Film School: The French Dispatch (2021)

The French Dispatch (2021) The French Dispatch (2021)

A round-up of breakdowns of Wes Anderson’s rich, intricate film.

With such a distinctive trademark aesthetic, it’s easy to take each Wes Anderson film as “just another” Wes Anderson film. However, this not only gives little credit to the work of developing that aesthetic in the first place, it also dismisses any unique achievements within the individual films themselves. The French Dispatch (2021) represents a particular high point, as it builds upon the style and craft developed by the writer/director throughout his filmography, and concentrates them into a higher density of stories, locations, set pieces, and emotional beats than perhaps any of his films prior. Anderson’s fluency in his cinematic language at this point belies just how rich, complex, and frankly mind-boggling this film really is.

Story

The Discarded Image maps How The Stories Connect in The French Dispatch:

Direction

Thomas Flight examines The Absurd Intricacy of The French Dispatch:

Production

The production team took over a small French town to create the “alternate studio spaces” for the sheer number of sets required (via Greenlight Filmmaking):

Effects

The intricacy on display in the various practical and composite effects in blink-and-you-miss-them shots is staggering (from 2:37):

Further Viewing

Wes Anderson’s key grip, Sanjay Sami, details how he designs and builds in order to realise the director’s often unprecedented, theoretically impossible shots, such as this 70-second tracking shot in The French Dispatch (via Vulture):