Jason Schwartzman plays a young man trying to come up with something to write in a cafe. Kirsten Dunst plays a cute waitress giving him a refill. As his eyes meet hers he is instantly starts fantasizing about what it would be like to be with her. His mind starts drifting away, as he imagines their life together. They fall in love and do a lot of silly, but cutesy little things together. It’s all (well, mostly) innocent fun, until he wakes up. Was it just a dream? Hang on: There’s a twist. Continue reading
Premiering at the opening night of the 2014 Berlin Film Festival Wes Anderson’s Grand Budapest Hotel just got a new poster and trailer. Both of which are emphasizing the amazing cast of characters. So who’s going to be in this soon to be Criterion? Let me give you the entire list: Ralph Fiennes, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalbic, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saorise Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Léa Seydoux, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson and newcomer Tony Revolori. Try to top that. Continue reading
Quirky indie director Wes Anderson made a new short film financed by Italian fashion brand Prada. The almost 8-minute long short is about an Italian American (played by Jason Schwartzman) race car driver crashing his car during a race in a (fictitious) Italian small town (Castello Cavalcanti) in the 1950s. Of course the film/ad looks beautiful as only cinematographer Darius Khondji is able to do. The story was co-written with no one other than fellow Academy Award nominee Roman Coppola and has a very Italian feel, while at the same time feeling unmistakably Wes Anderson.
As an Italian I was thrilled to hear my language spoken in a Wes Anderson film. Prada and Anderson are of course a great fit. He has worked for them before doing a commercial for Prada Candy L’eau (with Léa Seydoux). This isn’t the first time Anderson has worked with luxury brands (in general), for example on The Darjeeling Limited where all the luggage was designed by Louis Vuitton. He’s also done his fair share of Adidas product placement in films such as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
Personally, I’m all for directors working with big brands if it helps them getting money to finance more of their art. Especially art house directors and auteurs who sometimes struggle with getting their projects financed are able to do something creative in exchange of a bit of “selling out”. Other notable examples I’d love to mention are David Lynch’s Blue Lady Shanghai (for Dior), Wong Kar-wai’s BMW short The Follow and any ad that has Sofia Coppola’s name on it of course.
While some of the year’s best films haven’t even been released yet, new awesome sounding projects for 2014 are already shaping up, like Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. The sure to be quirky comedy/drama about a hotel concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and his friendship with one of his younger employees will surely delight fans of the director. The film is written and directed by Anderson and set in 1920s France. Alexandre Desplat, who composed the music for Anderson’s last hit indie Moonrise Kingdom, will be returning to score the film shot by Wes’ long time cinematographer and collaborator Robert Yeoman. The editing however will be taken over by Barney Pilling (Never Let Me Go) who will work with Anderson for the first time.
Also new to a Wes Anderson film are cast members such as Jude Law, Lea Seydoux, Saoirse Ronan and the aforementioned Ralph Fiennes. Returning actors are Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jason Schwartzman, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Owen Wilson and, of course, Bill Murray. The first poster for the film clearly echoes Wes’ aesthetic and his passion for center shots, detailed set designs and minutia. Usually the posters for his films are also indicative of the color palette of the “final product”. Once again he seems to have something very specific in mind and a pink-brownish tone seem to be what he’s going for. I love the poster because it just shows the hotel, which seems to be a “main character” of the film and lists all the talent involved. It’s also great for indicating a time (the 1920s) and place (Europe), by simply evoking the hand-painted early 20th century marketing billboards.