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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

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Entries in Wes Anderson (31)

Wednesday
Oct142015

Q&A: Anderson's Playthings, Genius Toons, Scream Queens, and "Making Of" Dramas

Have you missed the Q&A series? I have so it's back. You asked questions so I chose two handfuls to answer. Let's just get right to it. 

Andrew: What actors would you like to see Wes Anderson work with in the future?


As you all know, directors who reuse actors delight our particular cinephilia. There's something that's wonderfully fantasy sandbox about it. Like you're inside that auteurs head when they're playing and these are their favorite toys. So I hope Anderson keeps reusing his regulars but especially I hope he reunites with Anjelica Huston (who seems to have been replaced by Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton). Three actors he's only used once were total surprise revelations within his diorama world: Gene Hackman & Gwyneth Paltrow (Royal Tenenbaums) and Ralph Fiennes (Grand Budapest Hotel) so more surprises like that would be welcome. Therefore I am naming eight actors that I either can totally picture within his worlds or can't picture at all: Donald Sutherland, Christina Ricci, Jake & Maggie Gyllenhaal (together!), Tommy Lee Jones, Michael Shannon, and finally Viggo Mortensen and Nicole Kidman simply because they're both impossible to imagine!

Lyn: In the last six months, what is the moment you've had in a cinema that has left you the most exhilarated / surprised / excited?

the answer and nine more questions after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct122015

Wes Anderson Returns to Animation

Tim here, with exciting news for those of us who regard Fantastic Mr. Fox as a high water mark in the career of Wes Anderson. The Playlist reported on Friday that the director will be returning to the realm of stop-motion animals with his next feature, currently in pre-production. There are no plot details nor a title nor really anything, which I don't think should prevent us from going hog-wild with random speculation in comments. 

My guess: an exact replica of the Vietnam War play from Rushmore, only with fussy animal puppets.

We actually do know one thing: the film will be about dogs. Anderson, of course, is noted for his tendency to kill or otherwise abuse dogs in his movies: The Royal Tenenbaums, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Moonrise Kingdom all feature terrible things happening to their various pooches. It remains to be seen whether the new film represents his attempt to apologize to the noble species of Canis lupus familiaris, giving man's best friend a feature film to thrive and triumph. Or maybe it will just be his first movie in which every cast member dies at the end in a hideous Tarantinoesque bloodbath. But, y'know, set to Alexandre Desplat music.

Tuesday
Aug042015

Curio: Bad Dads in New York

Alexa here. Each year for the past 5 years, San Francisco-based Spoke Art has held a Wes Anderson-themed art show titled Bad Dads. I would be remiss not to mention that this year marks the first time the show will be held in New York.  The gallery described the move as a natural one:

Although Anderson's films take us everywhere from a fictional pre-war Europe to the far reaches of India and even out to sea, New York City is home to one of Anderson’s first real successes, The Royal Tenenbaums. His palpable connection to New York is only made stronger by the fact that he resides there as well, and as the exhibition enters its sixth consecutive year, it only makes sense to host it in such an exciting and diverse city.

More info on getting tickets and a preview of some of the work that will be on display after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul312015

Tim's Toons: Auteurs and animation

Tim here. This week brought us the roll-out of the Venice Film Festival lineup, including one animated film, and it's a biggie. Charlie Kaufman's sophomore directorial work and first project of any kind since 2008, Anomalisa, is also his first foray into animation: it's a stop-motion feature for adults, on the same topics of loneliness and frustration that Kaufman has mined for his whole career. In celebration of the Venice announcement, the studio released the first still image from the movie, from which it is possible to draw no conclusions whatsoever.

Kaufman is the latest in a recent trend of established filmmakers dipping their toes into the world of animation. So in his honor, I'd like to share this capsule history of some of his predecessors, who made the jump into a new medium to see what they could do outside of the confines of live-action.

Richard Linklater: Waking Life (2001) & A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Using a brand new form of computer-aided rotoscoping to paint over videotaped footage with bright, unreal colors and subdued realism alike, Waking Life took Linklater's established gift for capturing moments in the lives of a huge ensemble, and amped it up. Instead of the laid-back Austin of Slacker, the setting here is the human subconscious, where the director's characteristic musings on all the little moments that happen in the gaps between plot are transformed into surreal explosions of psychologically loaded imagery. It's a great marriage of form and content, which is less true of A Scanner Darkly, a Philip K. Dick adaptation that's much more consistent and sober in its style, save for a few reality-bending moments. Still, kudos to Linklater for recognizing that a thin veneer of digitally heightened reality would create a more receptive mood for the story's druggy weirdness.

Robert Zemeckis: The Polar Express (2004), Beowulf (2007) & A Christmas Carol (2009)

Now that Zemeckis's dream of a perpetual machine of motion-capture films has fizzled out and died- nope, I still can't bring myself to say anything nice about his trilogy of dead-eyed humanoids pantomiming great works of literature, or paying obeisance to their terrifying zombie Santa-god. But we must concede that the films fall squarely in line with Zemeckis's career-wide interest in using the newest tools available (in addition to mo-cap, The Polar Express was the first film in the present 3D era) to find fresh ways into classical storytelling. That technology wasn't up to his ambitions is lamentable, but we can at least defend the films' rich fantasy design and-

Oh God, no, that's still just completely hideous.

Wes Anderson: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

The clearest precursor to Kaufman's new film, Anderson's translation of his shadow-box aesthetic into shaggy, '70s-style stop motion animation netted him a Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination and rejuvenated his career: his subsequent return to live action in Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel won him better reviews and box-office than he'd had for years. Still, there's nothing quite like seeing his world-building turned towards literal dioramas in which every square centimeter can be designed precisely to order. It's fussy as it gets, but perfectly matched to the intricacy of the caper narrative, and the arch tone with which Roald Dahl's children's classic is brought to life.

Zack Snyder: The Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)
Copious, unnecessary slow-motion, a preposterous fetish for military grandeur, overblown and idiotic internal mythology, dialogue that strives for weightiness and lands in shallow pomposity. Look, just because somebody's an auteur, that doesn't mean they have to be good at it. But hey, the owls look nice.

Friday
Mar132015

15 Tweets: Wes, Thor, Shearer, Dietrich, Bond Girls

It's that time again. An incredibly random collection of the week's best showbiz themed tweets. Or at least the best ones that we happened to see on our timeline at incredibly random times of the day. Herewith a dozen byte-sized amusements curated just for the TFE crowd for those with similarly truncated attention spans that made us laugh or think or nod this week. 

Please note that we already shared the Julianne-centric tweet from our friend Ali Arikan that wins the week all weeks which is why you don't see it here.

Anyway, proceed...  

 more enjoyables follow. You know you wanna see them all. It's just a little click and you have the time.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar012015

Podcast Finale: The Team Reflects on the 87th Academy Awards

Nick, Katey, Joe and Nathaniel reunite for the podcast season finale. The topic is the Oscars and these are our last words on this year's. The conversation includes but is not limited to:

• Neil Patrick Harris strong opening but then...
• Our choices for MVP from the audience
• Musical numbers - good but too many?
• Who should host next time?
• Power Trio: Canonero, Lubezki & Desplat
• Obsessing over Julianne Moore's speech
• Eddie Redmayne's glee
• Nick's John Travolta prediction
• Which of the nominees will be nominated again quickest?

And of course we play our favorite game of suggesting pairings of actors and directors. 

Juli is a little embarrassed at our obsessing on her 

Please to enjoy and continue the conversation in the comments. You can listen at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes.  

87th Oscars Reviewed