'The French Dispatch' trailer is a glimpse of Wes Anderson's charming love letter to old school magazine journalism

The trailer starts with a shot of an old-fashioned printing press churning out the American newspaper in a fictional but appropriately named 20th-century French city, Ennui-sur-Blasé.


                            'The French Dispatch' trailer is a glimpse of Wes Anderson's charming love letter to old school magazine journalism
(IMDb)

Wes Anderson creates hermetically sealed pocket worlds that are rose-colored, nostalgic reimaginings of the present/past. Just like 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' presented charming, old-world notions about the hospitality industry, the trailer to his new film, 'The French Dispatch', is an ode to old-school, long-form magazine journalism, inspired greatly by 'The New Yorker's distinctive stylistic artwork and stories.

Bill Murray and Pablo Pauly in the film 'The French Dispatch'. (Searchlight Pictures)

Dipping between the lives of the editor (Bill Murray), writers and staff of 'The French Dispatch', a weekly supplement to the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun, and the retellings of the stories published by them, the trailer gives us a first taste of the film set for a July release.

When the film is focusing on the editorial staff, it's told in the signature Wes Anderson palette of gorgeous pale but bright pastels that reflect the flat lighting just so. When it is showing the retellings of the stories published in its pages, it is in clear, photographic black-and-white clips that are introduced with their own title cards. 



 

The trailer starts with a shot of an old-fashioned printing press churning out the American newspaper in a fictional but appropriately named 20th-century French city, Ennui-sur-Blasé. We are given a brief introduction to the editor of this quaint enterprise, Arthur Howitzer (Bill Murray), whose office is housed in a tiered old building with visible connecting stairs between floors. 

Bill Murray in the film 'The French Dispatch'. (Searchlight Pictures)

The voiceover relates, "It began as a holiday. Eager to escape the bright future on the Great Plains, Arthur Howitzer Jr. transformed a series of travelogue columns into 'The French Dispatch'. A factual weekly report on the subjects of world politics, the arts, high and low, and diverse stories of human interest."

We see some of the staff of the office like the copy editor played by Elizabeth Moss and scenes from the "articles" they print. The last one is of a dead body floating in a canal, and then we hear Bill Murray's voice taking over. "You don't think its almost too seedy this time?" seemingly referring to a story written by Herbsaint Sazerac (Owen Wilson), one of the staff writers, who is fixing his bicycle on the side. "No, I don't," Sazerac says confidently, adding, "It's supposed to be charming."

Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and Griffin Dunne in the film 'The French Dispatch'. (Searchlight Pictures)

The trailer then introduces the office's staff members played by actors Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and Griffin Dunne, among others before introducing the three articles that feature as black and white vignettes in the film.

They are: 'The  Concrete Masterpiece' by JKL Berensen (Tilda Swinton) about an artist, Moses Rosenthaler (Benicio del Toro) who's muse is his jailhouse guard Simone ( Léa Seydoux); 'Revisions of a Manifesto' by Lucinda Krementz (Frances McDormand) about two teens, Juliette (Lyna Khoudri) and Zeffirelli (Timothée Chalamet), who "obliterated a thousand years of Republican authority in less than a fortnight"; 'The Private Dining Room of the Police Commissioner' by Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright), who writes about food.

The movie also stars Saoirse Ronan, Willem Defoe, Christoph Waltz, and Adrien Brody among others Anderson regulars. It will be released on July 24, 2020.

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