"Rushmore" is the second feature
film from director Wes Anderson. Like his first film, "Bottle
Rocket," "Rushmore" is based on an original script
by Anderson and his writing partner Owen Wilson (who also starred
in "Bottle Rocket").
The setting for the film was inspired by Anderson and Wilson's
common experiences at schools in their home towns of Houston and
Dallas, respectively. (The film was shot at Sr. John's in Houston,
where Anderson went to school.) But the key to the story for the
writers was the idea of Max Fischer.
"I like people who get obsessed with something," says
Owen Wilson. "For example, I'm nor that interested in chess
but I'm really interested in Bobby Fischer because he's just kind
of obsessed with chess. There's something funny about those kinds
of characters. These people don't have the self-awareness of how
they're coming across to others and how kind of strange they are."
Anderson expands on this idea: "Max Fischer wants to be considered
an expert in every conceivable field. He wants to run the whole
operation. And he does not allow the fact that he is not very
skilled in most of these areas to dampen his enthusiasm or prevent
him from trying to dominate all of them."
This kind of pathological resilience particularly applies to Max's
pursuit of Miss Cross, which eventually drives him over the edge.
Anderson adds, "The reality is there's something wrong with
him. But, in this case, it's a condition I tend to admire."
The plays that Max puts on in the story were inspired by some
of Anderson's earliest t efforts. "My parents were getting
divorced when . was in fourth grade. I guess I wasn't dealing
with it very well, and I was making some trouble. I had this teacher
who made a deal with me that every two weeks that I could keep
it together and not be a disciplinary problem, she would let me
put on a play-because she knew I liked to write plays. So I got
to kind of create a little program for myself, and I kept it going
for several years. And we put on these big crowd pleasers that
were very influenced by movies and TV shows. We did one called
'The Five Mazeratis' that was set on the Autobahn. And we did
one on the battle of the Alamo, and I played Davy Crockett. And
we did a King Kong play, and a lot of murder mysteries, and a
kind of loose adaptation of 'The Headless Horseman' where the
Headless Horseman was the hero. I always reserved the best parts
for myself, because that was probably the only reason I was writing
the plays in the first place.
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