“French Dispatch” director Wes Anderson is so stranger to sharing his favorite movies. Now, he’s paired with the French Institute Alliance Francaise (FIAF) for a seven movie series devoted to Anderson’s favorite French features. The screening series will coincide with the release of Anderson’s next feature, the aforementioned “French Dispatch” starring Timothee Chalamet.
The series will kick off with a free screening of Diane Kurys’ 1977 feature “Peppermint Soda” on September 14. The other features in the series, dubbed “Wes Anderson’s French Connection” includes Max Ophuls’ 1940 film “From Mayerling to Sarajevo,” Francois Truffaut’s “The Man Who Loved Women” from 1977, “Kings and Queen” (2004), Bertrand Blier’s “Get Out Your Handkerchiefs” (1977), “Max and the Junkmen” from 1971, and Jacque Becker’s 1947 film “Antoine and Antoinette.”
These are just a few of the inspirations associated with Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” which follows a group of journalists at a fictional French magazine. Searchlight Pictures, the studio distributing the film, put out a list a few months ago of the 32 movies that inspired the feature. The list includes several French and U.S. features including 1931’s “City Streets” and 1956’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much.”
Despite being delayed last year due to the pandemic “The French Dispatch” is getting great reviews already after premiering at both Cannes and NYFF. IndieWire’s Eric Kohn praised the feature in his review saying, “This charming sketchbook of stories about American expatriates in France delivers a welcome salute to storytelling as a way to make sense of the world. A freewheeling three-part salute to old-school journalism in general and The New Yorker in particular, the movie works in fits and starts, swapping narrative cohesion for charming small doses of wit and wonder about odd people and places worth your time.”
Anderson is already hard at work on his next film after “The French Dispatch.” Two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks has joined the production, which is set to film in Spain. This marks the first time Hanks has worked with Anderson. The new movie already features some of Anderson’s regular players, including Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, and Adrien Brody.
“The French Dispatch” premieres in theaters on October 22.