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Auteur of animation

By Xu Fan | China Daily | Updated: 2018-04-19 07:15
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson's second stop-motion animated film, will hit Chinese mainland theaters on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Wes Anderson's stylish new film about a pack of stranded dogs draws inspiration from Japanese masters such as Akira Kurosawa.

As one of the most influential directors in American cinema over the past two decades, Wes Anderson has returned to his passion for the stop motion technique with his new animated flick Isle of Dogs.

For Chinese fans, they will have more reasons to be cheerful for their idol's latest work, as 2018 marks the Year of Dog in the Chinese zodiac. Isle of Dogs is also Anderson's second stop-motion feature following 2009's Fantastic Mr Fox.

"It started with two ideas," says Anderson, who talked to China Daily during an online video interview on Friday. The movie will open in Chinese mainland theaters on Friday.

Appearing in the center of the computer screen, the director came into view sitting on a purple sofa set against a green wall adorned with elegant paintings - in true Wes Anderson style.

Known for his uniquely aesthetic sense for building cinematic worlds of his own - from The Darjeeling Limited (2007) to the Oscars-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) - Anderson prefers to set his characters in the middle of camera to form beautifully symmetric sequences.

Continuing his distinctive style, Isle of Dogs was inspired by his fondness for Japanese cinema and art, as well as a sequence he conceived in his mind about a pack of sad dogs stranded on an island garbage-dump.

With the two ideas, the movie is set in a near-future Japanese city, in which the cat-loving mayor banishes all the dogs to Trash Island. But the mayor's 12-year-old nephew embarks on a rescue mission to retrieve his dog Spots, his best friend and loyal guardian, which leads to a mass escape by the island's canine "prisoners".

"For us, the movie is like a dream that we want to illustrate. Sometimes I think it's very personal, as the boy is fighting for things that I would believe in," says the 49-year-old auteur.

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