Video Dump: An Irregular Feature -- Wes Anderson, Commercial Director

If you watch TV like I do, commercials tend to be nothing more than background noise. Occasionally, something weird will catch your ear and you'll catch the end of a commercial, but it puts you on guard for the next time the spot airs.

That's what happened with these AT&T wireless ads. I had no idea what they were when I first saw them. To me, they were nothing more than clever, "Our network goes everywhere you go" spots, with Stanley Tucci voiceover, that made the Verizon, look-at-our-amazing-network advertisements seem pedestrian by comparison. Then I found out Wes Anderson ("Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic," the forthcoming "The Darjeeling Limited") directed them. Then they made sense.

The ads are rife with Anderson's whimsy, from the long single-shot action to the nifty scene changes to the fake-yet-who-cares props. Interestingly, they are fairly different from Anderson's first major commercial, done for American Express. That one seemed to come more from Anderson's "Rushmore" sensibility, whereas these AT&T ads seem to have evolved from the style and technique used in "The Life Aquatic."

Regardless, they're all fun. Watch and enjoy.

Here's the one that started it all, Anderson's excellent ad for AmEx: