Fanspot
The Tenenbaum House

Movie The Royal Tenenbaums Wes Anderson (2001)
The Tenenbaum family lives in a beautiful house. The theatre of his colourful tribulations...
339 Convent Avenue New York
339 Convent Avenue New York. Photo credit: Fantrippers

“But somewhere along the line I decided that we had too much fantasy and that we should go in the opposite direction to ground the story in the fact that the house really existed, that the streets really existed. So ultimately we decided to shoot entirely on location in New York. You might not necessarily recognize it as New York but you’d know that the place is real and the characters existing in it are real.”

Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson was inspired to set the story of The Royal Tenenbaums in this luxurious mansion at 339 Convent Avenue, at the corner of 144th Street in northern Manhattan.

On screen, The Tenenbaum House becomes the scene of the sometimes stormy and more or less ubiquitous exchanges between the members of a deeply dysfunctional but endearing family.

If the name Tenenbaum was that of a friend of Wes Anderson, the latter was inspired by his own experience to write the script of his third film.

His parents’ divorce was the triggering event. An important episode in the life of Wes Anderson, mixed with various influences, many of which are to be found on the side of French cinema; the filmmaker being a great admirer of Louis Malle and Jean-Pierre Melville, even if we find in his feature film some Jerome David Salinger and elements evoking The Magnificent Ambersons by Orson Welles.

This complex chronicle of the relationships between brothers and sisters, parents and children, takes place in the heart of a city that the director has made his own, avoiding making New York too identifiable on screen.

The Convent Avenue house was the starting point of the project and the centre of the story, and was to undergo major renovations. Wes Anderson nevertheless manages to postpone them by six months in order to exploit the locations to emphasize his aesthetic and narrative approach.

He then did the same with all the places where he placed his cameras. The Royal Tenenbaums was a critical success and helped establish Wes Anderson as an important director.

The artist has always enjoyed working with the same actors, such as the Wilson brothers, Owen, Luke and Andrew, who are featured in many of his works. Their friendship began in college, where Wes Anderson shared a room with Owen Wilson. Bill Murray is also one of his favourite actors.

The Royal Tenenbaums is the most New York-based film of its author and has a special aura today. A cult work whose imagery is finally summed up perfectly when you admire the house at 339 Convent Avenue.

28

The film received no less than 28 nominations in various ceremonies. In the end, he won 9 awards.

Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums.
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums. Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums.
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums. Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums.
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums. Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums.
Scene from The Tenenbaum House in the Royal Tenenbaums. Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures

339 Convent Ave

A spectacular house whose architecture contrasts with the other buildings in the neighborhood. An attraction in itself!

Go there

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Fanspots Stories New York

Fanspots Stories New York

Discover the secrets of the cult places of the greatest masterpieces of pop culture in New York!

The world capital of pop culture, New York embodies unbridled creative freedom. The city that never sleeps has been the muse of a large number of directors, actors, screenwriters, singers, musicians, cartoonists and writers…

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By Gilles Rolland

Friday, October 8, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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