We’re definitely not the only ones excited for Wes Anderson’s new movie, The French Dispatch, which comes out today. In a clever bit of marketing, Casa Magazines on the corner of West 12th Street and 8th Avenue, has been taken over by an installation of… you guessed it: real copies of the fictional magazine.
The full name of the fictional magazine is the French Dispatch of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun. The film tells the story of the magazine run by American expats in the fictional town of Ennui-sur-Blasé, filmed in the real French town of Angoulême. Following the death of its longtime editor played by Bill Murray, the magazine’s staff is planning its final issue and each of its four features gets Anderson’s cinematic treatment. The New York Times describes the film as “Anderson’s ode to journalism, French cinema and the magic found while winding through the country’s cobblestone streets.”
Wes Anderson himself told The New Yorker, “I always wanted to make a movie about The New Yorker. The French magazine in the film obviously is not The New Yorker—but it was, I think, totally inspired by it.”
To promote the movie, Searchlight Pictures produced limited editions of The French Dispatch magazine. Formatted to resemble The New Yorker, it offers a series of behind-the-scenes articles about the making of the film. The introduction explains the film’s inspirations, followed by an article about the town of Angoulême and how it resembles a Paris that has been lost (or perhaps never really existed except in the filmmaker’s imagination). Then there’s an article about the making of the painting featured in the film, a piece with slogans from the student protests of May 1968 that inspired the protests in the movie, a list of films that inspired Anderson, a couple of letters from the editor, a collection of quotes by real writers who inspired the fictional journalists in the film, and finally a spread of film stills, photos of the supporting cast, and a letter from the editor.
For Wes Anderson fans, the French Dispatch magazine is a pleasure to flip through and is sure to become a collector’s item. The film comes out in select theaters — including Nitehawk Cinema in Brooklyn and the Angelika in Soho — today and in theaters everywhere on October 29.
Next, read about the film locations for The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson’s only film set in NYC.