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Wes Anderson Talks 'Moonrise Kingdom' and Joining the Cannes Auteur Pantheon; "I'm not actually au courant"

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood May 18, 2012 at 8:53AM

Wes Anderson is a bit dazzled by the Cannes treatment. Having never come to the fest, he got word in Paris that "Moonrise Kingdom" was not only invited to the official selection, but for opening night. Sacre Bleu! And not just as an out-of-competition slot, but in the competition, too.
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Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is a bit dazzled by the Cannes treatment. Having never come to the fest, mostly for scheduling reasons, he got word in Paris that "Moonrise Kingdom" (May 25) was not only invited to the official selection, but for opening night. Sacre Bleu! And not only that, but in competition, too. That means that Anderson enters that special pantheon of directors who get the Cannes treatment, year in, year out. (Here's my Cannes write-up.)

Anderson had a blast walking up the red carpet with Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, co-writer Roman Coppola and his two young discoveries, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. "The whole movie is on the shoulders of these kids," he told me. "I love artifice and very emotional movies like 'The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp'...I'm not actually au courant." (Notably missing was Fran McDormand, who was shooting "Promised Land," the new Gus Van Sant movie.)

And Anderson is basking in a rapturous critical reception. Focus is opening the movie around the world, which Anderson describes as "the recreation of a fantasy when I was a 12-year-old," after its Cannes launch, much like last year's Woody Allen opener "Midnight in Paris." I interviewed Anderson, wearing his signature corderoy suit, at the Carlton Beach, below. That's a copy of the International Herald Tribune folded under his jacket. He hasn't had time to read it.

This article is related to: Festivals, Festivals, Cannes Film Festival, Wes Anderson, Video, Interviews, Interviews, Interviews , Cannes


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.