Listen to audio and watch video from Wes and Noah at the NYPL

Wes and Noah Baumbach appeared at the New York Public Library last evening. You can now listen to the audio of the conversation over at their website, and watch video.

A brief account of the event over at The Modern Age

Wes and Noah at the New York Public Library

LIVE from the NYPL: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach

Monday, 9 November 2009
7:00 p.m.
Celeste Bartos Forum
Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
$25 general admission

LIVE from the NYPL presents an evening with director WES ANDERSON (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) in conversation with screenplay co-writer NOAH BAUMBACH (The Squid and the Whale) about Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson’s first animated film. In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Wes Anderson utilizes classic handmade stop-motion techniques to tell the story of the classic children’s book by ROALD DAHL. Mr. and Mrs. Fox (George Clooney and Meryl Streep) live an idyllic home life with their son Ash (Jason Schwartzman) and visiting young nephew Kristofferson (Eric Anderson). But after twelve years of quiet domesticity, the bucolic existence proves too much for Mr. Fox’s wild animal instincts. Soon he slips back into his old ways as a sneaky chicken thief and in doing so, endangers not only his beloved family, but the whole animal community… The film is produced by Allison Abbate, Scott Rudin, Wes Anderson and Jeremy Dawson.

Jason Schwartzman on KCRW’s The Treatment

Jason Schwartzman at KCRW

Jason Schwartzman appeared this past Wednesday on KCRW’s excellent program The Treatment, hosted by former New York Times critic and TCM host Elvis Mitchell.

Schwartzman elaborates on his use of music in preparing for his roles, his appreciation for great writing, and working with Sofia Coppola and Wes Anderson. He also discusses his character in Bored to Death, a Brooklyn-based lovelorn writer-turned-private detective.

You can stream the show and download a podcast of it at KCRW’s website, where you can also listen to past shows with Wes Anderson (1999, 2002, 2004) and Noah Baumbach among many other great filmmakers. (KCRW also talked to Jason about some of his favorite songs last year, you can listen to that here.)

Noah Baumbach back at work

Noah Baumbach, who co-wrote The Life Aquatic and Fantastic Mr. Fox, is back at work on his next film according to

Prodigious director Noah Baumbach has quietly started shooting an untitled film in Los Angeles
starring Ben Stiller as Roger Greenberg, a man at a crossroads who ends up housesitting at his brother’s home in Los Angeles. It’s there that he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his brother’s assistant Florence (played by reta Gerwig), an aspiring singer. Rhys Ifans, Mark Duplass, Brie Larson, and Juno Temple also star.

Baumbach wrote the script based on a story he conceived with Jennifer Jason Leigh, who co-stars and is co-producing with Baumbach and Scott Rudin. After Baumbach’s first film THE SQUID AND THE WHALE was nominated for an Oscar, the man was widely regarded as one of Hollywood’s hottest young directors. But after his next film MARGOT AT THE WEDDING suffered from a lukewarm reception, the boy wonder was left reeling. Early buzz on this next film is decent, so lets hope Mr. Baumbach gets back on track and lives up to the hype, LeBron James-style.

Press notes and credits for Fantastic Mr. Fox

from (Netherlands):

These are said to be the press notes and credits for Fantastic Mr. Fox. I cannot absolutely confirm their authenticity at this point but have no reason to believe that they are are a fabrication.

Based on the beloved story by Roald Dahl, the film tells the tale of the noble, charming and fantastic Mr. Fox, who uses his wits and cunning to outfox three dimwitted farmers who tire of sharing their chickens with the crafty creature.

“Boggis and Bunce and Bean.  One short, one fat, one lean.  These horrible crooks, so different in looks, were nonetheless equally mean.”

Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Darjeeling Limited) directs the stop-motion animation of Roald Dahl’s much loved children’s book. Fantastic Mr. Fox is voiced by George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray and Michael Gambon, and scheduled for release in the fall of 2009.

Continue reading “Press notes and credits for Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Reader mail: a missed news tidbit?

From reader Michael:


I randomly stumbled across this just now, not sure if you’ve seen it…

I’m submitting this because a) I hadn’t seen it before, and I’d up until now been fairly certain I’d read literally every interview Anderson conducted in promoting Darjeeling, and b) I’ve been visiting your website at least once a day since I found it, which was some time a few months before Darjeeling was released.

