Wes Anderson’s recommendations for social isolation viewing

The internationally acclaimed director presents his 'Louvre of movies'

Filmmaker Wes Anderson

If you’re socially isolating right now, it’s entirely possible that you’re catching up on some film or TV watching. Maybe you’re binge-watching an old favorite; maybe you’re using the time to watch something you’d meant to watch in the theater in previous weeks. But there’s also something to be said for trying out something you’ve never seen before. And what better guide to that than an internationally acclaimed filmmaker?

Specifically, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Wes Anderson. The release of Anderson’s next film The French Dispatch remains in the future, but Anderson’s recommendations can be seen right now. This particular list of recommended works comes via a letter Anderson sent to the arthouse movie buffs Criterion discussing what he’s been watching while socially isolating.

“Wes Anderson writes us occasional letters to let us know what he’s been enjoying on the Criterion Channel,” they wrote in a tweet. “We thought we’d share this one, featuring some of his favorite recent discoveries, in case you’re looking for something surprising to watch.”

So what does the list include? First of all, the modern cinema’s master, gives a shout out to Anne-Marie - a marvelous 1936 film about a women fighter pilot, directed by Raymond Bernard. Interestingly enough, the script is written by Antoine de Saint-Exupery! Secondly on Anderson list is Les Miserables. But not the one where Anne Hathaway shaves her head -  the French, 1930s Raymond Bernard movie instead. Then, another Raymond Bernard’s masterpiece finds its place in Anderson's recommendations - the visceral war drama Wooden Crosses, which is considered to be France’s version of All Quiet on the Western Front.

As a great “a great time-machine", the cinema master describes The Out-of-Towners - a Golden Globe-nominated comedy about a husband-and-wife duo who head from Ohio to NYC for a job interview that soon goes pear-shaped. It is followed by Louis Malle’s 1986 documentary And the Pursuit of Happiness, which is made in celebration of the Statue of Liberty’s 100th birthday and captures the lives of immigrants living in the USA. 

Last but not least, Anderson recommends Jane Campion’s 1990 film about the early years of the legendary New Zealand writer Janet Frame. Called An Angel at My Table, it is claimed to be an important early work from Campion, released before her breakthrough film The Piano.

We believe Wes Anderson's escapist cinema discoveries are worth it. After all, this is the arthouse auteur you’d trust in a time like this. His films have been a balm for people in need of light relief for decades already. Whether's The Royal Tenenbaums or The Grand Budapest Hotel, the auteur’s back catalogue is particularly worth revisiting in the midst of this precarious and uncertain time. 

It’s worth mentioning, however, that the movies that Wes lists are all available to watch on The Criterion Channel, a movie buff’s preferred streaming platform that hasn’t quite made it to Europe yet. Instead, you might have to fish these out elsewhere.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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