I realized today that I never blogged about these. For our Anniversary Mikael gave me “Chuck Dugan is Awol” and the Criterion edition of “Darjeeling Limited.”
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The Darjeeling Limited is my least favorite Anderson film, but even a weak Anderson film is better than many other films by lesser mortals. Plus, I really wanted to watch “Hotel Chevalier” which is, hands down, the best part of the Darjeeling Limited. The Criterion Edition doesn’t disappoint. Double discs and charming insert drawn by Wes’s brother, Eric Chase Anderson.
SANYO DIGITAL CAMERAThe Louis Vuitton luggage was designed by Marc Jacobs for the film. They were also for sale, although it’s hard to imagine hardcore fans having the cash necessary to buy them. Anderson’s middle period encompassing Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic, and DL are increasingly aspirational and escapist. Luckily with Mr. Fox and Moonrise Kingdom he’s both doubled back to Bottle Rocket and Rushmore while managing to move forward.
On the commentary Wes is irritated by the interpretation of the luggage as emotional baggage, esp when the brothers discard their luggage to catch the train (in slo-mo of course). But, really dude, you (and Roman) are the one(s) who wrote a story about three brothers carrying around and fetishsizing their dead father’s luggage. You could have crafted more complicated symbolism.

My main beef with DL is the lack of character developement, which I understand in the context of the film: the brothers are on a journey. Owen Wilson wants it to be a spiritual journey, but his limitations are as great as the others and together, they are all stuck on a physical journey. Even after someone dies, Adrien Brody continues to wear his father’s glasses, even though his prescription gives Adrien headaches. He’s unable to move on from his dysfunctional family and create a new family with his wife. So, yeah, lots of stagnation until the end when they run to catch the train and throw away their luggage. It’s abrupt and unfulfilling. (Yes, I did refer the characters by the actors who played them.) The characters possessing the most depth are played by Waris Ahluwalis and Amara Karan. Amara is nicknamed, “Sweet Lime” by Jason Schwartzman for the drink she serves them. It’s revoltingly condescending and I think, meant to be so. He sees her as just another character in his next novel and not as a human being. All three brothers are repellant despite their picturesque style, although Anderson’s gifts are so great that you do manage to have some slight pity for them.

Luckily, I’m shallow and visually the Darjeeling Limited is beautiful. Waris Ahluwalis is beautiful. Everything in this film is ridiculously beautiful.
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and then there’s Eric Chase Anderson’s novel (novella?). It’s a slight, fast, entertaining read. Filled with obsessively detailed maps and characters that riff on boys adventure books from the late 60s.
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I just got all Inception on you.
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there are maps of bodies
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maps of action
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maps of backpacks
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and much more. It’s delightful. And the back cover has shout outs from Michael Chabon and Owen Wilson.

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