Monthly Archives: October 2007

Wilson Brothers’ “The Wendell Baker Story” out on DVD

We have been rightfully caught up in the excitement over Hotel Chevalier, The Darjeeling Limited, and the Criterion version of Bottle Rocket, BUT… The Wendell Baker Story (2005) — a film co-directed by, written by, and co-starring Luke Wilson — will be available on DVD October 30th. Andrew Wilson co-directed, Owen co-stars. From Stephen Holden’s New York Times review piece:

This shambling, good-natured comedy is a Wilson family affair. Written by Luke Wilson, who directed with his older brother Andrew, it also stars a third brother, Owen, as Wendell’s nemesis. The appeal of “The Wendell Baker Story” depends on how charming you find the Wilson brothers, with their chipmunk grins and hip smart-aleck attitude. For my taste, a little goes a long way (more reviews).

To pre-order, click here.

wendell_baker_story.jpg

Wes & Jason on the Reel Geezers, India, Mr. Fox, and Bottle Rocket on Criterion

Help get/keep The Darjeeling Limited on the Yahoo! Buzz Index of most popular searches by clicking here.

Wes and Jason were on CBC’s The Hour last night (video). Wes promised that Hotel Chevalier will be added to The Darjeeling Limited print in Canada.

Ain’t It Cool has a great interview with Wes and Jason, including Wes’ confirmation of a Criterion Collection edition of Bottle Rocket. Some highlights:

[about this]. Roman said they are both very smart, and he really liked them. And the old man said that he liked these brothers, that the movie is from their point of view traveling through India. And she doesn’t like them, but she also felt that the film exploited people in India. And I always feel like, that makes me unhappy to hear anybody say that because we went to India because I was fascinated with this country. We fell in love with it. We are tourists there; that’s all we can ever be there. But we’re tourists who are very interested in this culture and learning about it. It’s a place where people who go there and like it tend to love it, and the people who love it tend to want to go back. There is more religion, more variety of religion, more practice of religion, more rituals there than any place else I’ve ever experienced. I think that’s why people go on pilgrimages there because it’s a place where, if you’re open to it and interested it will genuinely have quite and impact on you just because of the intensity of the place. I’ve always found that I had very emotional experiences there, but then you get sensitive and wonder if that sounds kind of naive. I don’t know. I just hate to sound self-protective and defensive; I’d rather just express our real feelings about it….

It’s taken us a long time to get this [Fantastic Mr. Fox] going, but we finally got it going. Noah Baumbach and I adapted it. George Clooney is going to play Mr. Fox. We’ve just started working on it in England, and it’s going. We have a guy named Mark Gustafson directing the animation. Henry [THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS] Selick was going to do it originally but over time that didn’t work out because Henry has his own thing he’s directing [CORALINE, based on Neil Gaiman's novel]….

I think the closest thing to compare it to is that Eastern European stuff, because the animals are going to have fur, and the sets are meant to look kind of like real life. So it’s more in the vein….

[about the Criterion Collection DVD] That’s right. We just have to do a lot of work to prepare it, but that’s in the works. I was supposed to do a bunch of stuff already that I didn’t do yet, so I’m going to get on it though. But some of the stuff is at my mother’s house in Texas, so I have to go to Texas and dig through all my boxes, because there’s materials for the movies that I haven’t looked at in a long, long time. And we want to try and include everything that might be good….

Jason’s new album Nighttiming is available as an MP3 download on Amazon.com. Buy it here — it supports the site.

Wes and Jason On Tour, 2007

Thursday evening update: Wes and Jason will be on CBC’s The Hour tonight — Thursday, October 18th at 11 pm ET. We will post the video tomorrow.

Fox Searchlight schedule

Toronto, D.C., Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and more*

* note, not all dates include BOTH Wes & Jason

The Huffington Post compares Wes to Sofia Coppola

Someone who’s never seen a Wes film (other than TDL) interviews the writers and gets some interesting answers:

“I can’t remember having a work experience or travel experience that I felt was more life-changing than this one, just in terms of how it affects your point of view and just the feeling coming out of it . . . We wanted a mechanic who looked like a Nazi but then turns out to be a good guy. . . I mean, he’s Ringo. Does Ringo get offended? I don’t know. I doubt it.”

The Cleveland Free Times, compares Wes to Richard Lester and Peter Bogdonavich, and also gets a scoop:

Anderson is also in the process of writing a new live-action film that he hopes to get before the cameras within the next year. “Ideally, I’d like to have two movies opening at the same time,” he says optimistically . . . I’ve had offers and have even thought about directing some big Hollywood tent-pole kind of thing, but that’s about as far as it’s gone.”

