Though Wes Anderson’s upcoming full-length feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel, won’t be out until next year, diehard fans can get their quirky Anderson fix with the writer-director’s new short, Castello Cavalcanti, produced in collaboration with Prada.
The eight-minute short is set in an Italian village in September 1955. It stars regular Anderson collaborator Jason Schwartzman as Jack Cavalcanti, a racecar driver who crashes his vehicle into a statue of Jesus Christ. After extinguishing his vehicle, he strolls into a local cafe, where old men are chain smoking and playing cards. After noticing the name of the establishment (Castello Cavalcanti) and speaking with the crew, Schwartzman’s character realizes he’s actually in the company of his Italian ancestors.
The film is full of Anderson’s trademark visual splendor (the rich yellows and reds, the ornate set design, the dramatic camera panning) and plenty of choice Schwartzman one-liners. One great moment comes immediately after the crash: “Son of a bitch – it wasn’t my fault!” Cavalcanti screams. “Steering wheel’s screwed on backwards!” Seconds later, after surveying the damage, he hilariously tells the villagers to “stick (the car) back in the gutter where it belongs” and to “give (him) a shot of the local hooch.” However, what could be the funniest line of the film arrives when Schwartzman’s character meets his “great-great grand-uncle Michelangelo” and exclaims, “We’re ancestors!”
Castello Cavalcanti debuted today at the Rome Film Festival in the Special Events Out of Competition section. The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson’s eighth full-length feature, will hit theaters on March 7th, 2014.