Having watched The Grand Budapest Hotel at the behest of at least one fan of Wes Anderson, I decided I was not also a fan of Wes Anderson. Maybe a different movie (a stop-motion canine dystopia set in Japan) would change my opinion?
Nope. Still not a fan of Wes Anderson.
Articles about Isle of Dogs
Vulture: “What it’s like to watch Isle of Dogs as a Japanese speaker”
The writer shares some thoughts about language, setting, and the possibilities and pitfalls of cultural appropriation, adding thoughts from several Japanese speakers.
The New Yorker: “What Isle of Dogs gets right about Japan”
The writer considers the film’s use of Japanese language and culture to be thoughtful and nuanced, and says, yes, actually there are Japanese in-jokes as well as a lot of culturally accurate details. Personally, I agree that the American in the story is not a “white savior” because although she rebels, she’s ultimately ineffective.
The New Yorker: “Isle of Dogs is a stylish revolt against (American) political madness”
“Thrust into situations of utter degradation, places of utter ruin, and fates of utter despair, these [canine] victims unite in resisting the forces that would destroy them and, in the process, tap into a latent sensibility and forge a sublime style of their own….. The movie looks closely at deportation, internment in a prison camp, and the threat of extermination—all from the perspective of the victims.” Welp, now I feel silly taking the story at face value. Of course it’s all a political metaphor.
Vulture: “Isle of Dogs: Did you fall asleep?”
The writer explains some reasons why Wes Anderson, or at any rate, this film of his, is not for everyone: Anderson is deadpan, the visuals are precise, and there’s a lot of dialog in Japanese.
The Atlantic: “The beauty and sadness of Isle of Dogs“
The writer says this fable about evil, told with “magnificently deadpan humor”, is “filthy and fetid, yet somehow utterly gorgeous”. Personally, I don’t see how something can be disgusting and beautiful at the same time. And that’s my biggest problem with the film: I kept wanting to look away.