A Look at Wes Anderson’s New, New Yorker-Inspired Film

Wes Anderson’s new movie, “The French Dispatch,” which will open this summer, is about the doings of a fictional weekly magazine that looks an awful lot like—and was, in fact, inspired by—The New Yorker. The editor and writers of this fictional magazine, and the stories it publishes—three of which are dramatized in the film—are also loosely inspired by The New Yorker. Anderson has been a New Yorker devotee since he was a teen-ager, and has even amassed a vast collection of bound volumes of the magazine, going back to the nineteen-forties. That he has placed his fictional magazine in a made-up French metropolis (it’s called Ennui-sur-Blasé), at some point midway through the last century, only makes connecting the dots between “The French Dispatch” and The New Yorker that much more delightful.

Arthur Howitzer, Jr., The French Dispatch’s editor, played by Bill Murray, consults a waiter about the contents of an upcoming issue.

Howitzer, a Kansas native, was inspired by Harold Ross, The New Yorker’s founding editor, who came from Colorado. Anderson added a dash of A. J. Liebling as well.

Members of The French Dispatch’s editorial staff, including characters played by Elisabeth Moss, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Fisher Stevens, and Griffin Dunne.

Howitzer reads a manuscript by Herbsaint Sazerac (Wilson), a writer whose low-life beat mirrors Joseph Mitchell’s, while a writer who has never completed a single article (Wally Wolodarsky) cheerfully idles.

A news kiosk in Ennui-sur-Blasé, the movie’s fictional setting, with the final issue of The French Dispatch on sale.

Julian Cadazio, an art dealer, played by Adrien Brody, center, is modelled on Lord Duveen, who was the subject of a six-part New Yorker Profile by S. N. Behrman, in 1951. Here, he leads a group including the writer J. K. L. Berensen (Swinton), a collector named Upshur (Maw) Clampette (Lois Smith), and his business-partner uncles (Henry Winkler and Bob Balaban) into an unusual exhibition.

Benicio del Toro, center, as Moses Rosenthaler, an incarcerated artist, with his prison guard and muse, Simone (Léa Seydoux).

Roebuck Wright (Jeffrey Wright), a mashup of James Baldwin and A. J. Liebling, is a journalist from the American South who writes about food.

Frances McDormand as the journalist Lucinda Krementz (center), with the student revolutionaries Juliette (Lyna Khoudri) and Zeffirelli (Timothée Chalamet), in a segment inspired by “The Events in May: A Paris Notebook,” Mavis Gallant’s two-part article from 1968.

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