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Why Wes Anderson Set Asteroid City In The '50s

Few directors have a style that's as immediately recognizable as Wes Anderson's. With his knack forĀ picturesque shot composition and bright pastel colors, the filmmaker has crafted beloved absurdist comedies like "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," and "Rushmore." Meanwhile, his latest film, "Asteroid City," is right around the corner.

Though "Asteroid City" has already premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, the film won't be out in theaters until June 16th, 2023. Still, that hasn't stopped Anderson from sharing details about his new movie, which takes place during a Stargazer convention in a fictional American town in the 1950s.

In fact, the director opened up to AP News about why he decided to choose that specific time period for "Asteroid City." "We had an idea that we wanted to do a '50s setting, and it's got these two sides," Anderson explained. "It was about that world of summer stock, behind the scenes of that, and these towns that were built and never moved into."

Anderson had many reasons for choosing the 1950s

As Wes Anderson fans will well know, the director puts a lot of thought into the details behind his movies, and setting "Asteroid City" in this particular decade was no exception. The filmmaker offered a myriad of reasons, some practical and others thematic, when it came down to choosing to set his new film in the '50s.

"That becomes the East Coast and the West Coat and the theater and the cinema," Anderson elaborated. "There's a series of dichotomies. And one of the central things was we wanted to make a character for Jason Schwartzman that was different from what he's done before." Schwartzman is a mainstay of Anderson's work and has been a part of many of his films both in front of the camera and behind the scenes.

"The things that go into making a movie, it eventually becomes too much to even pin down," Anderson went on. "So many things get added into the mix, which I like. And part of what the movie is about is what you can't control in life. In a way, the invention of a movie is one of those things," he concluded.

Well, so far, it looks like this complex web of different ideas has been well-received thus far. As of press time, "Asteroid City" is sitting at a comfortable 80% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 35 reviews. As for fans of Anderson's beloved filmography, they'll have to wait until June 16th to check out the new movie for themselves.