TDL opens the New York Film Festival tonight! & Criterion treatment for BR?

Send your reports and photos to edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org (no spaces).

MTV.com is reporting that Bottle Rocket will “get Criterion treatment at last.” Of course, these rumors have been flying around for years, but we really hope it is true this time.

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On to more reviews…

Newsweek calls Darjeeling a “return to form.”

Stephanie Zacharek of Salon.com on Darjeeling (keep in mind it’s the first Anderson film she doesn’t dislike):

“Shows flashes of raw feeling. The picture is just naked enough that you want to wrap a blanket around it. . . “The Life Aquatic” met with a less-than-rapturous response even from many loyal Anderson admirers. And so to his credit, Anderson tries to push into new territory with “The Darjeeling Limited.”

But reserves her highest praise for Hotel Chevalier:

“Short films are exceedingly difficult to pull off, but Anderson has made one that’s very close to perrfect.

New Jersey Star Ledger:

“Had he been born two generations earlier, Anderson probably would have made some great screwball comedies. . .Taken as a whole, it’s incontrovertible evidence of Anderson’s own free-wheeling talent.” – Stephen Whitty

Filmcritic.com:

“The auteur’s best work to date. The use of songs by the Kinks, the Marc Jacobs designs, the dazed pastels; its all Anderson to a T, but it’s the first time these elements have allowed Anderson to roam free, rather than cooping him up inside.” – Chris Cabin

IGN:

“Anderson’s last film, The Life Aquatic, received deservedly mixed reviews — it had many, many great qualities along with its shortcomings — but almost all of them observed that he was sort of teetering on a precipice, in danger of falling too deeply in love with his font sizes, color schemes and quirky characterizations. Darjeeling is a response to that: Not only an acknowledgement of the dangers of indulging his most idiosyncratic impulses, he rightly points out that even in a carefully-constructed environment things have a way of falling messily out of order, and often to even more profound effect.

The Darjeeling Limited, by comparison, feels like a more comfortable fit than its predecessor — a newcomer that possesses almost all of the qualities of former companions, but offers the promise of new and even more interesting opportunities in the future. As far as coming-of-age experiences go, this is undoubtedly my favorite thus far of 2007 — cinematic or otherwise.” – Todd Gilchrist

Cinematical:

“It’s the chemistry between Schwartzmen, Brody and Wilson that really takes the film up a notch. . . Though it might seem odd to hear, the film succeeds because a lot of the details are left out. Anderson cut entire scenes (in which, I imagine, backstory was explained) in order to let the audience come to their own conclusions. . . like the three main characters, we’re asked to search for them and, thankfully, they’re not handed to us on a silver platter.” – Erik Davis

Susan Granger:

“A spicy, lyrical cinematic feast, slyly written by Anderson, Schwartzman (Talia Shire’s son) and oman Coppola (Francis’s son) – with a terrific score and cameos by Ifan Khan and Bill Murray.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “The Darjeeling Limited” is a poignant, peripatetic 8.”

Filmiholic:

“See it. It’s mood altering, in a positive way, in spite of some of the darkness that Anderson touches on. The soundtrack is excellent (Bombay Talkie and Rolling Stones), and not since Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint shared a sleeper on the 20th Century Limited has rail travel been so sexy.

New York Sun has a great piece on the film:

“Even among the gathered members of the press waiting for Mr. Anderson’s arrival at a recent “Darjeeling” press day, there was conjecture as to where this sudden dramatic streak came from. Was it his attempt to spread his wings? Did he run out of comedic material?

“I don’t think of this movie as some reaction against the ‘hermetically’ sterile ‘Life Aquatic,'” Mr. Anderson said, discounting the notion of loftier intent. “I’m just trying to use my imagination to make something interesting. I have to get obsessed with something to spend three years making it, and I’m just trying to put all my ideas in and make it as exciting as possible. I don’t mind people recognizing these films as mine, that they can put all the DVDs up on a shelf, and that they go together in some way that hopefully makes sense.

Keyboard, tip, tip, tip (Thursday morning update)

Wes from the New York Observer

The Darjeeling Limited opens the New York Film Festival tomorrow (if you are going, please send your reports and photos to edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org, no spaces). Hotel Chevalier, the 13 minute prequel to (or ‘Part I’ of) The Darjeeling Limited, was released on iTunes yesterday.

Many fans have been frustrated with the limited availability of the short film. Russer, from the Great White North, writes:

Please mention on your website that people around the world are wanting to see “Hotel Chevalier” just as much as [A]mericans do. Unfortunately, iTunes does not allow people outside of the US to download the short film even if they are current customers. Ridiculous!

