Latest Wes Anderson offering a Christmas short starring Adrien Brody
Come together, the latest filmic offering from Wes Anderson, possesses the auteur's classic storybook style, from faded retro colouring to dolls-house vignettes.
But a conventional feature length film it is not.
Anderson's outrageously charming movies include Rushmore, Fantastic Mr Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Limited, The Royal Tenebaums and The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Anderson has created a festive season advertisement for the Swedish clothing chain, H&M, once again obscuring the boundaries between commerce and art and most certainly pocketing a nice pay cheque in which to finance his next film to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The mini movie stars Adrien Brody as train conductor Ralph whose melancholic duty is to convey the unfortunate news to his passengers that due to challenging weather conditions and mechanical difficulties the retailer's Winter Express will be arriving more than 11 hours late for Christmas.
Brody - whose voice bears an uncanny resemblance to George Clooney and possesses the officiousness of Tom Hanks from the Polar Express - invites passengers to a complimentary Christmas brunch including "chocolate flavoured beverage with whipped topping" in the rear coach.
The passengers are lonesome strangers. Anderson positions them in doll house dioramas - their loved ones are pictured on Christmas gifts framed in shot - and focuses on a boy for whom the conductor directs the enforced cheer.
From out the snow-whipped window the conductor hooks a Christmas tree and decorations and transforms the dining car into a Christmas wonderland.
Anderson invokes Christmas magic in a scene in which the camera looks straight down the train corridor darkened and then illuminated as the train proceeds out of a tunnel. It's a nod to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock at the same time.
"This story may resonate more than ever at a time in the world where we could all do with giving a stranger a hug," Brody said in a statement after the advertisement's release.
It is not the first time Anderson has lent his name to an advertising campaign and cultural branding. He has create mini movies for Prada, including Castello Cavalcanti released in 2013 and which paid tribute to Federico Fellini. Jason Schwartzman starred as an unsuccessful race car driver who crashes his car in an Italian village.
As with Prada, the advertising is subtly placed in Anderson's four minute venture with all passengers dressed in the chain store's festive collection.
- Brisbane Times