Wes Anderson’s name has become synonymous with his hyper-stylised brand of filmmaking over the years. The director’s unique approach to world-building – typically involving pastel colours, symmetrical scenes and an obsessive eye for detail – has seen him gain a cult following right across the creative community. His films have even inspired spinoff Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson, which offers an Andersonian take on everyday scenes.
Following on from the French Dispatch’s ‘love letter to journalism’, the director is back with Asteroid City, a tale of a space-obsessed desert town in the American Southwest, which boasts a gigantic meteor crater as its most famous attraction. As excitement ramps up for Asteroid Day, the annual event commemorating when the Arid Plains meteorite made earth-impact, the town prepares to welcome five science award-winning children (amusingly named the space cadets) to display their inventions – before an earth-shattering event changes everything.
Set in 1955, the film nods to the real-life space race hysteria that was infiltrating American culture at the time. In the summer of 1947, a mysterious, silver craft crashed into the desert near Roswell, New Mexico. The military only gave partial accounts of what had happened, but it didn’t take long for the incident to hit the papers, with the nation’s flying-saucer obsession quickly spreading to books, TV and movies.