Here’s (more of) what Wes Anderson is watching in lockdown

Need some suggestions for the weekend?

by Douglas Greenwood
15 May 2020, 10:40am

Still from Le Grande Bouffe

If the well-reported rumours were to be believed, Wes Anderson was meant to be ascending the iconic red stairs at the Cannes Film Festival this week, flanked by several members of the Hollywood elite: Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Saoirse Ronan, Benicio del Toro and, of course, Timothée Chalamet.

Yep, the new project from the decadent arthouse director, The French Dispatch, was rumoured to be premiering at the world’s most prestigious film festival on the French riviera, before rolling out in cinemas around the world this summer. But, as with many movies, Miss Rona saw that plan and literally cackled in our faces. Now, Cannes Film Festival is cancelled for the first time since World War II and The French Dispatch’s release is edging towards the end of the year, starting on 16 October in the United States.

So to sate your desire for the wonder of Wes Anderson cinema in the meantime, the actor has been watching films and recommending them. After sharing a list back in March, in an interview with The New York Times in their piece about the legacy of Cannes (Moonrise Kingdom premiered there in 2012) Wes said he's been watching a film every night and these are the ones that he enjoyed most.

Alice Adams

A Katherine Hepburn-starring, Oscar-nominated movie from 1935, about a man of high society falling for a young woman from “the wrong side of the tracks”.

Beat the Devil

A comedy caper from the 1950s starring Humphrey Bogart that follows a group of couples on their way from Italy to Africa, all secretly chasing a hidden, expensive source of uranium.

Nothing Sacred

Released in 1937, this film tells the story of a woman suffering from radiation poisoning, and a newspaper journalist who uses her story to turn her into a star.

Do the Right Thing

A Spike Lee masterpiece centred around an Italian pizzeria and the racial tensions rising in a Brooklyn neighbourhood. [Spike Lee was slated to head up the jury at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.]

The Long Voyage Home

Starring John Wayne, this film takes place on the high seas, and follows a group of sailors as they handle the impending war and the loneliness of being stranded in the middle of the ocean.

A Story From Chikamatsu

One of the last films by Kenji Mizoguchi, Japanese master of the long-take. Also known as The Forbidden Lovers, this film follows a scroll-maker’s wife who’s wrongly accused of having an affair with her husband’s apprentice. To escape violence, they run away.

La Grande Bouffe

A controversial French-Italian comedy-drama, in which a pilot, TV star and chef plan to eat themselves to death.

The Passionate Friends

This British film from the 1940s explores the life of a committed, if unhappy man and wife, whose relationship is thrown into disarray when a former lover of the wife returns.

Station Six-Sahara

A BAFTA nominee back in 1952, this film is set on an oil rig in the middle of the Sahara desert on which five men are stationed. When a car crash occurs nearby, they rescue a beautiful American woman and her husband. Suddenly, some of the men on the rig start to fall for her.

What Price Hollywood

A story of a drunkard, failing Hollywood director and how he uses the last of his clout to elevate a young waitress with great ambitions to fame.

Winter Kills

This film stars a young Jeff Bridges as the son of an assassinated president and heir to an expensive fortune, as he sets out to find out more about the life of the man who claims to have killed his father.

Wes Anderson