November 12, 2009

The Fantastic Mr. Jarmusch, Mr. Anderson and Mr. Schwartzman

There was an advance screening of the new movie, "The Fantastic Mr. Fox" tonight along with a Q&A session with the director Wes Anderson at the DGA Theater on 57th Street.

Based on the best-selling children's book by Roald Dahl and featuring some pretty amazing stop-motion animation, the film was co-written, directed and produced by Wes Anderson. This is a new movie that is being released on Friday and strangely I haven't seen any advertising at all anywhere in the city for the film. Huh? I usually notice these things. By comparison, "Where the Wild Things Are" promotions blanketed almost every advertising surface in the city for weeks before the launch. Perhaps the studio isn't supporting this movie or they don't have any confidence in it, but I liked it all the same even without a hugely expensive ad campaign. It's quirky and definitely different than all the other films combined that I've seen all year long. That alone makes it worth seeing. I guess if I had to make a comparison, I would say that it's vaguely similar in style and tone to "James and the Giant Peach," but it has Wes Anderson's unique writing and directing style all over it which definitely means it is probably destined to be a hipster classic no matter how it performs at the box office.

The film features the voices of George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, Eric Anderson, Wally Wolodarsky, Owen Wilson and many others. Look it up. The website for the movie has any information you might need in order to decide whether you're going to spend the $12.50 (in Manhattan) to go see it this weekend, but either way definitely check out Whackbat which is one the more creative aspects of the website and part of a cool little scene in the middle of the film.

As for the event itself, it was a rare, completely packed house at the DGA for the screening and everyone stayed for a long Q&A session with surprise guest and moderator Jim Jarmusch (Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train, Broken Flowers) who fielded about a dozen questions from the audience while Wes and Jason talked about the process of making the film. I liked Wes a lot more after seeing him talk at length about the unusual process of making this film. Plus Wes gets extra bonus points in my book for saying, "It's quite all right," at the start of the questions in reply to something Jim Jarmusch said.

Afterwards, I went out for Japanese food down the block at my favorite noodle house. All in all it was an excellent night with a new friend who accompanied me. Go see the movie and let me know what you think.


Antjas said...

An interesting evening with creative folks wearing interesting footwear. It appears you had a good seat. (I was drawn to this post because the last thing I watched on TV was Jason Schwartzman in Bored to Death.)

Anonymous said...

I heard about the movie for the first time tonight, and curious now of the new friend...hmm~LB

Christopher said...

Creative footwear indeed. We had seats in the 2nd row which was just about perfect.