Many of the Yankee Racers have been upset about this problem, and the difficulties of dealing with iTunes (i.e. needing to enter a credit card number to register for an iTunes account, even if the film itself is free). We are excited — thrilled — about the film, but we hope Fox Searchlight and the Wes team find a more democratic/international method of distributing the free short.

I have received leads on MANY relevant newspaper and magazine articles. I will try to archive them here on the website once the initial commotion has ended, but until then, some links:

In the New York Magazine piece, there is an exchange between the writer (David Amsden) and Wes about recent criticism of his work, The Life Aquatic in particular. Wes’ eloquent response is worth quoting at length:

At one point I [the author] bring up a recent essay by Michael Hirschorn in the Atlantic Monthly arguing that, as a culture, we are “drowning in quirk,” an aesthetic he defines as the “embrace of the odd against the blandly mainstream.” … Anderson, who in person is typically quite calm, becomes suddenly animated by the topic. “You know, I’ve heard that argument a million times, and it’s completely uninteresting to me,” he says. “It’s just deadeningly unoriginal. If you have ideas that you think can contribute to a movie, that you think might help you honestly enjoy it more…” … “When they say a movie I make is smarter-than-thou, that the movie is ‘too smart for its own good,’ as if we’re making movies to try to show everybody how great and cool we are…well, that’s just not the case. We’re trying our hardest to entertain people, to make something people will like, something people will connect with. I don’t think there’s a great effort to try to make some statement about ourselves, you know?”

About.com review:

“A wonderful film. It’s a pleasure to write that sentence. I want to write it again. The Darjeeling Limited is a wonderful film — both funny and affecting.” – Marcy Dermansky

The New York Sun review:

“The Darjeeling Limited” is Mr. Anderson’s most heartfelt film. . . Now that he’s freed from his own tendencies, it is again exciting to ponder where Mr. Anderson will travel next.” – S. James Snyder

New York Press’ resident eccentric Armond White weighs in:

“Casual moviegoers might grumble that Anderson’s vision is “quirky” and doesn’t allow for the mass hypnosis of self-reflexive trash like Superbad or Ocean’s Thirteen. But The Darjeeling Limited is so reflective of personal experience (within the context of rarefied pop antecedents) that it returns common emotional power to today’s fragmented, disingenuous popular culture.”

Eric Kohn – also of the New York Press:

“Having seen Darjeeling twice, I feel firmly convinced that it’s one of Anderson’s greatest accomplishments.”

Lisa Schwartzbaum of Entertainment Weekly gives Darjeeling a B+:

“There’s a startling new maturity in Darjeeling, a compassion for the larger world that busts the confines of the filmmaker’s miniaturist instincts.”

Check out this video interview with Brody and Schwartzman – there’s a mini review at the end.

Finally, the MTV Movies Blog mentions that (link) Bill Murray has been “enlisted” for The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Mr. Anderson’s next film, an adaptation of the children’s book by Roald Dahl. George Clooney will be Mr. Fox. Jason Schwartman will offer his talents. The fantastic Cate Blanchett and Anjelica Huston are rumored to be part of the (voice) cast as well. Wow, I haven’t even seen the new one yet, and we’re already excited about the new new one!

As usual, send your questions, links, leads, and other coherent statements to edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org (no spaces).

TDL screened tonight at the Venice International Film Festival

Hotel Chevalier and The Darjeeling Limited screened this evening at the Venice International Film Festival. We excitedly await photos and reactions. While Owen Wilson sadly could not attend the festivities, Wes had positive news about Owen at Venice:

Obviously he has been through quite a lot this week. I can tell you he has been doing very well, he has been making us laugh. When he’s ready he’s going to speak for himself much better than any of us could. He has got a very good way with words. (Times)

Ed Hardy, Jr’s “Shoot the Projectionist” blog is sponsoring a month-long Wes Anderson “blog-a-thon”:

Each week I’ll be unveiling a new essay about Wes Anderson, and Darren, our Opinion-at-Large, will contribute a list of his favorite moments in each Wes Anderson film. I’ll also be posting a new image from Darjeeling Limited everyday.

Ed’s current essay is titled “Wes Anderson, Nostalgia, and the 11 Year Old Point-of-View.” It’s worth checking out (be sure to read the comments, too).

Finally, we offer you some early photos of the gang from The Darjeeling Limited at Venice. Please send reactions, leads, and photos to edwardappleby @ yankeeracers.org (no spaces).