The Retriever Weekly calls TDL “simply awesome”

Check out this great essay on Wes from Fanzine

Broadside Online praises a Wes trait that often goes unnoticed these days, his sincerity:

With his latest film, the oddball auteur takes his audience on a train ride fraught with a newfound maturity that elevates his talent as a filmmaker to impressive new heights. So hop aboard The Darjeeling Limited and experience Wes Anderson’s eclectic, eccentric, esoteric and always entertaining blend of comedy, tragedy and heartbreaking sincerity.

Weekend box office, and “High Tea, India Style”

Box Office Mojo is projecting that The Darjeeling Limited will finish 15th in the weekend box office race, making $1,125,000 in just 95 theatres nationwide. Well played!

The New York Times Travel section has a great article about the Darjeeling region of India, called “High Tea, India Style.”

Images from the New York Times

Enjoying tea at Makaibari was an involved business, one that began before I’d even woken up. At 7:30 every morning, a knock would come at the door of my bungalow, and Mr. Lama, the grandfatherly caretaker, would present me with a cup of fresh, hot “bed tea,” which I’d sip groggily before leaving my woolen blankets for the chilly mountain air.


Onboard video: train tour, and more production videos

Go see The Darjeeling Limited this weekend, newly available in 13 new markets this weekend! Also be sure to join our community forum, the Yankee Racers.

New markets this weekend; Jack’s shoes; and production video with and post from designer Mark Friedberg

Go see The Darjeeling Limited this weekend! It opens in thirteen new markets today:

Dallas/Ft. Worth
Philadelphia
San Diego
Seattle
Baltimore
Denver
Minneapolis
Phoenix
Austin
Portland

Hartford/New Haven

Vancouver

Montreal

Head on over to the Yankee Racers forum, and discuss why Jack doesn’t wear shoes.

Watch this great production video, then read the production designer Mark Friedberg’s “personal experience” from the Media Alerts below.


Media alerts

Wes wanted to have a unified sort of sensibility, and those [Kinks] songs appear in the film at three critical moments: one at the head of the film, one in the middle of the movie and then one at the end of the film.

More soon…

Unlimited Appeal

Is Wes Anderson a Genius?

“What Wes Anderson has done with The Darjeeling Limited is craft a masterpiece that eschews all the criticism for his previous work. . . The Darjeeling Limited is basically a collection of short stories with the same three recurring characters. The film is indeed episodic, but in a good way, with a narrative thru-line that helps carry the emotional baggage (pun intended) throughout the journey. . . it wouldn’t surprise me if the film were made in the 70′s. It didn’t remind me of any modern day films, instead conjuring up The Passenger or the Apu films or The 400 Blows. But it still felt original, like it was a unique and modern film, only with hints of where film has gone before. . .While I don’t think this film is on par with The Royal Tenenbaums, it is still a small masterpiece that stands up to Rushmore and is miles beyond The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.”

Anne Thompson of Variety.com is one of many who call Darjeeling Wes’ best since Rushmore:

“Darjeeling is gorgeous to look at, full of the hum and vibrancy of India, quirky, delightfully detailed, and often funny. . . a satisfying entertainment.”

San Diego City Beat agrees:

“The Darjeeling Limited isn’t a particularly complex film, and that actually makes it stronger . . . It’s easy to say this is just another film about spoiled man-children who are unable to deal with the realities of life, and that enlightenment, spiritual or otherwise, can’t be purchased through a travel agent. And you’d be right. But that’s the point, and that’s exactly why Wes Anderson has gotten back on track. Because, grasshopper, sometimes enlightenment is found when you stop looking for it.”

The Onion A.V. Club interviews Wes:

Any time someone doesn’t like one on the first run, I hope they will give it another shot. At least we’ll get another chance. But I do feel, in my approach, I am not really a minimalist. I don’t like to leave out ideas that I think could add something to the story. Sometimes, you can’t quite pick up on all of it in one sitting. It’s not by design. But maybe it’s a side effect of my approach.”

The Onion also gives us 10 Films That Couldn’t Have Happened Without Wes Anderson, and 16 Films Without Which Wes Anderson Couldn’t Have Happened

Scribe Life/Folio Weekly says it’s all played for laughs, except when it’s not:

“The most oddly affecting little movie of the season. It’s funny, goofy and genuinely sweet.”

Baltimore City Paper interviews Wes:

“Honestly, I’m not making movies where I think, `Let me see how weird this can be,’” Anderson defends himself. “With [Darjeeling] our credo was, How personal can we make it? . . . When I make a movie about India, I make it from the point of view of a foreigner.”

