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Image / Living / Culture

These Irish travel videos will give your favourite Wes Anderson movie a run for its money


By Sarah Finnan
13th Apr 2022
These Irish travel videos will give your favourite Wes Anderson movie a run for its money

The Canadian photographer/filmmaker has won the internet over with his very Wes Anderson style TikToks. 

Everyone’s TikTok for you page is different, that’s the nature of the algorithm… but if you haven’t come across Canadian filmmaker Brendan Mariani’s Wes Andertour series yet, then it might be time for you to look him up specifically. 

Originally a musician by trade, Mariani went to school for jazz drums (yes, just like Miles Teller’s character in the movie Whiplash), but the love affair with photography and filmmaking started after he finished college. Buying himself a camera and making his way to Belfast to visit his mother’s family, Mariani ended up liking it here so much that he decided to stay… and he’s been in Ireland ever since. “It was in 2015 and I was over [in Belfast] after school and I actually didn’t take the flight back. I ended up staying here, I got a passport, I was staying with family,” he recalled. 

Obviously a big fan of the legendary director – who is the man behind such movies as The Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr Fox and more recently, The French Dispatch Mariani said that he was very inspired by Wes Anderson’s work. 

@brendanmariani

A Wes Andertour #wesanderson #omeath #bigfish #ireland #wesandertour

? original sound – Brendan Mariani

“Honestly, I just wanted to be making things. I was trying out a number of different ideas and then slowly over time it developed,” he told Dave Fanning on his RTÉ 2FM show recently. “I really like Wes Anderson, just in general, and I guess that sort of started coming out and then I kind of followed the thread.”

Getting a job as a tour guide on one of the local Red Bus tours while in Belfast, Mariani developed both his filmmaking habit and his storytelling skills during that time and now a couple of years later and he’s one of TikTok’s new favourites. Known for the informative tour guide-esque videos he makes about different Irish towns, each one features similar music, framing and composition techniques to those Anderson himself uses. 

@brendanmariani

Glaslough Village – TheAnderTour #glaslough #ireland #wesandertour #bigfish #castleleslie #monaghan

? original sound – Brendan Mariani

“I kind of hyperfocus on things, maybe too much sometimes. I really like Wes’ movies so, honestly, I was watching, maybe only his movies – obviously there are exceptions – for a few years. But it’s because there’s so much in them.” That influence then had an effect on his own style of videos and thus his Wes Andertour series was born. 

So far, his repertoire includes everywhere from Dingle to Courtown Village, Glaslough, Blatray, Carlingford, Skerries and Bray amongst others. How does he decide which towns to do? “I’d like to go all over the place, really. So it’s just figuring out how to make different things happen. It’s been a little bit more around the east coast so far, but I do hope to go to other places. As for deciding the places as well, I’ll be doing research, but really the answer is what ends up feeling right and that also is in relation to all the videos that were done before.”

Most of his videos aren’t pre-planned and “everything is being built as it’s happening”. That goes for the content included in each individual video too, which relies largely on what he hears from locals once he visits there himself. “For me, it’s really, really important to actually be spending time talking with people and just asking about the time. They might end up saying things that end up pointing you in another direction and you start to connect the dots as you hear multiple people say the same sort of things.” 

@brendanmariani

Bray – Killer whales are not technically whales #wesandertour #bray #wicklow #ireland #sealife

? original sound – Brendan Mariani

Mixing in a few other interesting facts and some of his own personal interests (such as marine animals) in with “the Wes thing”, Mariani says that this helps his creations feel more his own.  “That’s something that I actually picked up while doing the tour bus because if I ever tried to give someone else’s tour – you know that one of the other guides was saying, the little things that they would add in – it would just never work and then that ties into the background in jazz as well and music, where you sort of have to add your own thing in.” 

Racking up almost 36,000 followers and more than 616,000 likes on the app, his most-watched clip has been viewed more than half a million times so far.