French Dispatch Review Round-Up (no spoilers)

** no spoilers here ** If you click through, you are on your own.

Peter Bradshaw, Guardian 4/5 stars

“To which I can only say … sure, yes, more fun, more buoyancy, more elegance, more marvellously eccentric invention, more originality. It might not be at the very zenith of what he can achieve but for sheer moment-by-moment pleasure, and for laughs, this is a treat.”

Nicholas Barber, BBC 4/5 stars

“The French Dispatch has to be one of the most labour-intensive films in existence. It makes The Grand Budapest Hotel look as if it was improvised over a weekend and shot with a smartphone. “

“There is something delightfully perverse about Anderson’s hyper-industrious treatment of such flimsy material. His craftsmanship is so overwhelming that unless you’re already allergic to his tics and trademarks, you should get a buzz from the film’s many, many incidental pleasures. One thing’s for sure: there is nothing quite like The French Dispatch – except Anderson’s other films, of course.”

David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“While The French Dispatch might seem like an anthology of vignettes without a strong overarching theme, every moment is graced by Anderson’s love for the written word and the oddball characters who dedicate their professional lives to it. There’s a wistful sense of time passing and a lovely ode to the pleasures of travel embedded in the material, along with an appreciation for the history of American foreign correspondents who bring their perceptive outsider gaze to other cultures. “

Eric Kohn, IndieWire B+

“Anderson’s movies may be pretty, whimsical flights of fancy, but they also express genuine curiosity about the strange nature of human relations.”

“On a certain level, the fate of the paper suggests that this kind of handmade approach to distinctive human experiences died long ago, and Anderson’s salute to an earlier era may also be his version of an elegy. Certainly, the precise, discursive storytelling of “The French Dispatch” is in constant peril, but the very existence of this delightful movie is proof that it hasn’t gone away yet.”



Coverage from Cannes

The French Dispatch made its debut today at the Festival de Cannes 2021!

More photos over on the Rushmore Academy Facebook page.

The film received a nine-minute standing ovation:

Wednesday Round-Up

Wes Anderson is shooting his new movie in Spain, with production set to begin in September.

In a recent interview with VarietyTilda Swinton revealed that she will star in the project, specific details of which are being kept closely under wraps…

The project is believed to have originally planned to shoot in Rome, but moved to Spain earlier this year. Sets resembling a desert landscape have been going up in Chinchón, a small town located southeast of Madrid, over the last two months, as reported by Spanish outlet El Pais. However, the film isn’t believed to necessarily be a western.”

IBC: “Behind the Scenes: The French Dispatch”

Some highlights (spoilers ahead for design nerds):

  • “[Production designer Adam] Stockhausen explains that all Anderson projects begin with an animatic. “The animatic is really a way of thinking through the entire movie from an animation point of view and building the entire film shot by shot in a way that defines the scope of what you see… In The French Dispatch, some of the live action is in miniature context, some is in context of the location and some are full-scale set builds.”
  • “’The film is broken up into different stories each of which has its own visual story, so the task of design is multiplied,’ Stockhausen says. There is even a pure animated sequence. ‘Conventionally you introduce a set and keep going back to it over and over again. Here, we introduce places and 20 minutes later we’re done with that story, never to return.'”
  • “Tonal references included The Red Balloon, a 1956 French fantasy short filmed in the Ménilmontant neighbourhood of Paris, and photos of Paris before its reconstruction in the mid-19th century. ‘The idea was to find a town which felt like Paris but not as it is today – more a sort of memory of Paris, the Paris of Jacques Tati,’ explains Stockhausen.”
  • The French Dispatch is shot on 35mm with Yeoman finding the texture of negative film more in keeping with the story’s artisanal aesthetic. Several sequences are shot in black and white with colour used for emphasis, for instance when actress Saoirse Ronan leans forward to reveal her blue eyes.”
  • “Anderson also uses different aspect ratios to tell parts of this story. It’s a technique he has used before, notably on ‘Budapest’ when Yeoman shot 1:37 for the scenes that take place with concierge Gustave to signify the time period of the 1930s and 1940s.”

Variety: Cynthia Hargrave, Producer of ‘Bottle Rocket,’ Dies at 64

Rumored French Dispatch Soundtrack

Via the Music Film Reporter:

1. Obituary
2. After You’ve Gone – Gene Austin, Candy And CoCo
3. Simone, Naked, Cell Block-J, Hobby Room
4. Fiasco – Gus Viseur
5. Moses Rosenthaler
6. I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) – Grace Jones
7. Mouthwash De Menthe
8. Sonata for Mandolin and Guitar A-Dur K.331, Adagio – Boris Bjoern Bagger, Detlef Tewes
9. Cadazio Uncles and Nephew Gallery
10. “Inseguimento al Taxi (The Chase)” – Mario Nascimbene
11. The Berensen Lectures at the Clampette Collection
12. L’Ultima Volta – Ennio Morricone
13. Tu M’as Trop Menti – Chantal Goya
14. J’en déduis que je t’aime – Charles Aznavour
15. Fugue No.2 in C minor [The Well-Tempered Clavier – Book 2 BWV 871] – The Swingle Singers
16. Adagio – Georges Delerue
17. Police Cooking
18. The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner
19. Kidnappers Lair
20. A Multi-Pronged Battle Plan
21. Blackbird Pie
22. Commandos, Guerillas, Snipers, Climbers and the Jeroboam
23. Animated Car Chase
24. Lt. Nescaffier (Seeking Something Missing…)
25. Aline – Jarvis Cocker

Loki + Owen Wilson + Wes Anderson?

The latest from the MCU drops on Disney+ today and co-stars Wes’ former UT classmate and frequent collaborator Owen Wilson. According to the Irish Times:

“Marvel’s WandaVision channelled David Lynch, and there were moments when the otherwise underwhelming The Falcon and the Winter Soldier threatened to turn into an unofficial sequel to Keanu Reeve’s John Wick. So it was probably inevitable that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would eventually get around to its David Fincher moment.

That, at least, is how Loki (Disney +) is framed by its director, Kate Herron, who describes the series, which airs its first episode on Wednesday, June 9th, as “heavily influenced” by Fincher. Given that Fincher’s most recent project was the dreadful Mank, this might not be quite the endorsement she thinks it is. Nor is it especially accurate – if Loki’s enjoyable if often slight opening episode resembles anything it’s Doctor Who remade by Wes Anderson.”

More here.

“Hey Jude” by the Mutato Muzika Orchestra

Motherbaugh’s version of “Hey Jude” is one of my absolute favorites (“Go Mordecai!”). It was not included on the original 2001 soundtrack release but was added to the 2002 re-release.