Wes Anderson's quirky but heartfelt films have made him one of our generation's defining directors, but surprisingly, this year marked his first Cannes Film Festival premiere. We spoke with Wes at the fest shortly after the debut of Moonrise Kingdom, which tells the story of two 12-year-olds in love. He told us the film was equal parts fantasy and memory for him and also discussed whether he had younger versions of two of his most iconic characters — Margot Tenenbaum and Max Fischer — in mind while writing the new project. Moonrise Kingdom is in select theaters now.View Transcript »
When you go there it's the feeling of it. And that's really stayed with me. When you go there, it's like you're stepping back in time. I wanted to try to recreate the feeling of falling in love for the first time, and these kids, they take it very, very seriously and they're bold about it. And they act it out. So, I had someone ask me if the movie was a memory of a fantasy. And that kind of captures it, the feeling of it. Yeah. And that's really stayed with me. One of the inspirations is that there's an island that's off the coast of Massachusetts. It's called Naushon. Naushon is a place that hasn't changed at all and when you go there, it's like you're stepping back in time, and I think that's why the movie is set in the not-so-distant past. There are a few places like this. There are almost no places like this. I didn't think of that, but then as it kind of goes along, I started thinking, you know, these remind me of other, that usually, my goal is not connect anything to my other films, but it's inevitable. we started early, and we gave ourselves lots of time. Until we have the exact right ones, we should not be contemplating making a film. With a movie like this, I always feel, that you can't really say for sure you're going to make the movie at all. Until you have the ones, because it depends completely on them. Once you've got the story and you're invested in it, my holding, it's just, how do we bring it to life? How do we make it, usually, how do we push it further and how do we get more from it? So I never really feel anxious or worried about anything like that when I'm working. I've kind of learned all the rituals of the festival. It's full of them. And it's been very moving. to be a part of it. This is the one everybody knows about. And I've been kind of aware of this since I was twelve years old or something, so it's exciting. I've been told by French people it's better to be in competition. I said, well, it seems like opening night is good. But then we found out we were in competition also, and then I felt I and I knew everything was fine.