Last night, the faint sound of barking filled the Upper West Side as Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs took over the Film Society of Lincoln Center for a special preview screening. An eager crowd (including Anderson’s former Moonrise Kingdom star Jared Gilman, a current NYU undergrad) had gathered in the Walter Reade Theater to get an eyeful of the meticulously crafted new stop-motion film, and afterward, to ask a few questions of the cast and crew. Anderson, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Courtney B. Vance, child newcomer Koyu Rankin, supporting voice actor Akira Ito, and producer Jeremy Dawson all sat down to say their piece about the work, its Japanese influences, and the very good dogs.
Expectedly, Anderson did most of the talking, expounding on the real-life English neighborhood known as the “Isle of Dogs,” his love for the work of Akira Kurosawa, and the unfathomably labor-intensive process through which stop-motion comes to life. (Schwartzman remembered coming in to see what he had been told was the product of an entire day’s efforts, only to be thoroughly underwhelmed by a second-long clip of a canine tilting its head up.) Vance recalled doing a read for Bottle Rocket back in the day, young Rankin got a round of applause for speaking warmly about his first director, and Jeff Goldblum was his ineffably Goldblumian self in a night of high spirits. Vulture and the Film Society of Lincoln Center are now glad to bring a complete recording of the lively Q&A to all readers who couldn’t make the event — it’s what man’s best friend would want. Take a look: