Before the 73rd Cannes Film Festival was officially cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wes Anderson was expected to premiere his highly-anticipated movie The French Dispatch at the event. The last time the director attended the festival was back in 2012, when he opened the edition with Moonrise Kingdom. Anderson recently took part in the The New York Times’ Cannes survey, which asked filmmakers to share a memory about Cannes and their thoughts on the future of cinema. In doing so, he dropped a list of 11 films he has been watching in quarantine.
“I have a 4-year-old daughter so, like so many others in our situation, I am now a part-time amateur schoolteacher,” Anderson explained. “Much of what I am reading has to do with ancient Egypt, dinosaurs, insects and the Amazon rainforest.” He then revealed a quarantine watch list, covering nearly a dozen titles that rank as some of his favorites, including George Stevens’ Alice Adams (1935), William A. Wellman’s Nothing Sacred (1937), John Ford’s The Long Voyage Home (1940), Kenji Mizoguchi’s A Story From Chikamatsu (1954) and Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (1989). The director said he’s been watching a movie every night while sheltering in place.
On a specific memory about Cannes, Anderson said, “Thierry Frémaux [the festival director] really knows how to throw a film festival. There were good movies of every kind from all over the planet, and what could be better than watching a perfectly restored 251 minutes Once Upon a Time in America on the shores of the Mediterranean?” While Cannes is not holding a physical edition this year, Frémaux confirmed that organizers will begin to plan events in selected cinemas as “Cannes hors les murs” (“Cannes outside the walls”). The official film selections will be announced in June, which is expected to include The French Dispatch.
Check out the entire list of Anderson’s quarantine movies on The New York Times’ website.