Netflix recently released four new Wes Anderson shorts, based on four Roald Dahl stories:

  • The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar (39 min)
  • The Swan (17 min)
  • Rat Catcher (17 min)
  • Poison (17 min)

All four shorts use an ensemble cast of British actors (for that Roald Dahl feeling). Many play multiple roles in the same short, like in a play. Speaking of play, theater is central to how Anderson framed the stories. Similarly to Asteroid City we understand that we're watching a play about the story, instead of the story itself. So far, a typical Wes Anderson story-in-a-story. But this time, instead of seeing the stage (straightforward), we see decor shifting into place, actors swapping costumes and acting with invisible props, saying dialog tags out loud ("once more he said"). In Henry Sugar some characters levitate, so the actors stand up, grab a box that has been painted to look like the background, and sit on the box. It's wonderful.

I won't go into further details here because no time right now, and because these are worth just watching without knowing too much. They're enchanting, gave me the same fairy tale-ish feeling as Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom etc. Peak Wes Anderson.