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(special thanks to Yankee Racers ‘SugarMagnolia’ and ‘Loraxaeon’ for the leads)

Some trailer captures posted…

I have posted some trailer captures. Enjoy!

tdltrailer45.jpg
Trailer Captures Gallery

All images (c) 2007 American Empirical Pictures and Fox Searchlight

“First look” at The Darjeeling Limited

From the most recent edition of Entertainment Weekly (June 29, pg. 22), a lovely scan, including great pictures, from our pals over at NataliePortman.com: (link)

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Margot at the Wedding trailer

Noah Baumbach’s latest (out October 19 2007)…

URL: Margot at the Wedding trailer at YouTube*

* sorry, embedded videos aren’t working, for whatever reason

Quoting the web

David Poland wonders:

Is The Darjeeling Limited Fox Searchlight’s secret weapon of 2007 or just a happy Wes Anderson comedy? (link)

Jake Coyle, writing for the AP, argues that the last decade of film has been far better than the AFI Top 100 suggests:

According to the American Film Institute’s new list of the 100 greatest films, the last 10 years have produced only four great ones: “Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (No. 50), “Saving Private Ryan” (No. 71), “Titanic” (No. 83) and “The Sixth Sense” (No. 89).

I get bloated just typing those titles. Granted, the last 10 years have been a historically weak period for films. They can’t touch Hollywood’s golden era of the ’40s, or the heralded ’70s, when maverick directors roamed the studios.

But surely, there’s been more to see in the last decade than Haley Joel Osment whispering “I see dead people.” (Pssst: I’ve seen better movies.)…

Wes Anderson’s classically quirky comedy “Rushmore” is far more than a cult flick. In a long comic lineage of oddballs, Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) tops them all.

Many others that weren’t on the ballot are also deserving. Two that could sit comfortably on the shelf next to “Rushmore” are “Election” and the Coen brothers'”The Big Lebowski.” The latter rises to the level of classic — after all, its whole premise is film noir held up to the funhouse mirror of “The Dude.” (link)

Jeffrey Wells dished up some harsh criticism of Wes in relation to his sometimes-collaborator Noah Baumbach. You can read it here, if you’d like. I would like to hear your comments over on the message board.

Henry Selick at the Platform International Animation Festival

574 Henry Selick, the fantastic animation artist, will be appearing at the Platform International Animation Festival in Portland, Oregon.

An Afternoon with Henry Selick
Saturday, 30 June
2.00-3.30 pm
Newmark Theatre (Portland, Oregon)

Mr. Selick worked with Wes on The Life Aquatic. He was scheduled to work with Wes on The Fantastic Mr. Fox, though some sources have cast doubt on this collaboration. His current project is called Coraline. If anyone plans to attend, please report any Wes related news to webmaster@rushmoreacademy.com.

URL: festival website

Wes Anderson’s ‘Fantastic Fox’ Script Leaks

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The (alleged) script for The Fantastic Mr. Fox (March 2007 edit) has been floating around. There was also an (alleged) script for The Darjeeling Limited (at natalieportman.com no less), which has been removed. I have no sense of how developed these scripts are (or if they are legitimate). I don’t plan to post any of these on the site (for personal and legal reasons). There has been some discussion of this subject as of late on the forum.

The script for Wes Anderson‘s stop-motion animated film, “The Fantastic Mr. Fox,” has leaked. The follow-up to the-not-yet-released, “The Darjeeling Limited, ” Anderson and ‘Life Aquatic’ c0-writer, Noah Baumbach adapted the script from the original Roald Dahl children’s novel. George Clooney and Cate Blanchett will voice the lead characters and rumors have it that Anjelica Huston and Jason Schwartzman will join the cast. Celebrated animator Henry Selick, apparently the real force behind “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” was scheduled to work on the film, but has allegedly moved on to other projects (namely Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline”).

URL: The Playlist blog (story)*

I really hope that the news about Henry Selick isn’t true (he is still listed as part of the project at IMDB.com). We, of course, recommend that you read the ‘fantastic’ Roald Dahl book:


* Rodrigo also notes on his blog that Noah Baumbach’s forthcoming (October 12th) Margot at the Wedding will star Jack Black, Nicole Kidman, John Turturro, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Chuck Dugan is Awol: A Novel with Maps

A late note about a not-so-recent book (one released in April 2005, actually). But, I feel guilty. And, I just found out. Eric Chase Anderson wrote and illustrated a book called Chuck Dugan is Awol. It looks phenomenal. There has been some discussion of it over at the Yankee Racers board (go to the thread), but not nearly enough. So, buy this book, and let’s talk about it (and sorry for being so out of the loop).


(buy it from Amazon through this link and support the site)