Wes and Jason On Tour, 2007

Thursday evening update: Wes and Jason will be on CBC’s The Hour tonight — Thursday, October 18th at 11 pm ET. We will post the video tomorrow.

Fox Searchlight schedule

Toronto, D.C., Austin, Dallas, Atlanta, Miami, and more*

* note, not all dates include BOTH Wes & Jason

The Huffington Post compares Wes to Sofia Coppola

Someone who’s never seen a Wes film (other than TDL) interviews the writers and gets some interesting answers:

“I can’t remember having a work experience or travel experience that I felt was more life-changing than this one, just in terms of how it affects your point of view and just the feeling coming out of it . . . We wanted a mechanic who looked like a Nazi but then turns out to be a good guy. . . I mean, he’s Ringo. Does Ringo get offended? I don’t know. I doubt it.”

The Cleveland Free Times, compares Wes to Richard Lester and Peter Bogdonavich, and also gets a scoop:

Anderson is also in the process of writing a new live-action film that he hopes to get before the cameras within the next year. “Ideally, I’d like to have two movies opening at the same time,” he says optimistically . . . I’ve had offers and have even thought about directing some big Hollywood tent-pole kind of thing, but that’s about as far as it’s gone.”

The Retriever Weekly calls TDL “simply awesome”

Check out this great essay on Wes from Fanzine

Broadside Online praises a Wes trait that often goes unnoticed these days, his sincerity:

With his latest film, the oddball auteur takes his audience on a train ride fraught with a newfound maturity that elevates his talent as a filmmaker to impressive new heights. So hop aboard The Darjeeling Limited and experience Wes Anderson’s eclectic, eccentric, esoteric and always entertaining blend of comedy, tragedy and heartbreaking sincerity.

Onboard video: train tour, and more production videos

Go see The Darjeeling Limited this weekend, newly available in 13 new markets this weekend! Also be sure to join our community forum, the Yankee Racers.

Big Wheels Keep Rolling

Release Schedule from Fox Searchlight

Image Courtesy of The New Yorker

IndieWIRE: Big Wheels Keep Rolling:

“A steamrolling weekend gross of $561,628 made Wes Anderson’s sibling comedy “The Darjeeling Limited” the top release on the iWBOT, which ranks films by per-screen average. “Darjeeling Limited” was also Fox Searchlight’s best fall comedy, so far outperforming its 2004 comedy “Sideways.”

Adrien Brody on Regis and Kelly

There is a great interview with Sweet Lime at rediff.com.

Pajiba.com on Darjeeling:

“The Darjeeling Limited is a smart, nimble film, swinging from subtle wit to outright hilarity to devastating loss . . .Anderson has retreated far enough into his dreamworld that he’s come out the other side, back into reality, pulling with him everything he learned and saw along the way.”

Jason Schwartzman on The View

Anthony Lane of The New Yorker gives the film a subtitle: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the East”

Ain’t it Cool:

“The Darjeeling [Limited] isn’t like other films by this somewhat enigmatic filmmaker. It’s full of mystery and spender and a few raw notions that set this one apart from the rest.”

World Hum calls Dareeling fresh and funny

Glenn Whipp of The Los Angeles Daily News

“Anderson has pulled the heartstrings before, though that seems to go unnoticed by people who get distracted by his precisely constructed worlds. But the beautiful, wistful melancholy of “Bottle Rocket,” “Rushmore” and “The Royal Tenenbaums” has been augmented here by a more mature empathy and understanding for the vast world outside of Anderson’s making. It makes for an extraordinary movie, filled with splendor, laughter and a touch of cosmic wisdom. You won’t forget it.”

News, Reviews, & Elephant Pins

Darjeeling Limited did gangbusters at the box office this weekend.

“We are extremely excited about it,” Fox Searchlight’s Sheila DeLoach said Sunday. “Wes Anderson’s fans came out in droves.”

Terry Gross interviews Wes and Jason on NPR’s Fresh Air

Bill Murray’s Darjeeling Evening

Interview with Wes, Jason, Adrien on LA.COM

Article on US reaction to Darjeeling from IndieLondon

Glenn Kenny’s night at the Darjeeling premiere

Chicago Sun Times Interview with Wes

Incredibly detailed analysis of the Darjeeling marketing campaign

Interview with Wes in the New Jersey Star Ledger

Jason Schwartzman on The Early Show

Variety has an article on the New York Film Festival, which includes this alarming anecdote:

“John Powers saw an early sneak of ‘Rushmore’ and as I remember the people at Disney had no idea what to do with it. There was some talk of it going straight to video. John called and said, ‘I saw this film, it’s really terrific, can you do anything about it?’ And so I called up Disney and, to make a long story short, by inviting the film, I think we (staged) an intervention in its future.”

That was indeed an elephant pin Bill Murray was wearing, more on that here.

Book Passage Immediately

Photos and reviews are surfacing after last night’s premiere at the New York Film Festival.

Official Premiere.com review:

Reason for moviegoers to rejoice. . . The movie does so many things so well — one such thing is realizing Brody’s potential as a comic actor. . .The surface pleasures of the film are so beguiling that you might not catch its other spells right away.” Glenn Kenny

Pete Hammond of Maxim:

“A wonderful mix of humor and humanity with vintage Wes Anderson at his finest and funniest, as he takes us on a soul-searching magical mystery tour.”

The Portland Mercury:

“In a lot of ways it’s the loosest of Anderson’s movies . . . what strikes me right now is simply how genuine the film feels. . . Anderson catches a lot of shit for his hyper-detailed design and excessive stylization, but more often than not, and this includes Darjeeling, he backs it up with beautiful characters and authentic emotions, and there are some really beautiful and moving moments in the film.” – Erik Henriksen

Paper Magazine:

Wonderful . . . wildly heartfelt as well as quirkily funny. Book passage immediately.” – Dennis Dermody

Pics from the premiere – is Bill Murray wearing an elephant pin?

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.

Add this fun widget to your social networking page…

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


“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


“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


“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.”


“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!

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)