B-Boy Limping

My week of Wes Anderson (so far)
November 11, 2009, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Comedy, Film, Music, New York, Reading is fun | Tags: , , ,

Oh guys, it’s been a crazy past week or so. The New York Comedy Festival was in town through Sunday, and that played a major part in keeping me busy (and in stitches. Also, it is hilarious and sad that Tracy Morgan’s “filthy” routine at Carnegie Hall  qualified as a news story.)

But Comedy Fest aside, you know who else is hi-larious? These guys, together:


Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach at the NYPL, discussing their upcoming stop-motion animated film Fantastic Mr. Fox, based on the Roald Dahl novel. They co-wrote the script.

Wes Anderson currently spends most of his time in Paris, so this week he’s in New York doing blitz promotion for the film, which comes out here this Friday. The NYPL event marked the beginning of a full week and we were lucky that 1) he wasn’t already tired of telling stories about the movie and 2) that he and Baumbach made such a dynamic pair. Seriously, they should do all interviews together.  Having Baumbach next to him made Anderson more relaxed, and we not only experienced more of his personality quirks than we would in a straight interview, but we came out with some interesting anecdotes.

You can read one story about a scene that didn’t make it in to the movie here.

Another story from the night, on writing at Roald Dahl’s home Gipsy house :
Anderson: It was Roald Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, who invited us to work [at Gipsy house]. We met his grandson Luke, Luke Kelly, who showed us, in the sort of billiards room where they had all of his archives, and we started sorting through that stuff.

Baumbach: That was incredible, it was all these pads of things, even just like ideas, like, a good line for somebody to say in something. The things that never made it in..

A: One thing that was very pornographic that Luke flipped to and showed us,

B: … he was just like “You gotta look at this one”

A: It was just like a little poem, just a sentence. Do you remember what it was?

B: I don’t remember. I just remember it being– you would think in that context anything even slightly racy would be shocking, but this was totally pornographic.

A: I remember it but I don’t think I can say it. Maybe later in the.. after we warm up.

B: At the reception, maybe.

The poem? (Mom and dad, cover your eyes):


“What she needs is a belly full of hot cock.”

Roald Dahl! But maybe he was talking about a woman who was hungry for some chicken?

And last but not least a tale from Anderson, where he recounted something he said in response to a reporter who seemed to hate all his work. I like Baumbach’s response:
A: It was very clear, every question was negative… I didn’t quite express to him that I cannot have an objective conversation to my response to things people don’t like about my work. I did say to him, ‘If I were Oliver Stone, you would have a broken jaw by now. You’re just lucky it’s just me.’ ”

B: That’s a good meta way to punch somebody.

You can hear full audio of the night here. Worth listening if just to hear Anderson’s hiccupy laugh (it’s sort of adorable).

After the talk I went to a lovely reception for Anderson and Baumbach, where they spent the night very close to the exit, most likely for an easy getaway.  I’m thinking  it’s probably because they wanted to catch up after not seeing each other for 2 years, and not, of course, because they didn’t want to mingle with a room full of press and Young Lions.



Okay, last night. Before the movie’s premiere party  Anderson popped up again, this time at the 92YTribeca with Jason Schwartzman, who is in Fantastic Mr. Fox,  and some interviewer from Entertainment Weekly:


Some things I learned from the evening (I’ll make it quick):

* When searching for the main character in Rushmore, they were looking for a “young Mick Jagger.” Schwartzman showed up in a school blazer, complete with crest.

*There was a part written for Schwartzman in The Royal Tenenbaums, that ended up being “superfluous.” It  a boy that lived across the street from the family, who escaped from his boarding school in Switzerland and was secretly living in the attic of his diplomat parents. He was named Mortechai. They cut the story out and replaced him with a bird.

*Schwartzman has no plans to tour with Coconut Records at the moment, but he would do it if he could get a band together. Drummer suggestion: John Stamos.

So, now you know some stuff. If you want to know more, ask tomorrow tonight, as Anderson will be at the Apple Store in Soho with Schwartzman and Meryl Streep (!).

[The Fantastic Mr. Fox movie site]

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