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The Playlist Interview From Cannes: Wes Anderson Discusses The Nostalgia, Music, & Making Of 'Moonrise Kingdom'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 23, 2012 at 12:31PM

Few filmmakers have a more distinctive take on the world than Wes Anderson. Many of his contemporaries -- David O Russell, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze et al -- are extraordinary filmmakers, but it's only with Anderson that you can look at a single frame -- any frame -- and instantly know that it's his. And the same is true of his latest, "Moonrise Kingdom," which marks his return to live-action filmmaking for the first time in five years.
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Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
In the past you've said you try not to repeat yourself, but it seems like you're acknowledging the benefits of your past work with this film. Do you think about crystalizing past themes?
No, it's not something I think about. I really think about just the world of this movie, and what this one is going to be. That's what I'm always focused on.

What was the process of writing with Roman Coppola?
Well what happened was I'd been working on the script for about a year, and I only got so far. I had fifteen pages, I had all of these notes and ideas and things, but I couldn't make it into a story. So then I asked Roman to come help me [Coppola had also co-written "The Darjeeling Limited" with Anderson and Jason Schwartzman], and in a month we made the whole script. So he really helped me figure it out, and figure out how to make it into something chronological. I wanted Roman to be involved with production, but he was working on his own film [the upcoming "A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III"]. But he was crucial to me for the script.

There's some rough, maybe intentionally crude effects or CGI at one point of the action sequences near the end where a cabin explodes. Tell me about that.
Well, I don't think it is computer generated, it's composited though. Maybe it's something that didn't get as good as it ought to be to your eyes. There's are all kind of different effects things. So that's probably just a bad effect I would say. My thought was that it would be funny if Ed Norton was jumping with Harvey Keitel on his back, something you never could actually do while the tent explodes behind him. Maybe it's undermined by not looking authentic enough...

Kara Hayward's young Suzy character reads a lot of these fantasy books with interesting looking book covers. Given that the film is set in 1965, what kind of science-fiction would you say she's reading?
I was kind of thinking of Madeleine L'Engle, like [the 1960s pre-YA science fantasy novel] "Wrinkle in Time" that sort of thing, young adult. But did you ever read the Susan Cooper books [known for her children's fantasy series "The Dark Is Rising"]? Well, those were the ones that I was very interested in when I was a kid and I kind of had those in mind too.

This article is related to: Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom, Interview, Features, Cannes Film Festival


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