Category Archives: Hotel Chevalier

[the films of] Wes Anderson – Video

I’m not sure how we missed this, but YouTube user keesvdijkhuizen has been creating film compilations every month as part of a yearlong series, tackling contemporary auteurs like Sofia Coppola and David Fincher. The most recent of these compilations is for, naturally, the films of Wes Anderson.

(via /Film)

Jason Schwartzman on NPR’s Fresh Air

Jason Schwartzman is out promoting the second season of his fantastic HBO series Bored to Death, and today he did a 40 minute interview with Terry Gross for Fresh Air, covering the show and his whole career.

“I gave the script [of Rushmore] to my mom and I said ‘Mom, I’ve never auditioned. Can you give me any pointers? Can you help me memorize lines?’ and she read the script and she said ‘I’ll be right back’ and she went out and rented three films, The Graduate, Dog Day Afternoon, and Harold and Maude. And I watched them all for the first time. And it was in that moment where I felt, watching the films, this warm, insane feeling inside of my body which was a feeling that up until then music had given me. And it was in that moment where I said ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever get this part. I don’t know if my band will ever make it. But I’ve got to try to live my life somehow staying as close to this weird feeling as possible.”

Listen to the interview after the jump, or at Fresh Air‘s site, where you can also download a podcast of the interview.

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Criterion Reveals “Darjeeling” Cover (and it’s not what you think…)

It looks so detailed I imagine it’ll be even more impressive in person, but we like it.

Pre-order the DVD here and the Blu-Ray here. For specs on the set take a look at our earlier story, the DVD and Blu-Ray will be out on October 10th.

Update: You can view a hi-res version of the cover over the Criterion Cast.

Guest Blogger: Derek Hill on The Darjeeling Limited

Derek Hill is the author of the new book Charlie Kaufman and Hollywood’s Merry Band of Pranksters, Fabulists and Dreamers, now available in the U.K. (Amazon | Waterstone’s | Blackwell ) and out soon in the U.S. ( Amazon ). He has agreed to write several pieces for the Academy. This is part 2; Derek has decided to offer the section of the book on TDL in its entirety. Enjoy!

‘Is that symbolic?  We.  Haven’t.  Located.  Us.  Yet!’
– Francis Whitman (Owen Wilson) has his mind blown when he realises that the train he and his brothers have been passengers on is lost.

Anderson has never been averse to addressing mortality head-on in his films, specifically the death of a spouse (Rushmore), parent (The Royal Tenenbaums) or child (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou).  Although all of his films are ostensibly comedies, there has always been an element of the impermanence of things, of people, that has delicately coaxed an emotional resonance forth from the wackiness.  Not particularly original or groundbreaking, but when one considers the frequently bathetic treatment of death in much of American mainstream cinema, Anderson’s unsentimental and realistic treatment of grief is a commendable aspect and intrusion upon his lucid, intensely fabricated theatricality.  As much as Anderson has become a master of the elaborate multi-layered mise-en-scene, he also astutely understands the moment to drop back, allowing his characters to feel the brunt of their sorrow without excessive ornamentation.  The Darjeeling Limited is as waggish as any of Anderson’s previous work.  But at its core is the black hole of loss, the invisible thread that binds us as profoundly (if not more so) than birth.

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New Yorker: “A Strange, Long Trip”

February 25, 2008, DVD review by Richard Brody (link)

It’s unjust that the Academy didn’t nominate Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” (Fox) in any category, but inexplicable that they didn’t invent a special one for it: Best Luggage. An exquisite set of suitcases, credited to Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton, plays a large role in this blissful, loopy comedy of family anguish and sublimated tenderness.

The film’s subject is coming home, and it’s a sign of Anderson’s comic genius that it takes a picaresque jaunt through India by three brothers, estranged since their father’s funeral a year ago, to do so. The domineering Francis (Owen Wilson), who is recovering from a motorcycle accident, has convened the other two—Peter (Adrien Brody), a regular guy in a panic over the impending birth of his first child, and Jack (Jason Schwartzman), a literary romantic trapped in a troubled relationship—for a “spiritual journey,” which he plans down to the minute.

The trip brings odd misadventure, off-kilter romance, and sudden danger, but the real story involves coming to terms with a lifetime of ingrained resentments plus grief of more recent vintage. For Anderson, such troubles are too big to blurt out without bathos and ridicule. Following other Wasp modernists such as Hemingway and Howard Hawks, he relies on high style, sly gestures, and arch pranks to evoke intense emotion with bite and grace. His tight, sketchlike structures bring out the best in his actors, especially Schwartzman (who co-wrote the script with Anderson and Roman Coppola), a Dustin Hoffman for our time, who doles out Zen wisdom with a carnal leer. In Anderson’s world of brothers without sisters, the ribald rituals of male bonding suggest the unfathomable otherness of women—including the trio’s mother (Anjelica Huston), whose life haunts them no less than their father’s death and who turns out to be the real reason for their trip.

Where people prove elusive, material things play an outsized, totemic role. The brothers’ grudges emerge in their wrangling over their father’s relics—glasses, keys, toiletries—but pride of place goes to his luggage. Dark tan, finely tooled, and adorned with a faux-naïf intaglio of wild animals, it follows them around on their journey at great inconvenience, a perfect, literal metaphor for their heavy emotional baggage.

The film begins with a neat dose of backstory: a short preface, featuring Jack holed up in a luxurious Paris hotel before his passage to India, where he receives a surprise visit from the woman he adores (Natalie Portman, chomping a toothpick, her hair cropped martially short). Movingly, stoically, whimsically, Anderson suggests the difficult self-restraint and self-mastery that the most intimate relationships demand. Love, in his book, is tolerance and acceptance—facing up to pain in order to take the pleasure that’s given.

Hotel Chevalier in Zoetrope All-Story

Francis Ford Coppola’s magazine dedicated to short fiction and one-act plays, Zoetrope All-Story, has published the screenplay for Wes Anderson’s short film Hotel Chevalier in their Winter 2007 edition. You can purchase the issue for $8.00 on the Zoetrope website.

(thanks to Brian)

But where do you go to my lovely
When you’re alone in your bed
Tell me the thoughts that surround you
I want to look inside your head, yes I do

Wes talks shop, and Mr. Fox

Rotten Tomatoes
November 22, 2007
Link

Wes Anderson burst onto the American Indie scene in 1996 with his first feature film Bottle Rocket which also introduced the world to Luke and Owen Wilson. Cementing his reputation as the Godfather of Quirk with films like Rushmore, The Life Aquatic and The Royal Tenenbaums, Anderson returns to screens this year with The Darjeeling Limited, about a trio of brothers who take a train journey through India and discover more about themselves and each other than perhaps they’d ever hoped for. He talks to Rotten Tomatoes.

Where did the idea for the film come from originally?

Wes Anderson: Initially I had two ideas; one that I wanted to make a movie in India and the second one was that I had this idea about a movie with three brothers on a train together. I mixed them together and they became The Darjeeling Limited.

The other main idea I think was that I thought I’d like to write with Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman and I think the movie we wound up making is really the combination of all three of our points of view mixed together.

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