill. Christopher Guest has a small part in it, too.”
3. “The Apartment” (1960) — “I love this movie very much. My girlfriend had never seen it before and we just watched it two nights ago. It’s such a good Billy Wilder movie.”
4. “Moonstruck” (1987) — “I’ve always loved this script. It’s a very well-done Hollywood take on New York. Nicolas Cage, John Mahoney, Cher, Olympia Dukakis and Vincent Gardenia are great in it.”
5. “New York Stories” (1989) — “I love the Martin Scorsese section of this movie, which is about a painter played by Nick Nolte. The setting is this wonderful sunny Tribeca/SoHo loft where he’s this abstract expressionist, and it’s written by Richard Price, who is a New York voice.”
6. “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957) — “Here’s a classic staple of New York movies. The look of it is this distilled black-and-white New York and Clifford Odets writes great dialogue.”
7. “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968) — “It has a Dakota setting and Roman Polanski is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. This is a movie that I’ve watched a trillion times. Mia Farrow and the whole cast are really strong.”
8. “Next Stop, Greenwich Village” (1976) — “I saw the movie many years ago and I don’t really remember much other than loving it. I love Paul Mazursky’s films. He’s a New Yorker who is a great writer-director.”
9. “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986) — “Easily my favorite Woody Allen movie.”
10. “New Jack City” (1991) — “I just like the title. I never actually saw the movie but the title has always stuck with me. It’s a great way to refer to New York City. What does it even mean?”