While most enjoyed Wes Anderson‘s latest short film “Castello Cavalcanti” online, those lucky enough to be attending the Rome Film Festival this week have been able to see it on the big screen. And the director was on hand to present his short, and take part in a conversation with longtime pals Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman about the project, and Screen Daily was there and have recapped the highlights in addition to talking to the man himself. For Anderson fans, there are some interesting bits of news about what he’s cooking up next.
Amongst his filmography, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” might be the most curious entry, a book adaptation and animated film, two things he hasn’t done before or since. But it looks like Anderson wants to give animation another go, though apparently the project he’s conceiving is proving tricky when it comes to finding backers. “We have been talking about an animated film together but as we work on it, we are struggling as it’s becoming increasing violent, depressing and inappropriate for youngsters so probably won’t get funded,” he said, adding that he’d like to make another movie for a younger audience.
We’d wager part of the landscape these days in trying to get an animated movie made is not just ensuring it’s age appropriate, but also embracing 3D, as it has become a regular component of those films. But that wouldn’t be a problem for Anderson who, perhaps unsurprisingly given his emphasis on visuals, is a fan of the format. “I would,” he said when Screen Daily asked if he’d shoot a movie in 3D. “The 3D in ‘Gravity‘ is unbelievable and Alfonso Cuaron is quite amazing. The last movie from him was staggering. The staging of the scenes in ‘Children Of Men‘ are so powerful and exciting. But the 3D in ‘Gravity’ is at a whole other level and I wouldn’t begin to know how to take on scenes the way Alfonso does.”
But before we get too far into what Wes Anderson might do down the line, he still has a movie coming up with “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” And even though the trailer gave folks plenty to unpack (check out our feature Trailer Deconstruction: Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel”), there is still much to discover about the movie, and Anderson opened up a little more, revealing the setting (nope, it’s not Budapest or Hungary) and another source of inspiration.
“It’s set in an invented country that is part Czechoslovakia, part Hungary, part Poland,” Anderson shared. “The biggest inspiration is the novels and short stories of Stefan Zweig and his memoir, ‘The World of Yesterday.’ We were also trying to draw on American movies of the 1930s set in Europe, like the films of [Ernst] Lubitsch.” The latter point Anderson has previously elaborated on, but the nod to Zweig is interesting as the memoir seems to describe a decadent world on the precipice of its own destruction. Here’s the book synopsis:
Written as both a recollection of the past and a warning for future generations, The World of Yesterdayrecalls the golden age of literary Vienna—its seeming permanence, its promise, and its devastating fall.
Surrounded by the leading literary lights of the epoch, Stefan Zweig draws a vivid and intimate account of his life and travels through Vienna, Paris, Berlin, and London, touching on the very heart of European culture. His passionate, evocative prose paints a stunning portrait of an era that danced brilliantly on the edge of extinction.
Fascinating stuff, though we’d reckon Anderson was probably inspired by the array of characters that Zweig interacted with. Anyhow, you can read more over at Screen Daily at the link up top, including Anderson’s dream to make a series of short films for Prada at various famous studios around the world (“Castello Cavalcanti” was filmed at Cinecittà and featured a prop from “La Dolce Vita“), though he admits that it probably won’t happen.