It wasn't until I read a tweet posted on the 'Isle of Dogs' handle that I realized that if you read the title of Wes Anderson's latest masterpiece fast enough it actually sounds like "I love dogs". And who doesn't love dogs, particularly during this Chinese new Year of the Dog and with so many cinematic odes to the canines of our lives appearing at film festivals, and in the works... Take Matteo Garrone's 'Dogman', for example, currently in post-production, and which of course is much less about dogs and much more about gruesome Italian crime, but still. It features a dog groomer at the center of the story, so it will showcase dogs. You can mark my words.
My first twenty-four hours in Berlin have been about reconnecting with the city, but also reexamining past experiences at Berlinale. I come to the festival with a different outlook this time around, and seeing familiar faces, along with being able to taste my favorite Mexican food from the veggie food truck Eddielicious, has helped. Helped in reminding me that sometimes not so great endings are just the starting steps to brand new adventures. We just may not be able to see it right away.
It was also interesting to meet up Berlinale creative director Dieter Kosslick in his signature red scarf and black fedora, sampling what the food truck parked in front of the Palast had on offer this year. He stopped and chatted with all the vendors and offered little anecdotes of his own food passions. He is the force behind the Culinary Cinema section at Berlinale and he got the food truck concept rolling during the festival. Those truck, their vendors, are a hungry film lover's dream during these ten days. So hats off to the man in the hat I say.
But a movie festival is nothing without films and I kicked off my first full day at Berlinale by watching Wes Anderson's animated treasure 'Isle of Dogs' featuring puppets like you've never seen them before, beloved actors giving voices to fantastical dogs and a message of humanity hidden within a film that is so darn entertaining to watch, I may have to go back for seconds. Or thirds, even. I know you've heard me talk like this before, but this time I mean it in a whole new and different way: If I went home today, I'd be happy, after watching 'Isle of Dogs'.
The voices of the dogs alone, "played" by the likes of Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton and Liev Schreiber all would be enough but the film hits so many wonderfully resonant chords in our modern-day society which would rather do away with what is inconvenient than find the solution to their problem. It's so relevant, and yet so entertaining. Just what I love from my cinema, a little bit of conscience to go along and make me feel better about the world, after viewing it.
Anderson also has a way with style, lets face it, many have already pointed that out about him. He manages to make us want to live in his worlds, those brand new universes he invents with each of his projects. But to me it goes deeper than that. I've noticed every major fashion brand, from Gucci to Zara, paying tribute to the fashions he showcases, year after year. I can still buy a Margot Tenenbaum type fur in a certain fast fashion shop, and at the last Pitti Uomo, there were heavy handed hints to her brothers in at least two collections. 'Isle of Dogs' is no different, with Atari's silver utility suit already having woven spin offs (pardon the pun) on the runways of Calvin Klein by Raf Simons at this season's NYFW.
So lets wait and see how dog-hair furs and Japanese-style block prints on fabric featuring tiny dog images will find their way into our ready to wear, by the Fall of 2018.
Anyone up for a bet on that one?