"Andrew, can we talk?"

I was almost asleep. But one of the campers tugged on my shirt, his face barely visible in the darkness.

We weaved through a horde of snoring teenagers, gently cracked open the screen door, and sat down on the front porch of our cabin. Over the next hour, he poured out story after story of familial catastrophe, and I grew overwhelmed by his pain. Despite my camp counselor training, I sensed that anything I contributed at this moment would sound more like Job's friends than Jesus. All I could do was sit and mourn.

I went through the next day in a daze. Sometimes you see into the dark a little more clearly—sometimes your simplistic paradigms are shattered. It can come through a painful trauma or a near-death experience, but it can also happen between nine and ten o'clock on a cabin porch.

That evening, a few camp counselors gathered in the staff area to watch a Wes Anderson film. I walked by with just a glance. But while I couldn't have known it then, a lesson at the feet of Wes Anderson was just what I needed.

And maybe just what my camper needed as well.

Even if you haven't seen his movies, you've felt Wes Anderson's impact (his latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, releases on March 7). The writer/director's style and his actors' deadpan delivery have become familiar in the past decade or so. From The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou to The Darjeeling Limited to Moonrise Kingdom, Anderson leads audiences on hunts for mythical sharks, spiritual journeys through India, and a lone Khaki Scout's search for adulthood. No matter the story, his characters, after wrestling bravely to control the outside world, must accept the relational fracture ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

July/August
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Tags:
Read These Next
Current IssueChrist's Transfiguration Is a Sneak Preview of Our Future
Christ's Transfiguration Is a Sneak Preview of Our Future Subscriber Access Only
Jesus' transformation on the mountain might have more to do with us than we think.
TrendingKay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Kay Warren: 'We Were in Marital Hell'
Through God's work in our lives, we've beaten the odds that divorce would be the outcome of our ill-advised union.
Editor's PickWhy the Modern World Is Making Us Miserable
Why the Modern World Is Making Us Miserable
Mark Sayers asks us to look to the Bible’s steadying influence in an era of cultural turmoil.
Christianity Today
Wes Anderson: King of Empathy
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

March 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.