Huffington Post has a piece by Darjeeling set designer Mark Friedberg:

“Wes had refused the traditional approach of building an interior set on a stage and the fate of the film was in the balance. Having intimate insight into the process I can safely say that the film almost didn’t happen. Many sleepless nights in the bed of the designer and the producer were had leading up to the beginning of our shooting schedule. On the night the train arrived the entire crew showed up at the shop and cheered.”

The Willamette Week raves:

“Nothing in the film matches the dull inevitability of its reviews . . . And there’s something about that first Darjeeling image, two men sprinting in slow motion for a train, that brings to mind The Great Gatsby ’s famous words about how “tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further….” Wes Anderson beats on, while his characters are borne back ceaselessly into their pasts.”

Here’s a fun ‘behind the scenes’ video from the Venice Film Festival – thanks, Stretch!

Big Wheels Keep Rolling

Release Schedule from Fox Searchlight

Image Courtesy of The New Yorker

IndieWIRE: Big Wheels Keep Rolling:

“A steamrolling weekend gross of $561,628 made Wes Anderson’s sibling comedy “The Darjeeling Limited” the top release on the iWBOT, which ranks films by per-screen average. “Darjeeling Limited” was also Fox Searchlight’s best fall comedy, so far outperforming its 2004 comedy “Sideways.”

Adrien Brody on Regis and Kelly

There is a great interview with Sweet Lime at rediff.com.

Pajiba.com on Darjeeling:

“The Darjeeling Limited is a smart, nimble film, swinging from subtle wit to outright hilarity to devastating loss . . .Anderson has retreated far enough into his dreamworld that he’s come out the other side, back into reality, pulling with him everything he learned and saw along the way.”

Jason Schwartzman on The View

Anthony Lane of The New Yorker gives the film a subtitle: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the East”

Ain’t it Cool:

“The Darjeeling [Limited] isn’t like other films by this somewhat enigmatic filmmaker. It’s full of mystery and spender and a few raw notions that set this one apart from the rest.”

World Hum calls Dareeling fresh and funny

Glenn Whipp of The Los Angeles Daily News

“Anderson has pulled the heartstrings before, though that seems to go unnoticed by people who get distracted by his precisely constructed worlds. But the beautiful, wistful melancholy of “Bottle Rocket,” “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” has been augmented here by a more mature empathy and understanding for the vast world outside of Anderson’s making. It makes for an extraordinary movie, filled with splendor, laughter and a touch of cosmic wisdom. You won’t forget it.”

Sunday afternoon movie

It’s Sunday afternoon. Why not go see The Darjeeling Limited this afternoon at one of these 19 theatres?

P.S. If you went this weekend, e-mail us your experience (edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org, no spaces), and we may post it here!

News and Media Alerts

  • Owen Wilson made a surprise apperance at The Darjeeling Limited‘s Thursday premiere in Los Angeles (Reuters). Wes said, “He’s my best friend…. I’ve never made a movie without him and I hope to never have to.” Anjelica Huston apparently joked about having a crush on Owen, while Jason Schwartzman said, “Owen is doing very well and he is with us tonight, and I love him” (imdb). We do, too.
  • There is a really great interview with Waris in the New York Press. Some highlights:

I met [Wes Anderson] at a peace rally through mutual friends four years ago. We became friends, saw each other at dinner, this and that. One day, he just asked me what I was doing for the second half of the year….

After Life Aquatic, the Sikh community reached out to me. They started writing, sending e-mails, just thanking me. What did I do? I worked for a friend. I’m not trying to be a role model. I wasn’t involved with my community that much, so it was a strange turnaround to go down to Capitol Hill to get awarded by Hillary Clinton for my positive portrayal of Sikhs in the media….

Wes treated the country beautifully, in terms of how he shot it. It’s earnest and honest. The films of Satyajit Ray are something that he loves. He got really into it. So why is it fetishistic in a bad way? We all fetishize things. Maybe he did….

He’s curious about cultures and experiences, and he was drawn in by those films he saw—the magic of them. Everyone has a tendency–not just this writer from Slate, god bless him—we look at everything through our own eyes. Sure, it could be construed as racist. I won’t argue with you there. You can look at anything out of context, and it’s going to be racist. I think there might be racist things in Spike’s movie, but I’m not sure. [laughs] Someone needed a good angle for their story. And that’s a good angle! I commend him on his story. These are good things to explore. That’s fine. It’s an opinion. But he’s talking about someone who I know and have spent a great deal of time with over five years—I know that’s not him.

(Editor’s note: We heart Waris. Isn’t this post turning into quite the love fest…?)

  • Box Office Mojo projects that The Darjeeling Limited will come in 24th at the box office this weekend — showing on only 19 theatres across North America and adding $553,000 to its total gross.

More soon…