If you can’t wait for Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which is slated for release in March of next year, then you can satiate your senses with his newest short film Castello Cavalcanti. Starring Anderson’s long time collaborator Jason Schwartzman, the film tells the tale of an American-born Formula race driver Jed Cavalcanti and his failings in the 1955 Italian Molte Miglia rally. Per the jacket, car, and other subtle hints, the short was sponsored by Italian fashion house Prada. Despite the sponsor, the film is a Wes Anderson production from the centered framing and vibrant colors to the caricature acting and quick-witted dialogue.
Jason Schwartzman is bringing up the rear of the race when an improperly attached steering wheel and a slow leak in his back left tire cause his to crash into Christ. The totaled car doesn’t slow him down, and he speaks at a million kilometers an hour until he discovers the village he smashed into isn’t random—it's the home of his ancestors. In typical Wes Anderson fashion, his main male characters act like children and the women act like women. The men are fools and the women are wise. With a shot of hooch and a bowl of spaghetti, he settles in for a bit of history.
Darius Khondji, who also shot Anderson’s other Prada commercial, Candy, starring the unbearably beautiful Léa Seydoux, shot Castello Cavalcanti. The cinematography works wonderfully, functioning as another character in the film, full of hesitations and interests all its own. These fashion houses using the styles of auteur filmmakers to promote their own brands is nothing new and will undoubtedly blossom bigger in the future—Proenza Schouler funded two shorts by Harmony Korine over the last few years with Act da Fool and Snowballs. Anyways, check out the short below and let me know how branded you think this badboy is or if it’s another worthy addition to Wes’s canon.
Castello Cavalcanti will premiere this weekend at the Rome Film Festival. It appears to be tied into the release of Wes Anderson’s newest feature The Grand Budapest Hotel—similar to his other Schwartzman-starring short, Hotel Chevalier, which preceded The Darjeeling Limited.
Jeffrey Bowers is a tall mustached guy from Ohio who's seen too many weird movies. He currently lives in Brooklyn, working as an art and film curator. He is a programmer at the Hamptons International Film Festival and screens for the Tribeca Film Festival. He also self-publishes a super fancy mixed-media art serial called PRISM index.
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