Wes Anderson Had His ‘French Dispatch’ Cast Watch These 5 Movies Before Filming

     March 23, 2020


Before cameras started rolling on Wes Anderson‘s upcoming feature The French Dispatch, the director had a list of movies he wanted the cast to watch in order to prepare. The cast for Anderson’s new movie is one of his most star-studded, with Bill Murray, Owen WilsonTilda SwintonFrances McDormandJeffrey WrightAdrien BrodyBenicio Del ToroLéa Seydoux, and Timothée Chalamet joining to tell an anthology of stories set in late 20th-century France.


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Robert Yeoman, the cinematographer who frequently works on Anderson’s features including The French Dispatch, shared in a recent statement (via Indiewire) which movies the director made the cast watch. The list isn’t technically limited to movies, either. Yeoman notes in his statement Anderson compiled “an extensive library of DVDs, books, and magazine articles” for the cast to consult before filming began. The list is very much the list of movies you’d expect Anderson to whip up, especially considering The French Dispatch takes place in 20th-century France, with the movies all of French origin but coming in a blend of genres including most notably the French New Wave. Those movies are:

  • Jean Luc-Godard‘s My Life to Live (1962)
  • Henri-George Clouzot‘s Quay of the Goldsmiths (1947) and Diabolique (1955)
  • Max Ophüls‘ Le Plaisir (1952)
  • François Truffaut‘s The 400 Blows (1959)

In addition to revealing what movies Anderson recommended the French Dispatch cast watch in order to best prepare, Yeoman shared in his statement what made him want to work on this upcoming feature. According to the cinematographer: “I was immediately drawn to the various stories, each original in its tone and style. The characters and situations held great creative possibilities and I was ready for another adventure.”

Yeoman goes on in his statement to give insight into what it’s like making art with Anderson, commenting,

“Working on a film with Wes is not just limited to what transpires on the set, you are signing up for a life adventure. Whether on a boat in Italy, a train in India, or a small city in France, the experience is all encompassing. Wes has his own unique way of working and often challenges us all to ‘think outside the box.’ Many times he will describe what he wants to shoot and I will think, ‘That’s going to be really difficult,’ but somehow we always pull it off. The shooting process itself is rarely easy, but I think that everyone feels that they are part of something special.”

The French Dispatch is still set for a theatrical release of July 24. For more, check out our updated release calendar for 2020 movies.

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