From the Guardian, full interview after the break.
Portrait of the artist: Wes Anderson, film director
Interview by Laura Barnett
What got you started?
Filming thrillers and jungle chases on Super 8 when I was about 10. I was trying to imitate Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars and, above all, Hitchcock. Watching The Man Who Knew Too Much made me realise that there was such a thing as a director.
What was your big breakthrough?
Making my first proper short, Bottle Rocket, with Owen Wilson on 16mm film when I was 23. Nobody was interested in it except [director and producer] James L Brooks, who picked it up and let us turn it into a full-length movie.
What have you sacrificed for your art?
Well, I’m 40 and I don’t have children yet. I do want to have them: perhaps I already would, if I wasn’t so involved with these movies.
Dave Poland at Movie City News has a rather informal, half-hour interview with Wes on the Awards campaign trail. Click on the image below to find the interview, it will load automatically in Quicktime.
Entertainment Weekly‘s Dave Karger sat down for a roundtable discussion with Wes, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray to talk about Fantastic Mr. Fox. The first part is embedded below, and it continues after the break. Unfortunately you’ll need to use the EW link to see part 3.
And for those who continue to see Mr. Fox over the holiday weekend for the first time (or second…or third) please stop by and leave us your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter.
Scott Tobias of The A.V. Club recently sat down with Wes to discuss working on Mr. Fox (of course) but also talked film. Very good interview, full version after the break.
Now six features into his career, director Wes Anderson has established himself as the most distinctive comedy auteur of his generation, with an instantly recognizable style that’s defined by crispy composed images, idiosyncratic pop soundtracks, and a tone that balances dry wit and deep melancholy. Though his debut feature, 1996’s Bottle Rocket, only drew a small coterie of followers—mostly on video, in the wake of his MTV Movie Award for Best New Filmmaker—Anderson raised his profile enormously with his 1998 follow-up Rushmore, which revived Bill Murray’s critical reputation and influenced a wave of indie films that followed. From there, Anderson and a rotating cast of players have continued to make new variations on his themes of family and outsidership, including 2001’s The Royal Tenenbaums, 2004’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, and 2007’s The Darjeeling Limited.
Though adapted from a Roald Dahl book and shot using the painstaking stop-motion animation process, Anderson’s latest effort, Fantastic Mr. Fox, seems right at home with the rest of his filmography. George Clooney voices the rebellious eponymous character, the head of a Tenenbaum-like family of foxes trying to balance civility with their nature as wild animals. When three mean farmers—Boggis, Bunce, and Bean—try to flush the thieving Mr. Fox from his underground hideaway, he and his cohorts embark on a wild adventure to protect their way of life. Anderson recently spoke to The A.V. Club about meshing Dahl’s voice with his own, directing the animation remotely, and what this film has in common with Where The Wild Things Are.
A brief interview with animator Brad Schiff on the detailed work of animating Fantastic Mr. Fox from the world renowned San Antonio Current. Full interview after the break.
OCD like a ‘Fox;
Yes, Wes is a perfectionist
By Cynthia Hawkins
Hand-knitted grass. Cotton-ball smoke. Bath-towel hillsides. Puppets wait on the verge of their next expression on this meticulously arranged set as a man reaches in from the dim periphery to tweak the gesture of a diminutive paw. This is Brad Schiff, animator for Fantastic Mr. Fox. “I often have that thousand-yard stare when I walk out,” Schiff says of his work. It’s a world in which, typically, minutia is magnified and the movement incremental, but in the hands of director Wes Anderson, even the details have details.
Schiff had just wrapped work on Coraline before joining Anderson’s first stop-motion animated feature-in-progress, which is based on Roald Dahl’s book. A sense of deliberateness marks Anderson’s well-established style — action meted out in theatrical set pieces, costuming oddly out of time, understated dialogue rife with pregnant pauses. Under his direction, everything from wallpaper to wristwatches somehow rings with intense purposefulness. Schiff assures that Anderson’s stylistic quirks remain intact in Fantastic Mr. Fox, the very quirks which make his choice of stop-motion animation, scrupulous and controlled, a perfect one.
Wes spoke to Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air earlier today. Haven’t had a chance to listen yet, but Fresh Air interviews are always worth a listen. The interview is great, probably the best Wes’ done for Mr. Foxthus far, we highly recommend it.
To listen to or download the interview, head on over to NPR.
VanityFair recently sat down with Wes to discuss working on Mr. Fox. Pretty standard stuff, but interesting nonetheless.
Wes Anderson came to Hollywood from Texas armed with a short film and a best friend with a funny nose. The year was 1993, the film was Bottle Rocket, and the best friend was—and still is—Owen Wilson. By chance, James Brooks saw and loved Bottle Rocket, and gave Anderson the boost he needed, helping him shore up financing to expand the short into a full-length feature. Since then, Anderson has written and directed four films: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums—for which he was nominated for best original screenplay—The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and The Darjeeling Limited and its accompanying short, Hotel Chevalier. On Friday, he will be releasing his sixth film, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, a sumptuous, stop-motion version of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, which Anderson co-wrote with Noah Baumbach. The film features the voices of George Clooney and Meryl Streep, who once said she signed on because, in her words, “When else am I going to be Mrs. George Clooney?” Also lending their voices are Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman, another fixture of Anderson’s troupe. I spoke with Anderson a few days ago, and I can tell you the only thing cooler than his corduroy suits and gaggle of talented friends is the fact that he is one of the few people in Hollywood who can get Bill Murray on the phone. Read our whole conversation below.
So my first question is, ‘Why this book?’
The actual true answer is I don’t really remember. I don’t remember making the decision to adapt this book—it was 10 years ago that I first approached the Dahl estate about doing it. I wanted to do a stop-motion movie and the idea to adapt Fantastic Mr. Fox was simultaneous with that. It’s the first book I ever owned that was officially considered to be my property in our household, and the book made a huge impression on me as a child.
Word today from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of twenty films eligible for an Oscar nomination in the Best Animated Film category. To see the full list of films, head on over to the AMPAS site. Only five films can receive a nomination, and prognosticators are betting Fox will be one of them.