Isle of Dogs press conference with Wes Anderson, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum and cast
Kicking off this year’s Berlinale, Wes Anderson and his star-studded ensemble cast took to the stage to discuss the premiere of the fantastic new animated film Isle of Dogs. He was joined by Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Greta Gerwig, Bob Balaban and a host of other cast members. The gang were lively and bubbly; Murray explained that they were “cranked up on chocolate and champagne” provided by their hosts.
When asked about how the story came about, Wes Anderson took us back to four years ago when he, Jason Schwartzman and Roman Coppola decided to tell a story of a community of dogs banished to an island of trash. The film really took shape when they decided to merge that idea with an homage to Japanese animation and cinema.
He then addressed the suggestion that Isle of Dogs is his most overtly political film, saying that when it came to their writing process they created a political backdrop of corruption as a mere plot device, but shortly after they began their script, real-world political tensions started to slip into the plot. “We knew that there was something happening politically where the story came from. It’s our fantasy of the politics of this fantasy place in Japan. As the film took a long time, the real world began to change and we began to think the film seems right for the time.”
The director began to think of the inspiration for the movie and reminisced about Fantastic Mr Fox, which was primarily “inspired by Roald Dahl”. He was introduced to the work of Hayao Miyazaki shortly thereafter and immediately became enamoured. He wanted to merge his love for Kurosawa and Miyazaki into one film. Isle of Dogs became that love letter to Japan.
When asked how it felt to be part of such a cast and how it differed to working with Anderson in the past, Bill Murray looked up and down at those sitting with him and compared this film to the charity single We Are the World. He declared how lucky he was to be able to work with the most “talented voices of cinema”. Murray would break up the press conference sporadically with his own version of the Beach Boys’ Barbara Ann, changing the lyrics to his fellow cast member’s name Bob Balaban.
The hardest part about stop-motion animation was the intensive process of developing the puppets and achieving a life-like resemblance. They encountered many issues bringing them to life but the most difficult was “making them smile”.
Each cast member spoke about their own dogs, the highlight being Jeff Goldblum declaring his love for his red poodle called “Woody”.
Isle of Dogs is released nationwide on 30th March 2018. Read our review here.
Read more reviews and interviews from our Berlin Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
For further information about the event visit the Berlin Film Festival 2018.
Watch the trailer for Isle of Dogs here: