The French Chronicle, the latest film by the American director Wes Anderson, hits the big screen with all the features fans expect from a story created by the iconic filmmaker: renowned cast consisting of frequent contributors, quirky characters, a unique visual aesthetic, witty script and high doses of sarcastic humor, among others.
The new film follows the adventures of a group of journalists from The French Chronicle, a prestigious American publication based in a small town in France. Structured around the chronicles included in a particular issue of the magazine, the story immerses the public in the circumstances in which each of the articles written took place, thus getting to know both the journalists who wrote them and the personas who starred in them.
Check out six fun facts about the production of The French Chronicle are perfect for entering “Wes mode”:
As Anderson himself points out, his new film has three sources of inspiration: the prestigious American publication The New Yorker, French cinema and the aesthetics of France, a country that adopted the filmmaker in recent years. “I remember an interview I once read with Tom Stoppard where someone asked him where one of his works had come from and he said that it was always two ideas of different origins that he gathered and turned into his next work. This is exactly what happens to me every time. And this movie is actually three things: a collection of short stories, something I've always wanted to do; a film inspired by The New Yorker and the kind of reporter he was always known for publishing; and having spent a lot of time in France over the years, I've always wanted to make a French film, and a film that was related to French cinema.”, says the director.
Actor Owen Wilson, Anderson's university roommate and recurring contributor to his films, says that in his university years, the director read the The New Yorker constantly. “He read The New Yorker all the time, which was quite unusual. I believe he was not a subscriber, as that would have been beyond his financial reach, but he was completely absorbed by that magazine. What a thoughtful gift to all those writers", says Wilson.
For his part, Andrew Weisblum, Anderson's longtime editor, comments: “The film was born out of his love of cinema, French literature and culture and his experiences in France over the last ten years or so, and I believe that's what he wanted to evoke and share in this film.”.