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Wes Anderson (#110 of 56)

Meet the Cast of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs in a New Stop-Motion Interview

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Meet the Cast of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs in a New Stop-Motion Interview

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Meet the Cast of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs in a New Stop-Motion Interview

One week ahead of the limited theatrical release of Isle of Dogs, the film’s distributor, Fox Searchlight Pictures, has shared a five-minute animated companion short imagined and directed by Wes Anderson. No doubt an homage to Nick Park’s iconic Creature Comforts from 1989, the piece was shot in London over three months during the making of the film. It features the voices of Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, and Bob Balaban as animated dogs on set talking about their characters.

Isle of Dogs First Trailer: Wes Anderson’s Return to Stop-Motion Animation

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Isle of Dogs First Trailer: Wes Anderson’s Return to Stop-Motion Animation

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Isle of Dogs First Trailer: Wes Anderson’s Return to Stop-Motion Animation

“The Japanese archipelago, 20 years into the future,” intones the voice at the start of the delightful trailer for Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, which sees the filmmaker returning to the world of stop-motion animation for the first time since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Mox. Earlier this year, during a discussion about his carrer at ARTE Cinema, Anderson revealed that his follow-up to 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel was heavily inspired by the work of Akira Kurosawa, which is very much evident throughout the ornate trailer.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions Original Screenplay

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

In what’s become an annual tradition, last weekend’s Writers Guild Awards weren’t much of a trial heat for the Oscars. Membership requirements repeatedly keep out many of the higher-profile Academy Award contenders. And sometimes the two branches, even when they both love certain scripts, disagree on where to slot them. Behold the miraculously adapted-original screenplay for Whiplash, of which the shenanigans that led to its “exclusion” here at least excuse me from having to fantasize about how thrilling voters likely find Damien Chazelle’s 50 shades of gay panic. (Ed gets that honor of unpacking the whole gory mess, so stay tuned.) That glitch aside, this slate is still a four-for-five match with the guild’s.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions Director

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Director
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Director

Even as Boyhood steamrolled the critics groups, even as it dominated the Golden Globes, we had our doubts about its frontrunner status here and in best picture. This little film that so deeply ponders matters of life and love struck such a universal nerve that it seemed as if it could actually buck the trend on Oscar night wherein the most self-congratulatory totem to Hollywood itself typically reigns supreme. After losing the PGA, then (more expectedly) the SAG ensemble, only to then persevere at the BAFTAs, Boyhood was following in all of The Social Network’s footsteps. And just as David Fincher lost the DGA award to Tom Hooper, solidifying The King’s Speech’s frontrunner status leading into Oscar night, the nail in Boyhood’s coffin seemed to come when Richard Linklater lost to Alejandro González Iñárritu. Boyhood, a bigger-hearted film than The Social Network, may still win best picture—that is, if the PGA, SAG, and DGA victories for Birdman can be understood to represent a passionless kind of respect for the means by which the film’s producers, actors, and director, working in perfect congress, realized the pyrotechnic wonder of their one-take stunt. But that’s Eric Henderson’s argument to make next week. In this category where formal bombast is so often rewarded, as conductor of Birdman brute-force razzle dazzle, González Iñárritu is your winner almost by default.

Review: Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel

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Review: Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Review: Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Matt Zoller Seitz’s The Wes Anderson Collection: The Grand Budapest Hotel is fueled by a sense of escalating invention and exploration. Nothing is taken for granted in this book. You might be glancing through an interview, skimming before taking the cover-to-cover plunge, only to be side-swept by a footnote that’s a self-contained mini-essay pertaining to, say, the brief rise of narration in fiction films in the 1940s, or by a remark about an actor that segues into a brief encapsulation of their notable roles. The book is charged by an obsession that recurs in both Anderson and Seitz’s work: with getting to the bottom of something, thoroughly and resolutely. Any sentiment expressed by either man is liable to be treated as a thread to be pulled so as to initiate a new investigation, which might reveal another sidebar (or illustration, or detailed diagram, or storyboard, or book of sheet music, or painting), which will feature other gems of information and beauty. These gradually accumulate to offer an immersive portrait, not just of The Grand Budapest Hotel, but of life as an ongoing gesture of education as route to refining a sense of empathy.