With a new clip recently revealed — and a release date of March 23 — Wes Anderson has finally started talking about Isle of Dogs. Prior to now, the director had been quiet about what to expect from the movie, his first stop-motion film since 2009’s Fantastic Mr Fox. Speaking at the official press conference at Berlin Film Festival — where Isle of Dogs became the first animated film to open the festival — Anderson discussed its influences and why he decided to make the movie.
Anderson explained that Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and he had wanted to set the film in Japan so it would be “something related to our shared love of Japanese cinema, especially [Akira] Kurosawa. The story could’ve taken place anywhere, but it came together when we realised it should take place in a fantasy version of Japan.”
As well as Kurosawa, Anderson was also influenced by Studio Ghibli creator Hayao Miyazaki. Anderson explained how Miyazaki “brings the detail and also the silences I think. With Miyazaki you get nature and you get moments of peace, a kind of rhythm that is not in the American animation tradition so much. That inspired us quite a lot. … We found many places where we had to pull back from what we were doing musically because we wanted the movie to be quiet. That came from Miyazaki.”
As well as working on Isle of Dogs, Anderson is set to curate an exhibition in Vienna later this year.