Cinema: “The French Dispatch”, declaration of love for France and journalism

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(AFP) – A declaration of love for France and journalism: “The French Dispatch” by the unclassifiable Wes Anderson, in theaters Wednesday, involves in his sweet madness an XXL cast, from Bill Murray to Tilda Swinton, including Léa Seydoux and Timothée Chalamet.

Shot in Angoulême before the pandemic, this film (01 H 47) highly anticipated from the author of “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, “La Aquatic life “or” On board the Darjeeling Limited “, waited months to be presented in the official selection at Cannes, then finally released in theaters.

” The French Dispatch “is declining the art of miniature and detail by Wes Anderson, with a story in four chapters, in the fictional French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé.

Bill Murray, faithful among the filmmaker’s faithful, plays the role of editor-in-chief of an American magazine supplement, a thinly veiled tribute to the New Yorker’s style of reportage journalism, of which he is a n great follower.

The viewer meets a bicycle reporter (Owen Wilson) a police station cook, Nescaffier (Stephen Park), a young revolutionary in love (Timothée Chalamet), a prison guard (Léa Seydoux) posing nude for an inmate-artist … In addition Benicio Del Toro, Adrien Brody, or Tilda Swinton.

The death of the boss of the newspaper will be the opportunity, at the time of meeting to write the obituary, to reveal for each of his journalists his own daily newspaper, his sources of inspiration or his facts of glory.

– Retro and fantasized France –

“The French Dispatch” looks at itself as through a kaleidoscope pointed at France, its cinema and journalism, zapping in a frenetic way between references and all kinds of winks claimed and re-accommodated in the sauce Wes Anderson, by James Baldwin to Christophe via Daniel Cohn-Bendit …

Shoot this film, “c t was like making three or four films, I had to design, do the casting, everything had to be done (…) Each time we did a new story, and there were a lot of extras. There are more than 1. 00 inhabitants of Angoulême in the film “, told the director to AFP, during the presentation of “The French Dispatch” in Cannes.

He shows the extent of his cinematographic know-how, not hesitating to alternate color and black and white or to make a detour by the cartoon, which he had practiced in “Fantastic Mr Fox” and “Isle of Dogs”.

But “The French Dispatch” pushes the patchwork even more far than the previous Wes Anderson, with his small embedded stories, conceived as so many visual chapters, elaborated with meticulousness, in black and white, color or cartoon. The story, on the other hand, is sometimes reduced to the rank of pretext.

The France that Wes Anderson films is represented there in a retro and fantasized version, rebuilt from A to Z by this native of Texas living in France. “The reason why I started coming to France, it’s because French cinema meant so much for me, it was such a part of my life that it got me there “, explained the director.

” I have been waiting for a long time for the opportunity to do a real movie in its own right here, “he added. This made it possible “to work with actors that I like and that I would not have recruited in English-speaking roles”, adds the director, citing Mathieu Amalric or Léa Seydoux but also newcomers in his cinema family like Cécile de France, Guillaume Gallienne or Hippolyte Girardot.

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