Wes Andersons new film, Isle of Dogs is an absolute marvel. When I went to go and see it initially I didn’t think it would have any relationship with this project but as soon as it started I realised what impact it would have. Although I am not doing my animation as stop motion they use a tone of artwork and illustration throughout the film, and due to the nature of the animation the artwork lends itself to the film perfectly. After seeing the film I was eager to find out more about the production, how it was made, behind the scenes and so on. This is when I found out that you could visit an exhibition of the films models at the 'Vinyl Factory' (160 The Strand), I didn’t waste anytime in going along. It did take a while to get into the exhibition but once I was inside I was not disappointed, not only could you see a large amount of the models from the film but you could eat ramen at a life size version of the model. Below are a few photos I have taken from this exhibit.
My stand out favourite from the exhibition was the bar scene which you can see below. The amount of detail on the posters that surround the characters is just incredible, it really helps to build up the scene. In particular I like the 'Vote Wantanbe’ poster, which was just on the wall as you looked into the scene. The bold colours and with its mix of english and Japanese characters is excellent. It looks to be a screen print, or at least a print, of a screen print.
A big part of what makes this film work so well is the promotional work that supports it, below are lots of extra images that were created to get an audience interested. The mug shot style images were printed into postcards and given out at the exhibition whilst some of the other images were used as adverts or holding pages online. I have also noticed that they created an instagram account which promotes a lot of things through that. what connects al the images is the copy, it always has the same type, similar colour palette and a similar pattern that links throughout.
I think the possibly the most influencing factor of Isle of dogs is showing how they have used english and Japanese together. Although there have been some crumblings of cultural appropriation I believe these are unfounded. I also believe that this is a great example of where the identity of a hybrid language is being created. I think the more you get these kind of productions which borrow from both east and west which is exactly what HKC is, the more likely you are to appeal to a wider audience. It is important to note that Wes Anderson co-wrote Isle of Dogs with a Japanese actor and producer called Kunichi Nomura, this I believe is to make the movie more authentically Japanese and to try and dodge the ‘Cultural Appropriation’ title. This makes me think I should bring in some chinese nationals to help me make this production more authentically chinese. Most importantly I don’t just want it to appeal to western audiences, I want chinese audiences to not be put off but bad grammar or just things that don’t make sense but ‘Look’ chinese.