One Life Aquatic

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One Life Aquatic Steve Zissou is a world known, and partially renowned oceanographic explorer. He has been depicted through his documentary films as a larger than life character, yet it seems that each unsuccessful film shows more and more of his humanity. The film introduces us to Steve Zissou when he is at an all time low in his career, having just lost his best friend and crewmate Esteban. Steve is now searching for something more amazing than anything he has ever done, just to reaffirm his place in life. In the film The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (Wes Anderson, 2004), parallelism can be found between two very similar scenes. By contrasting the second film premiere to the first, the transformation of Steve Zissou can be seen through his departure down the red carpet. The crew of the Belafonte starts their stroll down the red carpet; red knit caps shaping their heads, clad in their finest suits. Classical music fills the air, ringing the delicate atmosphere. The ragtag team exits their film premiere; their half cocked smiles tell us more than an interview ever could. A heckler from the crowd shouts toward the most somber of them all, Steve Zissou; a middle-aged oceanographer carrying a “crayon seahorse” he just received from a crewmate’s nephew, named Werner. Steve stands unassuming for a second, and then rushes the man, only to be punched in the face seconds later. He suddenly realizes the bag containing the seahorse has been punctured by the fight. He grabs a passerby’s wine glass and pours the seahorse in. The scene finalizes as Steve Zissou flees the film premiere. He makes his way through the crowd as the only visible part of him is the raised wine glass. While exiting his film premiere, Steve is looking for reassurance of his film’s credibility. The only comfort offered comes in the form of a “crayon seahorse” from Werner, a crewmate’s pre-pubescent nephew. As Steve leaves he is surrounded by his friends and colleagues; and though their proximity is close, their demeanor shows some distance in their relationships. After the ensuing fight, Steve exits by himself, blending into the crowd except for the raised wine glass containing the seahorse. The raised wine glass represents an obvious conflict of disposition in Steve Zissou. Though the film has shown him to be imperfect in many ways, he attempts to adapt to the persona of a very confident and brash person, much like a person who raises his wine glass to propose a toast.

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