October 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Behind the Screen: The Isle of Dogs

By Kathryn Whitney Boole

Wes Anderson has a unique outside-the-box way of getting to the heart of any subject he decides to pursue in his filmmaking. In his new film, “Isle of Dogs”, he has touched the extremely rich emotional tapestry of, you guessed it, our most loyal companions. Dogs are known to possess a more pure set of emotional instincts than humans. Their reactions materialize without being clouded with rational thought. If you have a hard time becoming immersed in animated films, as I do, never fear. Isle of Dogs will gradually pull you into its quirky, heartfelt world, rich with feeling, that only dogs can unleash (OK, pardon the pun).

The story takes place in Japan 20 years from now, in a culture different, yet not so different, from ours. Perhaps the writers, Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Kunichi Nomura, chose Japan so that they could explore the relationship between façade and existential being. This setting allowed them to use Japanese history and poetry (specifically Haiku) to set the backdrop and style. Elaborate clues that link this world to ours include exile to an island filled with trash, the fictional city of “Megasaki,” sounding so much like the name of a tragic incident in WWII, a 12-year-old boy pilot named “Atari,” who is on a quest to find his loyal dog, captive prisoners, and a toxic chemical garbage dump. We get to take a fresh look at how sometimes unfounded traditions and mores become established. We step outside our own social structure and see the toxins brewing.

At first the story seems to meander down a winding path, as do most Wes Anderson stories. Soon you realize that you are caught up in an allegorical current. The artistry of the animators is amazing. The dog’s faces, those faces that reach right into the heart of our psyche, are poignant. The awesome cast of A-List talent that Anderson and team have enlisted to voice these characters bring to each role a richness that seems more than human. The musical score by the great Andre Desplat perfectly frames the narrative.

Most audience members don’t realize the artistry that goes into voicing an animated character because the great voice artists make it seem so easy. Here each dog has a textured and colorful personality that mirrors that of humans. We can see ourselves in these dogs. Just a few of the wonderful voices include Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Greta Gurwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel, Tilda Swinton and even Yoko Ono.

This is a film you can see more than once and each viewing would uncover more hidden touches. There are layers of insight into human passion and social structure. The situations our heroes must endure poke fun at the societal framework that we take so seriously. Anderson and team have the ability allow us to cut through the BS of human posing and game playing, as the dogs play out the drama.

Layers of insight into human passion and social structure come to life in the film.

 

 

 

 

Photo: Isle of Dogs
Related Posts

Forma Expanding to Main Street: Westside Food Scene

October 22, 2020

October 22, 2020

Westside Food Scene October 22, 2020 By Kerry Slater Forma Expanding to Main Street Popular Santa Monica Italian restaurant Forma...

Review: “Away”

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

“Away”Rated TV-14Season 1 – 10 One-Hour EpisodesReleased September 4th on Netflix In 2014 Esquire Magazine published a thorough article by...

Beloved Santa Monica Artist Passes Away at 99

August 31, 2020

August 31, 2020

Venezuelan born artist surrealist artist Luchita Hurtado passes away  By Toi Creel For some in Santa Monica, the name Luchita...

Brock on Your Block: Saturday Morning Neighborhood Jazz

August 24, 2020

August 24, 2020

In the latest Brock on Your Block, Phil discovers an impromptu Jazz Concert by the neighbors – a great way...

Film/TV Review: Upload

May 28, 2020

May 28, 2020

FILM/TV REVIEWUPLOADRated TV-MA30-Minute EpisodesSeason 1,10 Episodes Released on Amazon Prime May 1st Upload has the guise of a cute rom-com....

Edify TV: Santa Monica Place Food Court Vacancies

March 10, 2020

March 10, 2020

Another restaurant has closed in the Santa Monica Place food court, adding to the number of vendor vacancies. Learn more...

Fried Chicken and Doughnut Joint Closes Santa Monica Location

March 4, 2020

March 4, 2020

All Southern California Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken shut down By Toi Creel After an almost three-year-long stint, Astro Doughnuts...

Edify TV: Free and Affordable Meals for SMC Students

March 3, 2020

March 3, 2020

Santa Monica College has opened its first Everytable SmartFridge. Learn more about this program to make healthy meals affordable for under $5 (and...

Lazy Daisy Cafe to Reopen Doors With New Menu, Ownership

February 27, 2020

February 27, 2020

Feb. 28 soft opening By Toi Creel A popular Santa Monica eatery-once planned to be closed for good – is...

Cinema at the Edge Film Festival Returns

February 19, 2020

February 19, 2020

February 21st to 23rd – Edgemar Center for the Arts By Staff Writer Housed at the Edgemar Center for the...

My Own Academy Awards

February 7, 2020

February 7, 2020

On May 16, 1929, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an organization founded by Louis B. Mayer to...

Brock on Your Block: The Maiden Factor

February 3, 2020

February 3, 2020

Phil Brock meets Tracy Edwards, MBE, skipper of Maiden, who led the first all-female crew to complete the Whitbread Round...