Wes Anderson lives in a world of his own. And by watching his latest film, Isle of Dogs, we get to enter the world of this 49-year-old US director.
The story takes place in Japan 20 years from now. Kobayashi, the mayor of Megasaki City, blames the city’s dogs for spreading a disease and exiles them all to an island. Atari, the mayor’s 12-year-old nephew, decides to go to the island to look for his dog, Spots. But Atari soon finds out that the whole thing is actually a conspiracy against dogs that was created by the city government, and it’s up to him to save these “man’s best friends” from being killed.
Isle of Dogs is the kind of film that was quite obviously directed by Andersen, as everything in it has his unique and unusual touch.
The film was shot in stop-motion – a method of creating the illusion of movement by moving puppets little by little. Few directors use this technique in today’s CGI era. Anderson also refused to use subtitles for the Japanese characters’ speech because he wanted people to focus on his visuals – or perhaps because he sees language as a form of art itself, rather than simply a tool to convey a message. Most importantly, Anderson wrote the story himself, along with several of his writer friends. He never makes films based on existing stories – as he once told InnerVIEWS, all of his films are “made from scratch”.
电影以定格动画的手法进行拍摄 —— 这是一种通过一点点移动木偶，从而形成运动错觉的方法。在如今的电脑三维动画时代，很少会有导演使用这种手法。安德森也没有为日本角色的台词配上字幕，因为他希望人们关注视觉语言—— 又或许是因为他将语言本身视为一种艺术，而不仅仅是传递信息的工具。最重要的是，安德森和几位作家朋友一起，自己编写了这个故事。他从不根据现成的故事拍摄电影 —— 正如他曾在接受InnerVIEWS网站采访时表示的那样，他的所有电影都是“从零开始”。
“Wes is in a position to allow his imagination to expand,” actor Bryan Cranston, who provides the voice for one of the dogs in the film, told the Associated Press. “He has no interest in doing something that he has already seen. So he’s looking for the uniqueness of a story, and then add a Wes Anderson spin to it. It’s brilliant.”
Anderson’s reputation for originality attracted many like-minded people to work on his film. If you look at the cast of Isle of Dogs, you can see some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, including Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton. Some of them only have a few lines, but they were all willing to come “to do a day’s work for Wes”, actor F. Murray Abraham, who also appears in the film, told GQ.
But one of the things that comes with originality is risk. It’s hard for people to accept something that they’re not yet familiar with. When it comes to Anderson’s films, people tend to either love them or hate them – there’s nothing in between. But that’s OK, because to me, films that are made to please everyone are rarely masterpieces – they’re usually quite mediocre, in fact. And Anderson is anything but mediocre.
但原创同时也伴随着风险。人们很难接受自己还不熟悉的事物。人们对韦斯·安德森的电影评价往往两极分化 —— 并没有中间派。但这点没啥问题，因为对我而言，迎合所有人口味的电影很少会是佳作 —— 实际上，它们通常都挺一般的。而安德森绝非平庸之辈。