Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom was not only chosen as the opening night selection for Cannes 2012, but earned a slot in the festival’s main competition. (A rare honor indeed; the last time this double bonus occurred was at the 2008 festival, with Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness.)
This seventh feature film from Anderson is set in 1965, on an island off the coast of New England. 12-year-old Sam and Suzy discover that they’re in love, and decide to run away into the island’s wilderness. A search party comprised of parents, local authorities and a boy scout troop steps up to find them, the expedition made all the more urgent by the fact that a violent storm has been predicted to rage throughout the area. The film stars Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Bob Balaban, introducing Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as Sam and Suzy, respectively.
Anderson and many of the Moonrise Kingdom actors were in the south of France this week, making the round of press conferences, junkets and some one-on-one interviews. doddle film reviewer Kimberly Gadette was invited to one such small conference, set up at the Carlton Beach location directly across from the upscale Carlton Hotel. Even better, she got the opportunity to sit down for an exclusive with the filmmaker himself.
[Her one-on-one interview is followed by additional Q&A excerpts from the conference, including remarks from Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton and Bob Balaban.]
KG: Let’s address the missing Futura font. You’ve consistently used it in your previous film titles and artwork and yet, with Moonrise Kingdom, you’ve broken with tradition.
WA: Well, we made a new typeface for this movie. It’s kind of a big hassle making a typeface, taking a lot of work, refining it, etc.
KG: Did you have to actually apply for a design patent?
WA: No, we hired somebody to make it; I think she owns the typeface. But now that I think about it, I think I should own it!
KG: Moonrise Kingdom was so stylized in its rhythms, it seemed that the majority of the film’s actors shared a universal character trait that I might describe as a determined, myopically serious point of view. Was it challenging for you to corral all these screen veterans, with all their various styles, into working within such a specific parameter?
WA: I just want them to seem natural and real. Usually with a cast like this, they’re all coming into it with something that sounds exciting to me. I don’t really feel like I had to do much in the way of corralling. You’ve got Jason Schwartzman, for instance, he had an angle on it that was energetic, so he attacked it that way. On the other hand, Bob Balaban’s character does an oratory, he’s our host, and he had a great take on how to lead us into the story.
KG: Balaban notwithstanding, it was fascinating to witness how much the actors truly became an elemental part of a defined whole.
WA: Probably because everybody’s reading it off of each other. Maybe it’s also partly because of the way the script was written.
[For Kimberly Gadette's full interview, please click on the doddle article here]