The Royal Dreifuss

When you get right down to it, the Tenenbaums, from the film The Royal Tenenbaums, and the Dreifuss don’t have too much in common. The family history is different and the individual biographies are completely different – except that Royal, like Daniel Dreifuss, came back from New York. While the Dreifuss is directed by Zurich, the Tenenbaums are directed by Wes Anderson. 

Then scene that changes everything appears, and suddenly all the protagonists are wearing a classic red Adidas tracksuit. This is when the two stories merge. What didn’t seem to fit together becomes one – the Tenenbaums and the Dreifuss. The comedic, the black and the weird detaches from the tragic and becomes a feeling that both families have snuggled into, embracing the viewer.

The family with all its ways and impasses, without the trouble of comparison in detail, is what Wes Anderson stylises into a family fairy tale, as one could also call the family life of the Dreifuss. Sometimes full of profundity and weight, then in its full comedy, and suddenly quirky – but always loving.

Daniel Dreifuss and his sons love The Royal Tenenbaums so much because the film makes it abundantly clear what family is, the beautiful as well as complexity.

When the Zurich Tenenbaums, the Dreifuss’s, sit together, talk about life, one might expect the full force of a family drama, a quote from the film falls that makes everything seem like a fairytale again:

Why did you do it? Because of me?” – “Yes, but it’s not your fault.”*.

To quote profoundly this: “Is that a TicTac? “* Which inevitably brings us somehow to watches as well.


Photo credits: Philipp Mueller


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