In the world of The French Chronicle (from the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun)by Wes Anderson, everything is neat, beautiful and orderly. Also, handmade. The one who discovered herself to death as “A love letter to journalism” it is actually a celebration of the manual. From the press, information and a passion for writing that translates into sheets of paper, billboards and precious newsrooms packed with journalists.
Over and over again, Anderson makes it clear that there is something essential in his film and that is the detailed conviction of the plot in celebrate something that no longer exists. Or that, at least, Anderson gives up for lost and remembers with melancholy: the passion to travel the world in search of the news. The French Chronicle celebrates several things at once, no doubt. But his greatest accent is on the idea of what was an unknown world for the vast majority.
In an exercise of melancholy of considerable tenderness and that is sure to move the nostalgic, Wes Anderson creates a world. This time around, it’s not just about pastel hues or neat symmetry. Also, of inner vitality of a film that gives special importance to the escapades of its characters. The French Chronicle it celebrates in a big way the impression of time and, especially, the condition of the journalist as a mysterious hero.
Anderson does it using the same tricks as in all his movies and worked carefully in the perception of the powerful of the passion for truthfulness. Or, rather, the need for competition for the truth? There is something frank, childish and radiant in the way the film breaks down the way of recording and documenting the everyday. The news and journalism are the center of the argument without any discussion, but also the connotation of a type of truthfulness that moves because of its human quality.
However, the director remains at a distance from really deep topics. Or even one that is relevant. And it is for that reason that The French Chronicle It has more of a showcase of exquisite images than of a royal tribute. Perhaps in a conscious decision or because the film does not pretend to be more than a delicate postcard of yesteryear, the script is more tricky than direct. Much more beautiful than meaty.
Wes Anderson’s work goes from one place to another showing in a whole array of resources what old-school journalism was like. But he does it between phone calls, screams, notes in notebooks. In an adorable and sweetened hubbub that ends up exploding into a great pyrotechnics of wrong situations and often funny.
Even so, the director does not touch the core of journalism. There are no moral, intellectual or ethical debates. Much less, questions about the trade or its considerable importance. Anderson, convinced that beauty is itself a language — and it can be — spends a considerable amount of time making delicate winks. To show offices in which the notion of what is reported, and how it is done, is reconstructed in perfect interior landscapes. To let his characters converse, debate and argue in a lighthearted triviality that, at times, becomes confusing.
‘The French Chronicle’, the celebration of melancholy
Wes Anderson has the wonderful ability to narrate with small visual effects bumps. AND The French Chronicle is full of them. From the Alexandre Desplat soundtrack – piano combined with the sound of keys – to the offices as neat dioramas. Everything in the movie is built to tell a story that carries a dazzling beauty in the staging.
Of course, this is not uncommon in the director’s work, but this time it is clear that Anderson is interested in enhancing the visual issue. Each frame has the undoubted look of a still photograph or a magazine cover. Each scene has the weight of a scandalous headline. But especially all the characters are stereotypes of small sections about time and history. Anderson, who may have been inspired by old newspaper cartoons to recreate his own script, creates a kind of sequence of short stories. Together, they form a total experience. Separately, they could even be anthologies.
Whatever the case, the fragmentation of the argument does not affect its lightness and good sense. Despite his superficiality, Wes Anderson knows how to build a game of lights and mirrors in which the newsroom of a newspaper is the world. It is in everything it can encompass and also in everything it suggests. At first the story is a cabinet of wonders that makes the director’s mind imagine when working.
With a group of multi-star actors, the filmmaker succeeds in immediately creating the impression of what voyeur. The drafting of The French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun it is abuzz with energy. Also of impossible debates, of time breaks and the passing of a story that runs under the plot.
If anything can be celebrated from The French Chronicle, it is his delicacy when narrating, even without great ambitions. The film has a greater interest in his eccentric gaze and in his playful charm than in creating a more powerful look on a dense subject. Even in its last stretch, when the formidable glee-filled writing turns gloomier and the film takes a necessary turn. In its darkest moments, The French Chronicle it is a cynical look. In the lightest, a great mocking laugh about the world of information from a place completely unknown to the current generation.
Newspapers, elegies and pains: Wes Anderson in top form
A few months ago, Wes Anderson confessed that The French Chronicle is a memory of his obsession with The New Yorker. In fact, much of the film seems to portray the world of the American magazine from the mockery.
With its dazzling cast, its intrusive camera and, especially, the celebration of time, The French Chronicleto is frugal and intriguing at the same time. A paradox that the director managed to create peaks when the film celebrates the rare and the beautiful from identical angles. Again, Anderson found a way to relate what seemed impossible. But also to celebrate what was irremediable. Between both things, The French Chronicle it is a great burst of energy, laughter and poignant innocence. Perhaps the most unique combination of all.