What's inside Wes Anderson's latest curio 'The French Dispatch'?

What's inside Wes Anderson's latest curio 'The French Dispatch'?

10/23/2021 5:04:00 AM

What's inside Wes Anderson's latest curio 'The French Dispatch'?

Wes Anderson's new magazine-style anthology film, plus 'Becoming Cousteau,' 'The Harder They Fall' and more.

” is an anthology of stories designed to mimic the structure of the magazine it is about, the fictional (but “New Yorker”-inspired) France-based supplement to the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, an enterprise overseen by editor Arthur Howitzer Jr. (Bill Murray). The rest of the cast includes Benicio Del Toro, Léa Seydoux, Frances McDormand, Timothée Chalamet, Jeffrey Wright, Elisabeth Moss, Tilda Swinton and many more. The film is playing now in limited release.

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ForTribune News Service, Katie Walshwrote, “The pans are lateral, the tilts are vertical, the compositions themselves crammed and cramped with visual information, requiring so much labor in order to discern every detail that it’s possible the eyes and brain might just reject the task at hand. … It’s hard to be critical of a film and filmmaker that seem to have pure intentions, seeking to craft a charming love letter to the golden era of (generously funded) print media. But the tics and habits that make up Anderson’s often imitated, never duplicated aesthetic have reached the point of actively working against him in ‘The French Dispatch.’ If he is trying to say something (and it’s unclear what that might be), all of the fuss and muss obfuscates any message, and even worse, any emotional connection to the film. This latest dispatch is indeed a profound disappointment.”

I spoke to composer Alexandre Desplat, music supervisor Randall Poster and musician Jarvis Cocker — who recorded a supplementary album as “Tip-Top,” a pop star in the world of the movie — about creating the musical backdrop to Anderson’s storytelling. headtopics.com

“He’s got good taste in music,” said Cocker. “So I was kind of flattered they asked me to do a version of [‘Aline’], because he could have just got a French person to do it, which would have probably been the more obvious thing to do. I think that’s often the way, not only with music choices, but Wes is very particular in what he puts in his films, the way that he meticulously puts together a scene. He doesn’t always put the most obvious things.”

Forthe New York Times, A.O. Scottwrote, “A certain amount of the delight you find in ‘The French Dispatch’ may derive from your appreciation of the cultural moments and artifacts it evokes. Anderson expresses a fan’s zeal and a collector’s greed for both canonical works and weird odds and ends, a love for old modernisms that is undogmatic and unsentimental. Which is not to say unfeeling. … Howitzer and the various misfits who turn up in [the fictional town of] Ennui represent an ideal of down-to-earth American cosmopolitanism, an approach to writing, culture and the world that is at once democratic and sophisticated, animated by curiosity and leavened with irony. The movie is a love letter to that spirit, and also a ghost story.”

ForSlate, Dana Stevenswrote, “To the extent these three stories and the interstitial material that frames them share a thematic throughline, it has to do with the characters’ shared love for the power of the written word and the joy of collaborative creation. To use a literary term from the culture that the movie venerates, ‘The French Dispatch’ is an example of mise en abyme, a self-reflexive work of art that contains its own reproduction in miniature. Just like the endlessly fussed-over magazine of the title, this endlessly fussed-over movie showcases a deliberately comic disproportion between effort expended and results achieved. … ‘The French Dispatch’ is a movie made with such deliberate, patient skill, and such brio, that its meandering structure and oddly low emotional temperature come off as intentional choices rather than errors of artistic judgement. Even if it’s not my favorite flavor of Wes Anderson licorice, nothing is there by accident.”

Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens and Griffin Dunne in “The French Dispatch.”(Searchlight Pictures)‘Becoming Cousteau’Wes Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic” featured a Jacques-Yves Cousteau-esque character played by Bill Murray, so it is a funny happenstance that this week also sees the release of Liz Garbus’ documentary “ headtopics.com

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Becoming Cousteau.” The film looks at Cousteau’s work as an undersea-adventure filmmaker — his 1956 film “The Silent World,” won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for documentary — as well as his later turn toward environmentalism and the toll his work took on his personal life. The film is playing now in general release.

ForThe Times, Robert Abelewrote, “Working with Cousteau’s own films and video, his public appearances, photographs, audio interviews and a treasure trove of little-seen pre-fame footage as a young man falling in love with diving, Garbus and editor Pax Wassermann stitch together a briskly paced overview of an illustrious life in all its achievement and complexity, both below and above the water. What emerges — as implied in the title — is an intriguing portrait of personal curiosity made professional, but also how maintaining that curiosity challenges and transforms the individual. … ‘Becoming Cousteau’ may not be as deep a journey as some would hope, but for having to chart a lot of years, it hits its points about passion, fame and activism smartly, even movingly. You’re left marveling at how a guy who began diving to nurse his way back from injury could reach his end realizing the Earth needs that same ardor for its own healing.”

Forthe New York Times, A.O. Scottwrote, “‘Becoming Cousteau,’ Liz Garbus’ new National Geographic documentary, succeeds in restoring some of Cousteau’s luster, and also his relevance. It’s a swift-moving, detailed biography, recounting a life that was long, eventful and stippled with tragedy and regret. … But Garbus (whose recent documentaries include ‘Love, Marilyn’ and ‘What Happened, Miss Simone?’) is after more than poignant nostalgia or a lost sense of wonder. The story of Cousteau as she tells it — aided by narration culled from interviews with Cousteau’s colleagues and children, as well as audio from the man himself — is about the awakening of his conscience, about how his fascination with Earth’s oceans turned into a crusade to save them.”

ForIndieWire, Kristen Lopezwrote, “The undersea adventure of Cousteau’s life is only half the story, and who the man was as a person is equally fascinating. As he says in one interview, he is filled with flaws and many of them came in the form of being a husband and father. … ‘Becoming Cousteau’ is a dazzling dive into the depths of an undersea world. And while the story of Cousteau’s life is matter-of-factly handled, and with an eye toward optimism, he remains a towering figure worthy of deep consideration. Now when can we watch [Cousteau’s] ‘Voyage to the Edge of the World?’” headtopics.com

In an image from “Becoming Cousteau,” Jacques-Yves Cousteau communicates by radio with a crew member exploring the ocean depths in July 1969. Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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‘The French Dispatch’ Review: Wes Anderson’s Dizzyingly Intricate Homage to 20th-Century Newsmen and WomenJournalists are the heroes in “The French Dispatch,” so expect film critics to be a little bit biased in their embrace of Wes Anderson’s latest. It flatters the field, after all, just not in the wa…

The Ultimate Wes Anderson Gift Guide, Just in Time for ‘The French Dispatch’It’s been more than seven years since Wes Anderson has transported viewers to a delightfully eccentric world constructed for the screen. But with the much-anticipated release of “The Fr… I'm gonna barf. Your news reporting along with ap is trash. I am not even going to bother to find the one with Dave Chapelle protest with all the most recent trash I am just putting it right here. LearningToCodeIsTooGoodForYou

‘The French Dispatch’ Review: Wes Anderson’s Dizzyingly Intricate Homage to 20th-Century Newsmen and WomenJournalists are the heroes in “The French Dispatch,” so expect film critics to be a little bit biased in their embrace of Wes Anderson’s latest. It flatters the field, after all, just not in the wa…

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