Friday 15 November 2013

Wes Anderson's New Short Film Premieres at Rome Film Festival

Actor Jason Schwartzman with director Wes Anderson and producer Roman Coppola at the premiere of Castello Cavalcanti listening to the Italian being translated in real time. 
American director Wes Anderson's new short film Castello Cavalcanti starring Jason Schwartzman and produced by Roman Coppola opens at the Rome International Film Festival,  Jeanne-Marie Cilento reports

WEARING a black velvet suit, pink shirt and knitted tie, a genial Wes Anderson talked about his new film Castello Cavalcanti commissioned by the Italian fashion house Prada. Anderson worked again with his long-time collaborator Jason Schwartzman and co-producer Roman Coppola. A strong camaraderie exists between the three men as Schwartzman is not only a favoured muse of Anderson but Roman Coppola's cousin.

In a playful mood, the Americans gently mocked the officious Italian moderator at the film premiere and press conference but entranced an appreciative audience of film directors, actors and Roman cinephiles with their relaxed discussions of their films and obvious enjoyment of the Eternal City. Wes Anderson said he and Roman Coppola had been working on the script for his last feature film Moonrise Kingdom for a year separately before they came to Italy for six weeks and finished it together. 

Both directors said they loved Italian films from the 1950s and 60s but also enjoyed the films of contemporary Italian directors such as Paolo Sorrentino's La Grande Bellezza, Matteo Garrone's Gomorrah and the work of Nani Moretti and Luca Guadagnino.

Anderson said the highly stylised and light-hearted Castello Cavalcanti was inspired after a viewing of Federico Fellini’s Amarcord with Schwartzman. Set at night in a small Italian town around a typical piazza, the eight-minute film is a throwback to classic Italian cinema and follows Formula One racer Jed Cavalcanti during the Molte Miglia rally in September 1955.

After crashing his car, Jed meets the Italians who are playing cards in the piazza and realises they are his distant relatives, including a great, great uncle called Michelangelo. Jason Schwartzman’s mobile and humorous face is just right to depict the glib racing driver Jed Cavalcanti. Wrecking his car in his family's ancestral village and dressed in a yellow Prada jumpsuit, Jed is forced to continue to mingle with the locals while waiting on a bus to Assisi.

Jed flirts with the bored waitress at the bar, drinks a fierce green grappa, orders a bowl of spaghetti and decides to forego catching the next bus out of the town. The film is a fizzy aperitivo to whet the appetite of Wes Anderson fans before his new feature film is released in March. This is the second collaboration Anderson has made with Prada. In April, the filmmaker directed Prada Candy, another short featuring Blue Is the Warmest Colour actress Léa Seydoux.

At the Rome press conference, Wes Anderson discussed his most noted films including The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, The Darjeeling Limited and talked about Moonrise Kingdom which opened the Cannes Film Festival last year and earned him another Academy Award nomination for the screenplay.

Anderson’s next film and eighth feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel again stars regular collaborators Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, and Jason Schwartzman along with Ralph Fiennes and Jude Law. The director explained how the film takes place in late 1920s Europe and tells the story of hotel concierge Mr. Gustave. The Grand Budapest Hotel will premiere at next February's Berlin International Film Festival.

Press play to view the new short film Castello Cavalcanti by Wes Anderson starring Jason Schwartzman:
American director and producer Roman Coppola with Wes Anderson and Jason Schwartzman on the red carpet at the Rome International Film Festival. 
A scene from the film showing racing driver Jed Cavalcanti escaping from his crashed vehicle. 
Actor Jason Schwartzman as Jed Cavalcanti on the phone reporting his crash to his girlfriend in Assisi. 
The film is set in Italy in September 1955 during the Molte Miglia rally.
The Prada film poster for Wes Anderson's Castello Cavalcanti

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