(AFP) – American director Wes Anderson does not make comedies, dramas, or adventure films. He’s playing Wes Anderson. A cinematographic recipe unlike any other, tinged with sweet madness and that he pushes further than ever with “The French Dispatch”, in theaters Wednesday in France.
With his face juvenile to 52 years, his airs of dandy, Wes Anderson seems to come straight out of his own films.
The author of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” or “On board the Darjeeling Limited” does nothing like the others: in Cannes in July, where “The French Dispatch” was presented, it is on board a bus that the XXL cast of his film arrived to ignite the red carpet.
The faithful Bill Murray was there, who strolls from film to film his phlegm and his deadpan air, panama on the head. Also accompanied by Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody and Owen Wilson, other faithful “Andersonians”, and recent converts, like Timothée Chalamet and Benicio del Toro, as a summary of the universe both hype and quirky of Wes Anderson.
His film concentrates the inimitable know-how of this magician of the image, distant heir to Méliès obsessed with detail and symmetry, which he has cultivated since his beginnings, with “The Tenenbaum Family” or “The Aquatic Life”.
“Even though my films can sometimes seem a bit Byzantine and complex, all I want to do is tell the story. a story in a conventional way, “Wes Anderson told AFP in Cannes. “I have my characters, I want to build a world for them and bring the spectator into them”, continues the one who likes “to work in (his) small space separated from the industry”.
Because few directors are so associated with such a specific style, dotted with obsessive characters.
– ” An easy type “-
To achieve this, Wes Anderson has kept total artistic control over his creations. “I have my group of people with whom I work, we work in our own space, a bit separated from the industry. This is perhaps also why I do not often work in the United States”, a he added.
The luxury cast gathered to shoot “The French Dispatch” in Angoulême gives the measure of the aura of the man whose sets are said to be very user-friendly.
These faithful “turn in his films because it’s funny”, explains the British critic Dorian Lynskey to AFP. “He’s an easy guy, yet he produces a total aesthetic, which one would imagine associated with a difficult director.”
Named seven times at the Oscars, but never a winner, this Hollywood UFO was competing for the second time for the Palme d’Or in Cannes, after “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2012.
If his universe is tender, the tone is sometimes deceptively childish, in this director marked by the divorce of his parents at the age of eight. His work is crossed by the dramas of life: abandonment, suicide, loss of illusions … Some of these themes, but also confinement or kidnapping, also emerge in “The French Dispatch”.
“It seems that he is particularly nostalgic for his 10 years (…) age where you can be totally overwhelmed by love at first sight, where a book can take the place of your whole world, “writes Sophie Monks Kaufman, author of a book on the filmmaker. )
His cinema is sometimes described as mannered, cut out for hipsters with his taste for the ironic and outdated wink, and the sepia postcard of France from the years 1960 that he delivers may annoy. But his images have had a wide influence, from interior design to pubs for Gucci. An Instagram account, “Accidentally Wes Anderson” also lists photos of real places that deserve to appear in his films.