Wes Anderson says Isle of Dogs is inspired by Akira Kurosawa

The director recently revealed details about his new film in an hour-long video masterclass.


Jack Godwin

Wes Anderson recently gave an hour-long televised masterclass for Arte Cinema in which he discussed his influences and experiences as a filmmaker.

His next film, Isle of Dogs, sees a return to the world of stop-motion animation for the first time since 2009’s Fantastic Mr Fox. The idiosyncratic American director named stop-motion pioneer Ray Harryhausen as a source of inspiration, as well as various American Christmas TV specials from his youth. Even more intriguingly, he also revealed that his ninth feature is “less influenced by stop-motion than it is by Akira Kurosawa.”

When pressed, Anderson simply smiled and nodded, apparently unwilling at this stage to divulge anything more about how the iconic Japanese auteur factors into the film. “Everybody is influenced by everybody.” he says, “You can’t really predict what someone’s process is or what they draw from.”

Later on in the interview, Anderson names Alfred Hitchcock as making a strong impression on him as a teenager, seeing video tapes of his later films “released with his name – the director’s name – above the title.” He goes on to discuss the different directorial methods required for different actors, explaining that “every actor has their own way they want to be directed”, specifying that “an actor like Jeff Goldblum wants you to tell him everything that you can”, while Gene Hackman “would be happy if you didn’t speak to him.”

Little is known about the plot of Isle of Dogs, but we do know that it is set in Japan and features Edward Norton in the lead role (a dog named Rex). In addition the voice cast includes Anderson regulars Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and Tilda Swinton, alongside new collaborators Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson and Greta Gerwig.

Isle of Dogs is currently in production and is schedule for release in 2018. Watch the full video interview below…

Published 14 Mar 2017

Tags: Akira Kurosawa Gene Hackman Jeff Goldblum Ray Harryhausen Wes Anderson

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