New York Post article, and send your reviews; Hotel Chevalier on iTunes

The New York Post has an interview with Wes in their magazine section today:
“The Life Exotic” ** spoiler alert ** (for a spoiler-sanitized version, click here)

The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack is out this Tuesday (click here to order). Send your reviews to edwardappleby @ (no spaces), and we’ll post them here.

Monday morning update (7.39): The LA Times is reporting that Hotel Chevalier will be available for free on iTunes starting Wednesday (link).

Other recent, important stuff:

Saturday morning update

As we reported last night, Hotel Chevalier, the short ‘prequel’ to The Darjeeling Limited, will screen at the Apple Stores in Soho (NYC) and Chicago on Tuesday, September 25th, with special guests.

  • In Soho, Wes Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, and Natalie Portman will be on hand to take questions after the movie. The event starts at 9 p.m. (info)
  • Roman Coppola will be in Chicago. The screening starts at 9 p.m. there as well. (info)

If you are attending either event, please take your digital camera and send us your photos (edwardappleby @, no spaces).

Remember that Fox Searchlight is distributing free passes for screenings of The Darjeeling Limited across the nation.

Devin Faraci, over at (article), thinks Hotel Chevalier really ought to be screened before The Darjeeling Limited, but that it is probably too late to convince Fox. A few days ago, on the Yankee Racers forum, Loraxaeon suggested that we should petition Fox Searchlight to include the short in the national release (thread). Join the discussion.

LAist says that The Darjeeling Limited puts Wes “back on track”:

So if you were a fan of Anderson’s Rushmore or Royal Tenenbaums, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. It’s kind of like when you go away to college, and then you come home for the summer. It still feels comfortable, but not quite how it used to. But that doesn’t stop you from enjoying it all the same.

Saturday evening update (6.33 pm): Great feature, from the New York Times Magazine (thanks to leeroy!):

New York Times Magazine, Wes Anderson Style

About Hotel Chevalier

About Hotel Chevalier (credit:

Before the Venice screening of ‘Darjeeling’, Anderson presented a seventeen-minute short film called ‘Hotel Chevalier’, which he originally conceived to play before the main feature, although there’s now talk that it will only be available to see online come the film’s UK release in November. This wistful and maudlin short story offers some background to the main attraction as Schwartzmann and Natalie Portman play a pair of estranged lovers who square up to each other in the sumptuous surroundings of a Parisian hotel room.

Those fifteen minutes are classic Wes Anderson. His camera moves with grace and precision through the room as Schwartzmann, with a sad look on his face and a stark moustache above his lip, waits for Portman to arrive. Sitting on the floor is a beautiful tanned-leather trunk decorated with colourful images of elephants (one of a set crafted especially for the film by Marc Jacobs). On the stereo we hear Peter Sarstedt’s wistful ode to Paris, ‘Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)’, and all around there’s evidence of the same deep orange that characterises Schwartzmann’s hotel dressing-gown, from the thick duvet on the bed to the towels in the bathroom. If there’s one element of ‘Hotel Chevalier’ that’s surprising for Anderson, it’s a strong sense of romance and sexuality: in one shot, Schwartzmann gently pulls off Portman’s clothes to reveal her naked body from behind, and a later shot has Portman, nude, standing still in a doorway, one foot up against the frame. It’s a beautiful shot, and one that’s made even more pertinent by Sarstedt’s melancholic lyrics on the soundtrack. It’s the sexiest thing that Anderson has ever done.

URL: TimeOut review

An emotional train ride with the critics

Yesterday, I was moaning over on the Yankee Racers about the initial reviews I had read. However, I responded to an e-mail this morning a bit differently, arguing that the negative reviews of TDL are rather formulaic and that all of Wes’ films have received mixed reviews. So what? However, good ol’ leeroy offered an even better perspective:

The negative review from Hollywood Reporter, and the positive review from Variety have been posted in the non-spoiler thread. Here’s a positive review from

“The performances are spot-on (Brody slips into this world effortlessly); the colors rich and lush; the soundtrack again cool and eclectic; the cinematic language deliberate and formal, despite Anderson filming on a moving train.”

Rolling Stone loves it:

“Confession: I love this movie. It’s the most assured, mature work yet from director Wes Anderson . . .it’s Brody who is the revelation. Touched by tragedy, his character doesn’t talk but asks “to hold this in for a while.” The Darjeeling Limited is more than one of the best movies of the year. It’s a movie you want to hold in.”

Another good review, from TimeOut London:

“Darjeeling’ is lighter on its feet than ‘The Life Aquatic’ because of its speedy pace and the relative simplicity of its camerawork . . . there’s less of the intricate background and layering of some of Anderson’s other films, particularly ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’, which delighted in the complexity of its biographies. Instead, much is left to the moment and the landscape: Anderson sucks in the sights, colours, oddities and details of India, from the way that tickets are checked on the train to visits to a shoe-shiner and a holy temple.”

And a report on the Darjeeling press conference:

“The press briefing for “Darjeeling” was lighthearted even though the film screened under a pall after Owen Wilson, one of the film’s three main stars, was hospitalized last week. Anderson began the briefing by telling the packed press room that Wilson was recovering fine and cracking jokes at home; soon, the rest of the cast began cracking their own jokes.

Bill Murray stole the show, telling people that his two minutes of screen time in “Darjeeling” was “the role he always wanted.”

“I fly to a fascinating place like India for a week, work one day and spend the rest of the time shopping and sightseeing, then I fly home, rest, relax and then fly to beautiful Venice for a week to spend my time eating and drinking and resting, interrupted by work for just one hour,” Murray joked. “Not bad, right?”

Anderson was asked whether he had plans to expand Murray’s cameo role in any possible sequel to the film. The director said there were no such plans, to which Murray pounded his fist on the table, feigning an angry “Damn it!”

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 @ (no spaces).

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

Attending Venice Int’l Film Festival? / NYFF tickets / TDL soundtrack / new video

If you are attending the Hotel Chevalier/The Darjeeling Limited screening at the Venice International Film Festival, starting at 8.30 p.m. on Monday, September 3, please send your reports and photos to edwardappleby @ (no spaces).

Tickets for the New York Film Festival go on sale Sunday, September 9 (box office) and Monday, September 10 (online).

As reported earlier, The Darjeeling Limited soundtrack will be released on September 25th (buy it here). also has a new ‘exclusive’ video called “The Streets of The Darjeeling Limited.

P.S. The Darjeeling Limited film site ( has been updated.

Hotel Chevalier, and Darjeeling Limited

The Guardian (U.K.) has revealed that Hotel Chevalier, a 12 minute short film by director Wes Anderson, will serve as a prologue for feature-length The Darjeeling Limited. (URL)


New videos:

Production Diary: Day 39, Jodhpur Desert (Yahoo!)

Behind the Scenes, Clip 1 (AOL)

Exclusive: On the Set (MSN) 

Fox Searchlight has promised another video “later today” on

Wes to unveil new short film at Venice…?

A new Wes Anderson short film, Hotel Chevalier, will premiere at the Venice International Film Festival, 29 August-8 September 2007 (URL). The film is a 12-minute “out of competition special event” starring Jason Schwartman and Natalie Portman, according to the site. The Darjeeling Limited will also premiere at the event. More soon… (Thanks to for this lead).