Here’s the pertinent bit for your convenience:

“Noah [Baumbach] and I started working on a…story for a movie without really realizing we were doing it. It wasn’t ‘The Life Aquatic.’ It was something else that we haven’t even finished writing. Whenever we would go to dinner or something, we’d just start making up scenes for this thing and then we just started writing them down because [we realized] that we’ve got a lot of stuff now.”

Best, and thanks for all the work. It’s a great site, and I appreciate the good writing.

Tally-ho! And, thanks!

The Darjeeling Limited in Istanbul Fest

I hope all our Istabuli readers will be heading to the Istanbul International Film Festival (April 5-20) where The Darjeeling Limited will make its Turkish premiere. The Festival has an overall “’68 Generation” theme and will be presenting some wonderful films (Godard’s Rolling Stones doc Sympathy for the Devil to Hopper’s Easy Rider). TDL will show in the “American Independents” category alongside The Savages and (Team Anderson collaborator) Baumbach’s Margot at the Wedding. Two hundred films will be screened in all. If I am not mistaken, this is the second Middle East showing for TDL, after the Israeli premier earlier this year. So Bosporus bathers, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity!

Paste Magazine Art House Powerhouse 100

(I meant to post this when the magazine arrived a few weeks ago, but better late than never.)

The latest issue of Paste Magazine (#39) includes the Paste Art House Powerhouse 100:

 Who are the power players in the world of quality cinema? What individuals and organizations make intelligent, well-crafted movies and have the profile, financial resources and/or critical esteem to attract discerning audiences? In short, we looked for those at the intersection of art and commerce who make independent film the viable and sustainable industry that we’ve come to enjoy (link).

Of course, some of our favorites were included:

Wes Anderson
{ RH: The Darjeeling Limited U: The Fantastic Mr. Fox} Scenes in slow-motion set to Kinks songs, overwhelmingly quirky production design, dramatic family rivalries—Wes Anderson just can’t seem to escape himself. But this is OK. Because underneath the deadpan humor of each of his movies is a true sense of melancholy and loss unmatched by any other filmmaker of his generation.

Cate Blanchett
{ RH: I’m Not There, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Notes on a Scandal, Babel U: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button } Like Meryl Streep, this Australian actress may be the best of her generation. All the auteurs love her: Scorsese, Anderson, Iñárritu and now Spielberg. Her performance as Bob Dylan in I’m Not There was not so much impersonation as repossession. Be afraid, Indiana Jones, be very afraid.

Natalie Portman
{ RH: Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited; Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium; Paris, Je T’aime U: My Blueberry Nights, The Other Boleyn Girl } The buoyant former child star defies convention: She’s an even better performer now that she’s come of age—a Jodie Foster, not a Lindsay Lohan. Not that there ever was much doubt. Portman is fiercely intelligent and unafraid to take risks (stripping in Closer, rapping on SNL), which makes her a natural for directors as varied as Wong Kar-Wai and Wes Anderson.

Jason Schwartzman
{ RH: The Darjeeling Limited, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story U: The Marc Pease Experience } As Max Fischer he was ambitious and organized, but even Rushmore’s fans never expected Schwartzman would build on his deadpan, cerebral, hipster-geek image to become one of independent film’s most interesting leading men.

Noah Baumbach
{ RH: Margot at the Wedding, The Squid and the Whale U: The Fantastic Mr. Fox (S), The Emperor’s Children (S) } The Squid and the Whale took us by surprise with its refreshingly honest observation of a family in disorder. And now he’s done it again with Margot at the Wedding. Next up is a co-writing reunion with director Wes Anderson for the animated Fantastic Mr. Fox and an adaptation of The Emperor’s Children for director Ron Howard.

Bravo, Paste!

Wes a nerd crush at

(Wes Anderson’s floating head courtesy of

In an unexpected turn of events, I am referencing (awaits rapture)

That said, Wes is one of their crushes of the month (theme: “Nerds!”). If nerd wasn’t a badge of honor, I would libel/slander these fine people. Not that I am one…

Moving on:

Wes Anderson and [Noah Baumbach, I presume?], the directors of The Darjeeeling Limited and Margot at the Wedding, respectively, drop Truffaut references the way most guys cite Animal House, and male lankiness and tweed-wearing hallmarks of sexy.

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 Buy it here — it supports the site.