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Entries in Wes Anderson (39)

Sunday
Apr152018

Isle of Dogs Goes Wide. 

What did you see this weekend? We'll skip the charts this week but let it be known that The Rock had another #1 opening weekend ($34 million for Rampage), horror hit A Quiet Place closed in on $100 million, and Isle of Dogs went wide in its 4th weekend and has a cumulative gross of $18 million. That means it's going to be about as succcessful as Fantastic Mr Fox and The Life Aquatic (i.e. his second tier successes) with his tier 1 biggest hits by a large margin being Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Moonrise Kingdom

I've been a bit sad that the inventive delights and storytelling nuances of Isle of Dogs aren't being discussed as thoroughly as the film's take on Japan...

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Monday
Apr022018

Isle of Dogs and Japanese culture: Riff, love letter, or appropriation?

by Lynn Lee

A friend on Facebook recently asked me, after I posted a positive response to Isle of Dogs, what I thought about the controversy over Wes Anderson’s alleged cultural appropriation of Japan.  My initial answer was that it bothered me a little bit, but not enough to mar my enjoyment of the movie.  Later I realized that I’d just implicitly accepted the charge that there was cultural appropriation and, as an Asian American, felt mildly guilty that it didn’t bother me.  But on further reflection, I’m not sure either of those knee-jerk reactions was warranted.  It’s more complicated than that.

The question of cultural appropriation can be broken down a few different ways...

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Thursday
Mar292018

Blueprints: "Moonrise Kingdom"

With the release of Isle of Dogs, Jorge looks into an earlier Wes Anderson film...

While Wes Anderson’s characteristic and by now immediately recognizable cinematic style evokes mainly the images of perfectly centered frames, bright-color palettes, and characters covered in quirks and oddities, not everything about him is visual. The patterns of speech from his characters are almost lyrical, and his stories are filled with strong undercurrents of nostalgia, melancholy, and growing pains. 

All of his worlds evoke a kind of diorama construction. Though the production design on most movies only happens just before principal photography, Anderson paints an image of what he wants his frames to look like right from the first pages of each script. Let’s take a look at a highly stylized (yes, even more than usual) sequence from Moonrise Kingdom too see how painstakingly meticulous the details are from the very start...

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Wednesday
Mar282018

Soundtracking: "The Royal Tenenbaums"

by Chris Feil

Among the many stylistic things Wes Anderson is known for, his music choices are among his most distinct. Each of his films blend an inventive original score with folk-tinged rock and roll (not to mention occasionally too-hip-for-school posturing) to create a fairy tale all his own. Perhaps the most beloved of all of his musical assemblages is The Royal Tenenbaums, a dorm room staple ranging from The Clash to Van Morrison.

And the film begins with one of his most beloved sequences, musical or not: a prologue detailing the Tenenbaum family history set to an instrumental take on “Hey Jude.” Sequence and song are alike: undercut with pain yet too sweet for this world and ultimately quite moving....

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Monday
Feb192018

Berlinale 2018: Isle of Dogs and more...

Seán McGovern reporting from the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

There's a friendly kind of brusqueness to Berliners. They're very unbothered. But the barely-contained excitement of my first Berlinale is almost matched by the huge passion the Germans have for film culture. Ten days and dozens of stunning venues. I'm here mainly to see all the films up for the Teddy Award but it wouldn't be a film festival if I wasn't in at least three screenings a day.

Opening Film
Isle of Dogs (dir. Wes Anderson, United Kingdom/Germany)

At first it seems like a basic choice – A famed US director with a star studded cast.

But take a moment to appreciate that Isle of Dogs is a multi-format animation, in dual languages, and about a historic animosity between humans and dogs, set in Japan, in the future. It's is a gorgeous testament to the kind of storytelling animation is capable of...

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Friday
Sep222017

A Beautiful Trailer for "Isle of Dogs"

Chris here. I'm one of those oddball folks that considers Fantastic Mr. Fox as Wes Anderson's best film, so next year's Isle of Dogs has me very excited for the auteur to take another dive into the stop motion pool. And by the looks of the first trailer, Dogs will be very aligned to Fox's humor and visual aesthetic but with the added unexpected intrigue of its Japanese setting. The potential troublesome optics and use of language here gives me some pause, but we'll wait until the film arrives to access. Let's hope Anderson doesn't end up in the cinematic doghouse by delivering our worst fears here.

As you can tell from the poster, Anderson has assembled a massive cast even by his standards. Regular players like Edward Norton and Bill Murray are back, but can you believe this is his first collaboration with Scarlett Johansson and Greta Gerwig? Yoko Ono is also in the lineup if you aren't already fascinated enough.

But what a visual treat, even if it looks like it will be Anderson's most muted color palate. On the other hand: doesn't this trailer just remind you how thin this year's Best Animated Feature race is?