Wander through the many rooms of the rebooted Museum of History and Industry and you’ll be immersed in the Emerald City’s quirky and vital history. But the museum’s video offerings often wind up like the old Kalakala ferry — forgotten and adrift. Take the online series, “MOHAI Minutes.” Hosted by Helen Divjak and Peder Nelson, and shot by a perpetually shaky camera, the 44 installments guide us through the sprightly back story of Eddie Bauer, the origins of King Street Station, history of Garfield High School, etc. Black-and-white photos from MOHAI's archive provide some sparse but welcome cover footage, but mostly we are stuck watching Helen and Peder struggle with a tiny budget, a hurried production schedule and a terminal case of Affected Detachment. It’s unclear who the audience is for this series. School children will learn very little, older audiences will be bored and hipsters will only tune in for the shoegazing pop band on the soundtrack.
Book Trailer: The Wes Anderson Collection
Book trailers are often afterthoughts tucked into a publisher’s marketing portfolio. Take the trailer for Maria Semple’s “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”: Tom Skerritt, Garth Stein and Jeopardy champ Ken Jennings have cameos, but the spot is by all other criteria a rush job. This isn’t the case with the trailer for critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s in-depth fanboy souvenir, The Wes Anderson Collection, which appears to be an expensive and affectionate review of the filmmaker’s entire oeuvre (from Bottle Rocket to Moonrise Kingdom). The trailer uses retro animation (think Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox) and a droll narrative economy (think all of Anderson’s films), to provide a glimpse into a book that Zoller Seitz hopes Wes Anderson cultists will lap up. For those of us who’ve grown weary of Anderson’s hermetically sealed toy box worlds of misfits and oddballs, Zoller Seitz’s hagiographic collector’s item will probably leave us as cold. (Video on next page.)
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