...which is something that didn't once cross my mind while watching it, but as popular a point of critique as it is seemed worth checking out. Skipped a lot of screamy, outraged click-bait headlines before settling on this thoughtful piece by Alison Willmore at Buzzfeed.
In any medium I want distinct voices as un-self-conscious as possible, free to create without knowing why they want to keep doing that thing they keep wanting to do. I want the art made and released - and then the critics and the audience can unpack it. An artist's sharp edges, shortcomings or pig-stubborn blind spots are often what keep their work compelling, tricky, not easily digestible and fascinating for years to come. I would not be thinking about and interested in discussing the issues put forth in Willmore's article if Anderson had made a different film.
Another sin mentioned in the piece, (which opens up the discussion beyond Isle of Dogs), is relentless use of the trope of white people immersing themselves in another culture and discovering their true nature as they ascend to the top of said cultural ladder until they finally prove to be the best example of its potential. It's... a thing. A thing not limited to white folk, but certainly most commonly represented in films seen around the world. A timeless trope that maybe needs a time out (or at least a tweak) when it comes to big studio film making.
an interview with The Guardian: "I'm a pornographer. I make films about what arouses me. What I want to see. Very rarely to understand why I want to see it..."
Yeah, nailed it as far as I'm concerned. Like his Danish counterpart Lars Von Trier he's an audacious and talented artist whose work is divisive and an invitation to peer, nay leer, at all the psychic wiring he's exposing and as much as I don't like many of Von Trier's flicks, I hope he keeps making them so that I can further understand why I reject his worldview and sharpen my own.
Gun and Sword: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980 and Outlaw Masters of Japanese Film full of terrific introductions, insights and interviews from the source.