The film The French dispatch by Wes Anderson recounts the events of a magazine inspired by the New Yorker. In fact, Anderson was a fan of The New Yorker since his teens and had an impressive collection of magazines dating back to the 1940s. The film stars Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody and Tilda Swinton, to name a few.
After a long delay, the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on July 12, 2021. It is slated to hit theaters in the United States by Searchlight Pictures on October 22, 2021. Here’s a breakdown of the film’s three different storylines and some characters. .
The story of an obsessive writer
According to Film School Rejects, Bill Murray plays French Dispatch founder and editor-in-chief Arthur Howitzer Jr., whose character is based on the real New Yorker co-founder and editor Harold Ross. He started the magazine with his wife, Jane Grant, in 1925 and served until his death in 1951.
Ross had a reputation for being the equivalent of a modern grammar snob. Ross’s story is an interesting one. He was born from humble beginnings in a prospector’s cabin in Colorado, did not graduate from high school, and served in the United States military. Ross edited 1,399 extremely impressive issues of The New Yorker during his career, an astonishing feat considering he had very little education and lacked the modern conveniences we enjoy today. His obsession with the use of the comma was remarkable, and his use of the signature comma persists in the magazine to this day.
The story of a prolific reporter
Owen Wilson plays Herbsaint Sazerac, a French Dispatch reporter based on a real-life counterpart, a New York writer named Joseph Mitchell. Mitchell joined The New Yorker in 1938 and continued to work there until his death in 1996. Mitchell struggled in the later years of his life and had many unfinished manuscripts including his own biography.
Although Mitchell continued to work for The New Yorker until his death in 1996, his last completed play he ever submitted was in 1964. His mental health and depression issues were partly to blame during these years. last years. However, his early prolific writings helped establish The New Yorker.
A mash-up of two writers
Jeffrey Wright plays French Dispatch journalist Roebuck Wright, a culinary writer from the southern United States, whose true inspiration is a mix of James Baldwin and AJ Liebling. In addition to many other articles submitted for publication, Baldwin is known for his famous article “Letter from an Area in My Mind”.
Liebling loved the food. In fact, he was very fond of food, so much so that he sometimes used a piece of bacon as a bookmark. He wrote frequently about the things he loved: boxing, horse racing, and food. During World War II, Liebling was active as a war correspondent.
The French government awarded him the Cross of the Legion of Honor for his war reporting. For many years after the war he wrote a monthly New Yorker article titled The Capricious press, a review of the American press.
The French Dispatch is a triumph for Wes Anderson. Without a doubt, this will be one of his greatest works. It’s easy to see Anderson’s passion for journalism. The film was billed as “a love letter to journalists”. Obviously, with the star-studded cast that Anderson uses to make the film, this is a must-see movie whether you’re a journalist or not.
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